Argyros Named to Seat on Federal Home Loan Corp.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Prominent Orange County developer George L. Argyros was named by the White House Wednesday to the board of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.

Argyros, 53, was one of three prominent Republicans appointed to new seats on the board of Freddie Mac, as the mortgage corporation is called.

President and chief executive of Arnel Development Co., Argyros is one of the county's largest developers of apartments.

A resident of Newport Beach's Harbor Island, Argyros is regarded as a canny developer and investor. Forbes magazine lists him as the nation's 386th richest person, with a fortune estimated at $290 million.

With William Lyon, another prominent Republican and Orange County home builder, Argyros owned the former AirCal, a small airline that was sold to American Airlines in 1987.

He also owned the Seattle Mariners major league baseball team until last year, when he sold it for $76 million, or nearly six times what he paid for it eight years earlier.

Argyros could not be reached for comment on the appointment.

Freddie Mac was created by Congress to replenish the pool of capital available for home loans. The quasi-government corporation buys mortgage loans from lenders, packages them, guarantees them and then sells them to investors. The lenders use the proceeds of the sales to make more loans. Since it was created in 1970, Freddie Mac says it has helped finance one in eight homes purchased in the United States.

Freddie Mac, based in Reston, Va., is owned by stockholders. The board of directors performs the same functions as the board of a private corporation, setting policy and overseeing management.

Freddie Mac shared a board of directors with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board until last year, when Congress abolished the bank board in the wake of the savings and loan debacle. The legislation gave Freddie Mac a new 18-member board.

Thirteen directors were elected by stockholders at the corporation's annual meeting in February.

Under the law, the President appoints the remaining five. After Wednesday's appointments, two seats on the board remain unfilled. The terms run until the next annual meeting in spring, 1991.

Also named to the board Wednesday were: Thomas Ludlow Ashley, a former Ohio congressman and president of the Assn. of Bank Holding Companies in Washington, and Woodward Kingman, also of Washington, now an investment management consultant and formerly the first president of Ginnie Mae, the Government National Mortgage Assn.

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