With the closing of the JPMorgan Chase/Bank One Corp. merger expected this week, the market is bidding a fond farewell to the final remaining Midwest investment bank's presence. Lead mandates have trickled down - Banc One Capital Markets and JPMorgan Securities jointly led last week's Prestige Auto Corp. series 2004-1 deal, perhaps the final ABS with the BOCM stamp. The bank has liquidated its trading inventory and research dried up several weeks ago. It's understood that many BOCM ABS professionals were unwilling to move to JPMorgan's New York-based offices and are now fielding new job offers.

Over the years, BOCM had evolved into a lower top-10 ABS underwriter, and, fueled by Bank One's massive credit card operations, a leading issuer. BOCM sold its first and only auto loan ABS, Bank One Auto Securitization Trust last October.

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