Info
Category:
Richest BusinessCEOs
Net Worth:
$600 Million
Birthdate:
1938 - Jul 16, 2023 (85 years old)
Birthplace:
The Bronx
Gender:
Male
Profession:
Businessperson, Banker
Nationality:
Italy
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What was Angelo Mozilo's Net Worth?

Angelo Mozilo was an American executive who had a net worth of $600 million at the time of his death in July 2023. Angelo Mozilo was best known for being the former chairman of the board and CEO of Countrywide Financial. He served as CEO until July 1, 2008, just a few months before the financial crisis. During his time at Countrywide, Angelo earned hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and sold at least $400 million worth of his shares.

Countrywide was a pioneer in the nationwide non-bank mortgage industry. When subprime loans came onto the scene in the late '80s (Guardian S&L) and '90s (The Money Store), his company did not participate. He reportedly (privately) described the subprime loan mavericks of the '90s as "crooks". His company, however, was losing business to the subprime lenders and had to compete with them or continue to lose market share. By the early 2000s, Countrywide began using subprime loans in a major way. After the market crash of 2008/2009, Countrywide soon symbolized and bore much of the blame for, the subprime mortgage crisis.

In a 2008 New York Times feature, Henry G. Cisneros, former secretary of HUD and member of the Countrywide board of directors, described Mozilo as "sick with stress—the final chapter of his life is the infamy that's been brought on him, or that he brought on himself." CNN named Mozilo as one of the Ten Most Wanted: Culprits' of the 2008 financial collapse in the United States, a theory further supported in "Inside Job," an Academy Award-winning documentary on the global financial crisis.

Over many years, Mozilo sold hundreds of millions of dollars in stock, personally, even while publicly touting the stock and using shareholder funds to buy back stock to support the share price.

On June 4, 2009, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charged him with insider trading and securities fraud. The terms of the settlement allowed Mozilo to avoid acknowledging any wrongdoing. Countrywide was to pay $20 million of the $67.5 million penalty because of an indemnification agreement that was part of Mozilo's employment contract. In February 2011, the U.S. dropped its criminal investigation into the facts behind the civil settlement.

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Early Life

Angelo Mozilo was born on November 29, 1938, in the Bronx, New York, to a first-generation Italian-American family. He was greatly influenced by his parents' struggles as immigrants, which kindled in him a strong work ethic and a deep commitment to providing opportunities for homeownership to underserved communities.

After graduating from Fordham University in 1960 with a degree in economics, Mozilo started his professional journey in the mortgage industry.

Countrywide Financial Corporation

In 1969, along with his business partner David Loeb, Mozilo founded Countrywide Credit Industries, later renamed Countrywide Financial Corporation. They began as a two-man operation and grew it into a national enterprise that serviced millions of loans. As CEO, Mozilo focused on simplifying mortgage lending and making homeownership more accessible to Americans.

Countrywide's growth was impressive, eventually becoming the nation's largest mortgage lender. The company was praised for its advancements in computerized loan processing, and it played a crucial role in creating a secondary market for mortgages by selling loans to government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Subprime Mortgage Crisis and Controversy

However, Countrywide's success story turned sour when the U.S. housing bubble burst in 2007. The company had aggressively pursued subprime lending, offering mortgages to high-risk borrowers. When the market collapsed, many of these borrowers defaulted, contributing significantly to the 2008 financial crisis.

Mozilo's leadership during this period attracted significant controversy. He was accused of misleading investors about the riskiness of Countrywide's loan portfolio and of making millions through insider trading.

Bank of America acquired Countrywide in July 2008 for $4.1 billion. The acquisition would go on to cost BofA billions upon billions of dollars. Angelo retired a few months after the deal closed. Around this time he made a number of glowing statements about his former company's future prospects, while also offloading $140 million worth of his own shares.

In 2009, Mozilo was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for securities fraud and insider trading. He agreed to a settlement in 2010, which included a lifetime ban from serving as an officer or director of any public company, without admitting or denying the allegations.

Mozilo largely retreated from public life following the settlement. However, he has occasionally commented on the state of the mortgage industry, maintaining his belief that every American should have the opportunity to own a home.

Legacy

Angelo Mozilo's legacy is multifaceted. His early innovations in the mortgage industry and his commitment to making homeownership accessible to more Americans have had a lasting impact. However, his leadership during the subprime mortgage crisis and the ensuing legal consequences have left a stain on his reputation.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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