Global ABS 2011 – Today kicks off Information Management Network’s (IMN) Global ABS 2012 in Brussels. The conference will be held until Thursday, June 14.

At the gathering, attendees are set to focus on the current challenges that the European securitization market is facing while emphasizing its role as a funding tool to help the region’s financial improvement.

“Our tagline for this year's event is 'Supporting Europe's Economic Recovery'," said Jade Friedensohn, senior vice president in structured finance at IMN.

Friedensohn said that over 3000 financial professionals have registered for this event including 1100 investors and issuers, which is on par with last year's numbers.

“This strong attendance year-on-year mirrors our collective desire to fulfill the mission as stated in the event tagline," she noted. “We are looking forward to a successful and purposeful event.”

Recognizing the investors’ key role in realizing this recovery, the IMN is introducing “investor fast track” panels. According to the conference organizer, these sessions are recommended for buyers who are new to the global ABS markets. They offer an overview of the major asset classes, regulatory developments and investment strategies in securitization.

The conference will also feature panels devoted to investors’ concerns around data transparency and reporting and their response to increased loan level data disclosure in Europe.

Acknowledging the depth of the European financial problems, there will be several sessions on the eurozone crisis and how securitization can be used as a tool to support the region’s economy.

In one of Wednesday's opening panels called Eurozone Crisis and its Potential Impact on ABS, topics will include assessing the likelihood of the euro’s unraveling and the probable impact of a multiple bank default.

Some sessions are going to examine how specific asset classes such as auto loan and lease ABS and SME deals can support the real economy. There will also be a panel on the role of infrastructure finance in government debt relief.

As expected, securitization regulation will be one of the major topics at Global ABS 2012.  One of the keynote speakers will be Nadia Calvino, deputy director general at the European Commission directorate general internal market and services. She will be speaking on Wednesday morning.

Several of the conference sessions will also look at regulatory reform as it pertains to risk based capital rules, rating agencies, and data reporting.

Mayer Brown International Partner Jason Kravitt will be moderating one of the opening panels on Wednesday about how the cumulative impact of global regulations is in danger of killing the market.

The focus of the panel, Kravitt said, is "pretty obvious, whether regulations have gone too far." However, it has a fresh and interesting format as it will basically be structured as a debate between the government and private sector representatives.

Panelists on the side of the government will be explaining what has been accomplished through regulations including Solvency II, Basel III and rules covering shadow banking. On the other hand, the private sector members will be talking about what has really been accomplished that are contrary to the desired aims of the different regulations.

Kravitt said that among the issues that are going to be discussed is convergence. "In the beginning, regulators were adamant that the rules converged with each other, but obviously we didn´t get that," he said.

He cited the Volcker and retention rules as examples where both are applied differently in the U.S and Europe.

Among the regulators who will be present at the panel are Acting Head of Unit Securities Markets Maria Teresa Fabregas Fernandez from the EC and Policy Expert Christian Moor, who is with the European Banking Authority.

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