While the first-day sessions at ABS conferences generally take place during the initial meet-and-greet and registration, some of the workshop seminars in Barcelona scored 100-plus in audience attendance. In fact, the mid-day CDO analytics workshop saw nearly 200 in the audience. Euro CDO investors are apparently as concerned with transparency as those in the U.S.
While the first-day seminars were unusually packed, the showcase halls boasted no less a crowd. Booths here are set up on multiple levels in multiple rooms, all seeing decent attendee flow. In the tradition of asset-backed conferences, alcoholic beverages were being offered at perhaps one out of five booths, along with the token gadgets.
Several attendees noted that the strong first-day turnout was likely a reflection of conference goers taking the whole week away, so many were in Barcelona a few days before the conference launched.
At United Capital Market's Baja Club party, a lucky Goldman Sachs banker Chris Brown won the raffle for a cruise aboard United Capital Markets President John DeVaney's 100-foot Florida-based yacht, the Positive Carry. Airfare is included.