23 Apr 2009

Freddie Mac executive found dead

10:12 pm on 23 April 2009

The finance chief of troubled US mortgage giant Freddie Mac was found dead on Wednesday after apparently killing himself, a police source said.

David Kellermann, 41, was promoted to acting chief financial officer last September after the government seized the company and its sibling mortgage agency Fannie Mae.

He had played a key role in helping the company navigate past accounting scandals and answer questions from regulators and investors who put the company under intense scrutiny as a five-year US housing market boom ended in 2006.

Last year's government take-over came as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, known as government-sponsored agencies, faced deep losses and the effects of the US housing market crash engulfed other financial institutions.

In March, Freddie Mac said that it was cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission in a probe and that employees had been interviewed by investigators. A law enforcement source said there was no sign that federal investigators had any recent contacts with Mr Kellermann.

"Freddie Mac knows of no connections between this terrible personal tragedy and the ongoing regulatory inquiries discussed in our SEC filings," said David Palombi, Freddie Mac's executive communications officer.

There have been several high-profile suicides of business executives around the world in the last six months as the financial crisis took hold.