As Fannie Mae's President and Chief Operating Officer Lawrence M. Small steps down from his perch atop the agency that many believe exercises the primary influence on the mortgage industry, that government-sponsored enterprise is simultaneously attaining record levels of portfolio growth and broadening the scope of its market presence more than ever before.

Last week, Small, 58, announced that he is leaving the largest buyer of U.S. home mortgages to join the Smithsonian Institution early next year. Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive, credited Small for the company's tremendous earning growth.

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