BARCELONA, Spain - The smell of sangria, the taste of croquetas, the beat of Spanish music pouring into the city streets and the sound of crashing waves along the shoreline were certainly not distractions from the Global Asset Securitization Conference in Barcelona. On the contrary, it seems as though these features, unique to the Spanish city, helped to draw more market participants this year than any other conference including ABS East and ABS West.
Many market sources have often raved that this is the hottest conference of the year. In fact, several months ago, one insurance source remarked, "If you can only go to one conference this year, make it Barcelona." With 2,100 attendees at this year's fifth annual investors' and issuers'summit, sponsored by Frank Fabozzi - up from 1,800 last year and nearly 100 corporate sponsors, up from 80 a year ago - it looks as though the gossip has traveled across the waters.