Fannie Mae has appointed Susan R. McFarland to serve as chief financial officer, the company said Wednesday.
McFarland joins Fannie from Capital One Financial Corp., the McLean, Va.-based bank, where she served as executive vice president for finance and principal accounting officer.
Fannie Mae and its sibling Freddie Mac were taken over by the U.S. government nearly three years ago and have been operating under a legal process known as conservatorship. The government has agreed to inject unlimited aid to keep the companies afloat, and so far Fannie's rescue has cost taxpayers $86 billion. Fannie has faced massive losses as a result of the housing bust and reported a $6.5 billion net loss in the first quarter.
The government's open-ended support of the firms has cast a cloud over their future and complicated employee retention and recruitment efforts. While the Obama administration has pledged to wind the entities down, any legislative action to do so appears to be years away.
McFarland is the third person to hold the top finance job since Fannie entered conservatorship. David M. Johnson resigned at the end of last year after being named to the position in November 2008. David Hisey, who has served two stints as interim finance chief, will continue to serve as the company's principal accounting officer.
McFarland will receive an annual salary of $600,000 plus bonus compensation and long-term incentive pay worth another $2.6 million. She will also receive a $1.7 million signing bonus to compensate for equity grants that she will forfeit after leaving Capital One. Fannie said that its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, had approved those terms.
McFarland's appointment is effective July 11. Prior to her current role, she served for seven years as Capital One's corporate controller and before that, she was the finance chief for the company's largest business line, U.S. Card. McFarland joined the bank after 16 years at Bank One Corp., the Chicago bank that was purchased in 2004 by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
"Susan is an outstanding addition to our management team as we continue to strengthen Fannie Mae's business and position the company to most effectively serve the market in the future," said Michael Williams, Fannie's chief executive officer.
In a statement, McFarland said she was "incredibly excited to join the Fannie Mae team and to help lead the company into the future."
Nick Timiraos is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal, where this story originally appeared. Write to him here.