Genworth Chief Resigns in Wake of Australian MI Problems

Mortgage & Real Estate

Michael D. Fraizer, chairman and CEO of Genworth Financial, resigned Tuesday afternoon, two weeks after the firm’s stock was hammered because of accelerating losses in its Australian mortgage insurance business.

Fraizer is the second Genworth executive to resign within a week. On April 25 company SVP and chief investment officer Ronald Joelson parted ways with the company.

A source close to the company said “the situation had been building for quite some time” but had no other information on the matter except to say, “Fraizer steered the firm through the housing crisis.”

Not only is Genworth’s Australian MI division facing mounting foreclosure claims, but its American MI unit continues to lose market share to Radian and United Guaranty, according to figures compiled by National Mortgage News.

Genworth named Martin P. Klein acting CEO, and appointed James Riepe nonexecutive chairman of the board.

Klein has been CFO for just over a year. Riepe, a Genworth director since March 2006, has been lead director for three years.

In a statement Genworth thanked Fraizer for his many years of service including shepherding the firm through its IPO in 2004. (The company was spun off from General Electric.)


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