Freddie Mac finance chief found dead

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David Kellermann, acting chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac, was found dead today in his suburban Virginia home, a police spokeswoman said.

Police were called at 4:48 a.m. EDT (8:48 GMT) to Reston, Virginia, spokeswoman Lucy Caldwell told Reuters.

Local media reported that Kellermann's wife called in an apparent suicide, but Caldwell did not elaborate on the cause of death. The incident is under investigation, she said.

Kellermann, 41, had worked with Freddie Mac for more than 16 years and was named acting CFO in September.

Shares of Freddie Mac slid 9.3 per cent to 78 cents in premarket trade.

The US government intervened last year to take over Freddie and rival mortgage finance company Fannie Mae as mounting losses on housing investments weakened their balance sheets and played a role in the US housing and global credit crisis.

The two government-sponsored enterprises had a hand in about half of the entire US mortgage market and were taken over in an effort to ward off further damage to the US housing market.

According to Freddie's website, Kellermann was responsible for the company's financial controls, financial reporting, tax, capital oversight and compliance with the requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley accounting standards. He also oversaw the company's annual budgeting and financial planning processes.

Before taking over as acting CFO, he served as senior vice president, corporate controller and principal accounting officer.