In search of the formula that will set it apart from its competitors, Commerzbank Corporates & Markets is looking to streamline its securitization focus and hopefully gain a larger margin in the London securitization market.
The team has already taken a specialist approach in the German securitization market, where it targets bank clients with a core focus on German Mittelstands (small and medium sized companies). Nicolaus Trautwein and Juergen Mahler lead the Frankfurt team. In London, CBCM plans to look at specific industries in order to provide more expertise in these areas than its competitors.
Last week, the bank announced it would be adding Michael Eleftheriou as senior originator and structurer. Eleftheriou hails from Rabobank, where he played an instrumental role in developing the bank's presence in the international markets. Robert Jaegar also joins the new securitization team from Commerzbank's German offices. Christopher McMullen is at the helm of the new team. He joined the team in August from GE Capital Corp. where he was previously managing director of new product initiatives and insurance, working on a wide variety of securitization transactions.
Among the sectors targeted by the team are insurance, commercial mortgages, infrastructure assets, CDOs and future flow receivables. Also on the radar are opportunities linked to refinancing leveraged debt or using securitization as part of acquisition financing or refinancing leveraged debt. "We are looking at the entire spectrum of reinsurance to determine what is happening with the industry," said McMullen. "There is a concentration of risk within the reinsurance industry and their experiences create a domino effect across the sector. Securitization allows for diversification and pricing has become more viable for this product."
McMullen said that developments in the market like Basle II, accounting and regulatory changes and the convergence of the insurance and capital markets make it ideal for the approach of his new specialist securitization team. He said there were a number of transactions that the new team was currently working on, including a deal in the insurance area, a non-prime mortgage deal and a CDO.
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