True to plan, monoline guarantor Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. rapidly grew its book of business in the first quarter, after freeing itself from conservative former parent General Electric and hiring Howard Pfeffer away from rival Ambac (see ASR 1/26/04). The fact that FGIC was able to accomplish a whopping $4.6 billion in wrapped ABS in a tightening spread environment makes the feat all the more notable (see accompanying guarantor supplement). It also highlights what the new FGIC has to offer both issuers and investors - monoline diversity and an unencumbered balance sheet.
Look for FGIC to continue its expansion into other consumer asset classes, CDOs and new geographic regions. Just last week, FGIC hired Tracy Pridgen as a managing director focusing on CDOs and Dana Skelton as a vice president working on mortgage ABS.