Commercial paper and credit card expert Gregg Silver, formerly of Dai-Ichi Kangyo Ltd., will join 1st Financial Funding & Investment to take the company's credit card portfolio into the public asset-backed securities market - a first for the company - as well as cultivate a potential student loan ABS program.

Silver will act as president of 1st Financial, a subsidiary of Connecticut-based 1st Financial Bank USA, and will oversee three deals he has planned for company.

Two transactions will derive from credit card collateral, one of which is destined for the term market - a first for 1st Financial as the company had previously only securitized credit card debt in the commercial paper sector.

Silver said structural details on the deals had not yet been determined, but he expects the term deal to price in the first quarter of next year, and the commercial paper card deal to land in the fourth quarter of 2000. Deal sizes are expected to be north of $350 million, as Silver said that renewals planned for the company's two commercial paper programs during this year's fourth quarter should increase over historic levels.

"I wouldn't necessarily say it's a long way from now," Silver said about plans for the term deal. "We'll probably start prospecting this week."

A student loan transaction is planned for 2000 as well, but Silver did not yet have the details worked out for the offering.

The company has completed three private deals thus far, with deal sizes in the $300 million range under a trust dubbed 1st Financial Bank Credit Card Trust.

Dai-Ichi Kangyo agented and advised all three transactions. - SK

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