Lehman Brothers heads of mortgage origination and securitization are leaving the firm, according to published news reports.

Ted Janulis, who was in charge of mortgage capital, will retire next month, according to Lehman spokesman Randy Whitestone, said the published reports.

The reports also said that Rich McKinney, U.S. head of securitized products, is being replaced by Charles Spero, the spokesman said. Janulis will not be replaced as his division is merged into fixed income.

According to numerous published reports, Janulis, who was part of the 16-member management committee of Lehman, is said to be among the four top candidates being considered to be chief executive at Freddie Mac. Janulis joined Lehman in 1985 and ran the investment management division until 2006, when he moved to mortgages.

McKinney, who began his career at Lehman in 1993, became the head of U.S. securitization last year when David Sherr, the global head of securitization, left the firm to start his own hedge fund.

In a related development, reports said that Richard Bove, an analyst at Ladenburg Thalmann & Co., raised his recommendation on the stock to "buy'' from "neutral'' today, and said the investment banking firm could actually face a hostile takeover.

Lehman shares dropped 38 cents, or 2.8%, $13.35 at 2:02 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading, according to published reports.

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