Real success comes when you empower employees to take ownership and work toward a common mission in collaboration with other team members. When everyone takes an active role in living the culture, we all win!
Every day we see strong leadership at all levels of our organization. Our people are constantly working to improve processes, serve our customers and make CSS a better place to build a career for everyone.
CSS has acquired a diverse executive team of talented individuals who bring their years of experience to the job every day.
We recognize that corporate culture starts at the top but is only successful when our entire team shares a commitment to our vision and values. We are proud of the role we play in building and running a company that supports mortgage-backed securitization for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and is positioning itself to deliver products and services for the broader financial markets. The best is yet to come!
CSS Leadership Team
Tony Renzi, Chief Executive Officer
Tony Renzi was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Common Securitization Solutions, LLC (CSS) in December 2019 and added to the Board of Managers as a Director in January 2020.
As CEO, Tony leads the joint venture that represents the largest and most efficient mortgage securitization service in the world. As a business and technology solutions provider CSS is an indispensable business partner to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac serving as an issuing agent and administrator of their Uniformed Mortgage Backed Security (UMBS) as well as other complex securitization structures. Today CSS supports over 1 million securitizations, backed by over 27 million loans and $5 trillion in outstanding mortgage balances.
Tony is an accomplished executive with over 30 years of experience leading top national public and private organizations through dynamic and complex business, operational and regulatory environments. Prior to joining CSS, he held executive positions as the President and Chief Operating Officer at Cenlar FSB the nation’s largest mortgage subservicer, the CEO, President and Board Director of Walter Investment/Ditech Holding Corporation a top 10 independent mortgage originator and servicer, Managing Director and Chief Operations Officer at Citigroup responsible for CitiMortgage Operations, and Citi’s North America Retail and Commercial Bank operations, Executive Vice President at Freddie Mac responsible for their Single Family Business, Operations and Technology and for 23 years of his career executive leadership positions with GMAC Mortgage ultimately serving as GMAC ResCap’s President and Chief Operating Officer and Board Director. Tony has a BA from Holy Family University and an MBA from Thomas Jefferson University.
President and Chief Operating Officer
Al Barbieri is President and Chief Operating Officer of CSS. He had served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer since 2017, leading the Client Services, Enterprise Project Management, and Securities Operations.
Al brings over 25 years of experience in housing finance and capital markets operations including 20 years with Fannie Mae in a variety of executive positions, most notably as Senior Vice President where he managed large operations and mission critical projects. Earlier in his career, Al held several senior positions responsible for overseeing mortgage securities operations for Wall Street firms such as First Boston, Morgan Stanley and Nomura Securities.
Senior Vice President and Chief Risk Officer
Sara joined the executive team in August 2014, leading an organization that works cross-functionally to implement an effective risk management framework that mitigates potential risk and continually monitors all aspects of risk across the company.
In more than 15 years of financial services experience, Sara spent nine years at Freddie Mac in a variety of senior roles including Senior Director, Enterprise Credit Risk and Enterprise Valuation Risk and Control Director and four years with E*TRADE as Manager, Finance/Accounting and Capital Markets Implementations.
Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy
Mike Gill was appointed Senior Vice President in January 2020 to develop the company’s business plans intended to further evolve the Common Securitization Platform’s expansion of capabilities with the purpose of providing additional services.
Mike brings over 20 years of legal experience and has provided both strategic and tactical leadership in the legislative and regulatory environments including Chief of Staff to Former US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) Chairman Christopher Giancarlo, also serving as Chief Operating Officer of the agency.
Prior to his Executive Branch service, Mike was an attorney with Crowell & Moring, LLP, concentrated on the energy and financial service sectors, and also served on the staff of Sen. John Danforth (R-MO) and Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-OH).
Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Executive
Jina joined CSS in July, 2020 and has company-wide oversight for all internal audit-related activities. Jina is responsible for assisting the Board and Executive Management to protect CSS’ assets, reputation and sustainability.
Jina has over 20 years of audit experience, most recently with HSBC in New York where she was Head of Global Audit Methodology. Prior to this, Jina held Internal Audit leadership positions at Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs in New York, and internationally with Lehman Brothers Japan, Credit Suisse Singapore, and ANZ Bank Australia. Her audit expertise spans Capital Markets, Investment Banking, Finance, and Corporate Services, as well as audit strategic change initiatives. Jina is qualified as a Certified Public Accountant and a Management Accountant.
Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative and Diversity Officer
Brian McQuaid was appointed Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative and Diversity Officer in December 2019, leading the full range of human resources activities, including recruitment, staffing, training, compensation and benefits, as well as marketing, communications, procurement and the Diversity and Inclusion office.
Brian brings many years of human capital experience serving over 13 years at Fannie Mae as Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, Senior Vice President of HR Service Delivery at MCI Telecommunications, and Chief Human Resources Officer at Citizens Bank corporation.
Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer
Carol Rakatansky was appointed Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Compliance Officer in early 2016, and is responsible for managing all legal affairs for CSS as well as leading the company’s compliance function.
Prior to joining CSS, Carol served as Managing Associate General Counsel for Corporate Governance at Freddie Mac, working with the Risk Committee and Board of Directors. She served in multiple leadership positions at Sallie Mae during her 13-year career there, including SVP and Corporate Secretary and earlier as an attorney for mergers and acquisitions and commercial real estate transactions at several law firms, including Katten Muchin Rosenman.
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Juanita Russell joined CSS in August 2020 as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with broad responsibility for all financial activities at the company including controlling, accounting, financial planning and analysis, internal financial controls, and financial statements.
Juanita brings more than 25 years of experience to CSS including 21 years at MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. where she rose through the ranks and served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2011-2018. Most recently she was a consultant with Northstar Financial Consulting Group where she provided her CFO expertise to technology and entertainment companies.
Juanita is a Certified Public Accountant.
In addition to Tony Renzi,
the CSS Board of Managers includes
J. Christopher “Chris” Giancarlo, Chairman of the Company’s Board of Managers, is senior counsel, based in the firm’s New York office. Chris served as the thirteenth Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he oversaw regulation of the futures, options and swaps derivatives markets. Chris was also a successful entrepreneur helping GFI Group Inc. grow into a leading trading platform and technology vendor to global markets for OTC swaps and other derivatives and managing GFI’s successful private equity financing and IPO.
Chris is a renowned blockchain technology advocate and key contributor to the global discourse on cryptocurrencies and digital assets. During his tenure at the CFTC (2014-2019), Chris oversaw the first bitcoin futures products entering the marketplace and applied a “Do No Harm” regulatory approach towards blockchain technology.
Chris has testified often about financial and derivatives markets before the U.S. Congress and EU Parliament and is a frequent guest on broadcast radio and television, including BloombergTV, CNBC, Fox Business and the BBC, as well as podcasts such as “Unchained” and “CoinDesk.” Chris has written and spoken extensively on public policy, legal and other matters involving technology and the financial markets and has authored numerous white papers, articles and op-eds that have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Cato Journal, New York Law Journal, Les Echos and Coinbase.
David C. Benson is Fannie Mae’s President reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. In this capacity he is responsible for leading the development and execution of the strategic plan for the organization, focused on driving innovation and organizational performance in support of our mission to provide liquidity and promote affordability and access to the U.S. housing finance system. Mr. Benson leads the Single-Family and Multifamily businesses, covering all segments of the business including customer engagement, capital markets, pricing, underwriting, and credit portfolio management. Mr. Benson is also responsible for corporate functions, including information technology, business operations, finance, strategy, human resources, communications, marketing, and economic research. He also serves on the Board of Managers of Common Securitization Solutions, a Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac joint venture.
Prior to becoming Fannie Mae’s President, Mr. Benson was Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. In this role he was responsible for all of Fannie Mae’s financial management functions as well as corporate strategy, economic research, and enterprise innovation. Previously, Mr. Benson served as Executive Vice President – Capital Markets, and Senior Vice President and Treasurer.
Prior to joining Fannie Mae in 2002, Mr. Benson was a Managing Director in the Fixed-Income Division of Merrill Lynch & Co. During his 14-year tenure he held leadership positions in risk management, fixed-income and currency trading, debt syndication, and e-commerce based in New York and London.
