Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein has appointed Domenico Picone as head of its structured covered research following the departure of Birgit Specht. This appointment is just one sign of drastic changes to DKW's research format, which Picone refers to as "quite substantial." A source at DKW confirmed that Specht was hired by Citigroup Global Markets.

The bank is streamlining its structured-finance research and will now focus only on CDO research. Dresdner used to publish a structured finance daily, covering a wide range of European-ABS market activity. Last week, the bank published its first credit-check report under the new regime, where it focused on the CDO tranche index. Picone said that, going forward, the group will focus on synthetic CDOs and eventually plans to incorporate cashflow products.

Picone admitted that this new strategy was born, in part, because the research team is currently short staffed, adding that the group has determined that the best way to use its resources is to focus more on commoditized products. "We have restructured our structured-credit research and closely aligned it with our business needs. In the future, we will be primarily covering CDO research - synthetics, standardized tranches and cashflow products and offer securitisation research on an ad-hoc basis." said Picone.

"We published our first report on correlation trades last week. Our interest is in supporting more CDO-type products, which is what the market wants right now."

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