For a new kid on the ABS conference block, the American Securitization Forum (ASF) did well for itself as a solid showing flocked to attend ASF 2004, held last week at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. In fact, organizers have tentatively set a Jan. 23-26, 2005 date for next year's gathering. Unofficial estimates pegged this year's attendance at well over 1,000, a number that ASF Chairman Vernon Wright aims to double for next year's event.

In his welcoming remarks, Wright said that the ASF will continue playing a proactive part in shaping the future by educating and informing regulators about "our collective industry." Aside from this, he said that one of the main goals of the ASF remains boosting membership, particularly among investors. According to senior committee members, the Forum was taken aback by press accounts the week before indicating that investor attendance would fall shy of the goal. However, if attendance is an indicator of a conference's success, it's hard to see where the ASF fell short.

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