Attendees at the Commercial Mortgage Securities Association's (CMSA) Fifth Annual Open Convention in New York City last week grappled with many issues facing the current commercial mortgage-backed securities market, but a common thread throughout all of the discussions was the changing options for structuring deals in the current CMBS environment.

Topics as varied as low-leverage mezzanine financing, preferred equity structures, parri passu participation and "A/B" structures informed many of the sessions, eliciting questions from both panel members and observers alike regarding the most efficient and cost-effective methods for structuring CMBS deals. Participants also stressed how important it is for issuers and underwriters to foster good rating agency relationships.

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