* The strong performance of two CDOs containing distressed debt CLOs (see ASR 1/20/03) has gone a long way in putting these new vehicles on the map. Now market sources are talking about the granddaddy of them all, as sources report a rating upgrade likely in the near term for ARK I, the $1 billion CDO that was the first feature distressed debt CLOs. Underwritten by FleetBoston Financial Corp. and managed by Patriarch Partners, Ark I made its market debut in 2001.

* SSB's own Donald Quintin is crossing the Atlantic, relocating to New York to head up Salomon Smith Barney's CDO trading business. Quintin was previously based in London where he worked as a senior CDO structurer. Quintin's move is considered significant, competitively speaking, as just a few dealers have dedicated CDO traders, including Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Banc of America Securities and UBS Warburg. - IFR Markets

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