CMHC’s next president and CEO should have risk management on their resume, according to the housing corporation’s advertisement in the Globe and Mail.
Canada’s housing agency is currently looking for a permanent replacement for Karen Kinsley, while Douglas Stewart fills in on an interim basis. According to the job ad, the next CEO should have “knowledge of the financial management requirements, particularly risk management, of a large financial services organization.”
Finance Minister Jim Flaherty
has directed OSFI to monitor CMHC and its $563 billion mortgage portfolio “very closely.”
Other requirements of the new president/CEO are that they be “dynamic and visionary,” with a knowledge of the role of housing and financial markets in macroeconomic policy and the agency’s activities, and ideally able to speak in both official languages.
The search for a new president and CEO comes on the heels of a reshuffling of high-level execs at CMHC, and recent numbers showing that refinances have fallen dramatically for the first quarter of this year, although business, as a whole, has also declined.
In addition to Kinsley’s departure and Stewart’s temporary move from vice president of regional operations and assisted housing, Robert Kelly – a former CEO for Bank of New York Mellon Corp. – was appointed chairman of CMHC. That selection by the office of the Finance Minister was viewed by many as a means of bolstering the government’s oversight of the federal agency.
The Q1 results from the agency show a 69 per cent drop in refinances year over year, with a concurrent drop of 23 per cent in insurance volumes. Mortgage professionals fear it reflects a trend of the government’s reluctance to refinance vulnerable clients – especially those in need for debt consolidation and needing to access the equity in their homes to relieve themselves of that high-interest burden.