Ex-Regulator Lockhart Heads To WL Ross

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – James Lockhart, who earlier this month said he would resign as the U.S. regulator overseeing mortgage finance companies Fannie Mae (FNM.N) and Freddie Mac (FRE.N), will become vice chairman of a distressed investment group at Invesco Ltd (IVZ.N), the company said on Wednesday.

Lockhart will join the investment team at WL Ross & Co. LLC, the distressed investment affiliate of Invesco, which has large stakes in mortgage companies like Assured Guaranty (AGO.N) and BankUnited.

Earlier this month, Lockhart said he would soon resign as head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency after more than three years. FHFA is the overseer of Fannie and Freddie, government-sponsored mortgage companies that were nationalized last September.

Lockhart will assume his new role next month.

Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross, chairman of WL Ross & Co. and of Invesco Private Capital, said in a statement that his investment team expects to “benefit from Jim’s unique insights into the U.S. mortgage markets, which will help us expand the compelling investment opportunities we can offer our institutional and individual clients.”

WL Ross has sponsored and managed more than $8 billion of equity investments in distressed securities and closed a $4 billion distressed private equity fund in 2007, the company said.

In an interview with Reuters earlier this month, Lockhart said he was proud of his work as a regulator, but was looking forward to returning to private life. “It’s just time to get back to the family,” he said.

(Reporting by Patrick Rucker; Editing by Leslie Adler)