Mr. Benson earned his M.B.A from Stanford Business School, his M.D. from Harvard Medical School, and his B.S. in Psychobiology, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Andy Higginbotham is the chief operating officer and the head of Strategic Delivery, Data and Operations in the Single-Family division of Freddie Mac. He is responsible for the development and management of Single-Family strategic initiatives from concept through implementation, maintenance, and enhancement.
Mr. Higginbotham leads several multiyear initiatives focused on transforming Freddie Mac’s business, including Freddie Mac Loan Advisor®, pricing execution, the Common Securitization Platform, Single Security, and Reimagine Servicing. He manages a combination of strategic functions, including data strategy, product development, strategic technology integration, business services, change management, initiative prioritization, and iLab, an internal management consulting team.
As head of Single-Family Operations, he also leads the servicing, security and real estate-owned operations functions, the customer service centers, and the Single-Family partnership with Information Technology.
He has over 30 years of mortgage industry experience with Fortune 500 companies, managing high value, complex projects and organizations in mortgage sales, risk, operations, and technology.
Dr. Piwowar is executive director of the Milken Institute Center for Financial Markets, a position he has held since 2019. He also serves as a distinguished policy fellow at the Center for Financial Markets and Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business; a board member of Behavox, an end-to-end data operating platform; and an advisor to GTS, a leading electronic market maker across global financial instruments.
From 2013 until 2018, he served as a Commissioner on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including as Acting Chairman in 2017. In that role, he also served as a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) and the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets. Prior to his service on the SEC, he was chief economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
His earlier experience includes senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) in both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama Administrations. Before joining the White House, Dr. Piwowar worked as a Principal at the Securities Litigation and Consulting Group (SLCG). Dr. Piwowar’s first tenure at the SEC was in the Office of Economic Analysis (now the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis) as a visiting academic scholar on leave from Iowa State University where he was an assistant professor of finance. Dr. Piwowar received his B.A. in Foreign Service and International Politics from the Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from Georgetown University, and a Ph.D. in Finance from the Pennsylvania State University.
Rick Sorkin is Fannie Mae's Senior Vice President and Head of Operations, reporting to the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Sorkin is responsible for all Operations functions supporting the Capital Markets, Single Family, and Multi-Family businesses. He also serves as a board member for Common Securitization Solutions LLC. Since 2014, Mr. Sorkin has been responsible for the overall Securitization strategy and process, including integration with the Common Securitization Platform.
In 2017, Sorkin was selected to lead and oversee the Real Estate Owned (REO), Rental Finance Strategy, the Re-performing (RPL) and Non-Performing Loan (NPL) Sales organizations. He also led the development of Fannie Mae’s Servicing Future State Strategy. Previously, Mr. Sorkin led Fannie Mae’s pricing strategy, where he focused on the elements of the company’s credit pricing, including lender-specific and national pricing, flow, and bulk pricing. During his career at Fannie Mae, Mr. Sorkin was also Vice President of Structured Transactions, where he managed a team responsible for marketing, pricing, disclosing, and settling structured transactions. There he led the development of new structures and the negotiation of agreements, disclosures, and settlements of each transaction. He joined Fannie Mae in 1989.
Mr. Sorkin has a bachelor of arts in history from Frostburg State University.
Jerry Weiss has served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Freddie Mac since August 2010. In this role, he serves as the company’s senior executive liaison to the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. He oversees Government and Industry Relations and Public Policy, Public Relations and Corporate Marketing, Internal Communications, Conservatorship Affairs and Initiatives, Economic and Housing Research, Regulatory Affairs, and Making Home Affordable - Compliance organizations. He is a member of the company’s senior operating committee and reports directly to CEO David Brickman.
In addition, Weiss serves as a member of the board of managers of Common Securitization Solutions (CSS), a joint venture owned by the government-sponsored enterprises to establish a universal platform for the issuance and management of agency mortgage-backed securities.
Previously, Weiss served as Freddie Mac’s chief compliance officer and in other senior management roles since joining the company in October 2003.
Weiss has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Before joining Freddie Mac, he worked at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers for 13 years, most recently as first vice president and Global Head of Compliance. From 1982 to 1990, he practiced with a national law firm in Washington, D.C., where he specialized in securities regulation and corporate finance matters.
Weiss graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He earned a law degree from The George Washington University.