Bull Bear Report Jan 07 2011

Freddie Mac Recruiting Underwriters, Servicers and Risk Staff

By julie steinberg

Freddie Mac is hiring underwriters, risk managers and others as a result of increased demand for mortgage loan processing, said Michele Espada, talent acquisition director at Freddie.

"Based on the low [mortgage] volume early in the year, we reorganized staff," Espada said. "Now that volume has picked up, and is expected to remain at current level or increase slightly in 2011, we are adding staff." The company especially wants to hire multifamily underwriters and multifamily loan restructurers but she declined to specify how many.

In 2010, the company brought on over 700 external hires. Freddie currently has over 5,200 employees.

In the first three quarters of 2010, there weren't many multifamily loans to be made in the industry, Espada said. But market fundamentals improved and apartment vacancy rates and interest rates went down, resulting in increased lending volume at the end of the third quarter and during all of the fourth.

Though the government bailed out the institution, Freddie doesn't receive its funding from appropriations like other agencies. It remains in a conservatorship that keeps it operational and capitalized, Espada said. What that means is the company isn't affected by the ongoing budget crisis and will not have to go without new hires as a result.

The company is also recruiting for internal audit, operational risk, loss mitigation, model and research, IT and compliance examiners. There are currently 207 employees in compliance and 169 in risk management.

Related: FINS Interview on Getting Into Freddie Mac

What It Takes

Jennifer Meyer, a spokesperson for the company, provided information on what the company is looking for in its applicants.

Multifamily underwriting associates are required to have a bachelor degree in finance, business administration or a related discipline and one to two years of experience in commercial real estate finance, lending or underwriting.

Senior business operations auditors are required to have a college degree -- though an advanced degree is preferred -- and five-to-seven years experience in auditing or accounting. Certification (CPA) is also preferred.

Senior operational risk managers should have five-to-seven years of related technical experience. Experience in public accounting or internal audit in financial services is also preferred.

Related: So You Want to be a Mortgage Loan Underwriter | How to Get a Job in Compliance

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