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Freddie Mac Legal Chief Ricardo Anzaldua Announces Retirement

March 10, 2021, 11:00 AM

Freddie Mac’s top lawyer Ricardo Anzaldua is stepping down on Wednesday after nearly three years with the mortgage loan company.

Anzaldua will help with a transition through the end of the month before beginning his retirement, according to a Tuesday SEC filing. The filing did not name a successor. Freddie Mac didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Anzaldua, a longtime advocate for diversity in the law, joined McLean, Va.-based Freddie Mac, formally known as the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., in 2018 and was promoted to executive vice president and general counsel in January 2019.

After the pandemic began, Freddie Mac issued several temporary relaxed guidelines to help borrowers experiencing financial strain due to Covid-19. On Feb. 25, Freddie Mac modified some of these guidelines, including an extension of its Covid-19 foreclosure moratorium and the expansion of its Covid-19 payment deferral program.

Before joining Freddie Mac, Anzaldua worked for insurance company MetLife, Inc., and Hartford Financial Services Group. He began his career in private practice with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.

Throughout his career, Anzaldua has championed diversity in the legal industry through his involvement with advocacy organizations like the Leadership Counsel on Legal Diversity and the Minority Corporate Counsel Association

During his tenures at MetLife and Freddie Mac, Anzaldua promoted diversity within his legal departments and among his outside firms through very similar talent stewardship initiatives that aim to help young and often diverse lawyers rise through the ranks.

“The program consists of each protégé being assigned an officer—which is vice president or above—in the organization who will act as a sponsor. In about 60 to 75% of the cases, these relationships involve a diverse candidate for future leadership,” Anzaldua told Bloomberg Law in an interview last November.

At both MetLife and Freddie Mac, Anzaldua said “we get out own house in order” before asking outside firms to implement the same or similar sponsorship programs.

“By now, everybody understands that diversity is absolutely an imperative. The legal profession can’t keep turning its back on this issue or hiding its face from the issue. By now, all of the firms that we’ve been working with are grateful to have a client who has a constructive idea about how to tackle this rather than just criticizing them for the lack of diversity in their organization,” Anzaldua said in the interview.

On Tuesday, Citigroup Inc. also announced that its general counsel Rohan Weerasinghe would step down by the end of the year after nearly a decade with the financial services company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ruiqi Chen in Washington, D.C. at rchen@bloombergindustry.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com

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