Fannie Mae has named investment banker John Nichols chief risk officer for its capital markets division.

According to officials who have worked with Nichols, he had been on assignment to the GSE from BlackRock Financial, an asset management firm whose expertise includes MBS.

Nichols had served as a managing director at BlackRock, a company started by MBS pioneer Larry Fink.

A Fannie Mae spokesman noted that although Nichols is a risk officer, his domain will include capital markets only.

"Nichols taking the job tells me that there's a belief that Fannie and Freddie are going to be around for quite some time," said one due diligence expert.

His first official day at the company was Nov. 1. His hiring was not announced publicly.

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