Gallatin Funding was slated to print by last Thursday afternoon (ASR press time) and was still talking its triple-A notes at the +45A/3ML (A/L 5.5y) via Bear Stearns. The deal has received a good reception at the senior level largely on account of Bear Stearns Asset Management's leverage loan all-star Justin Driscoll, who joined the firm in 2000 from Trust Company of the West.

Driscoll was reportedly one of the most senior members on the TCW leverage loan team, a well regarded CLO issuer. Driscoll was involved in structuring and marketing several CDOs, including one of the first synthetic cashflow CLOs. Driscol is now managing the Grayston CLO 2001-1 CLO, which BSAM issued in April 2001. One senior note investor said he had evaluated the CLO largely on Driscoll's track record at TCW and its predecessor, Crescent Capital. Under Driscoll's tenure - from the inception of the loan team in 1994 to 2000 - the team ramped up at least $3.5 billion in assets.

Through Gallatin Funding/CLAwS, Bear Stearns Asset Management is venturing into synthetic first loss tranches, similar to the Sequils/MINCS structure, according to market sources. The deal is backed by approximately 90% leverage loans and up to 10% structured finance assets. The transaction has two separate legal trusts: Gallatin Funding Trust I and CLAwS 2002-1. The three CLAwS tranches that represent $67 million of the deal have not been seen offered in the market. Gallatin has a five-year reinvestment period.

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