Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown's poaching of a lucrative tobacco legal fee securitization mandate from Morgan Stanley Dean Witter is the latest brass-knuckle move the shop is making in a bid to dominate the asset-backed securities market.

Deutsche's ABS group has gone from being ranked 19th in first quarter 2000 to its current rank of seventh, and the shop's eyes are now trained on taking out its remaining competitors, which include Citigroup and Credit Suisse First Boston, former home to the majority of Deutsche's new ABS team. To do that, the shop is going to provide a huge cash commitment to the secondary market as well as keep nabbing crucial mandates, Deutsche pros said.

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