More than 3,000 industry attendants are expected at the JW Marriott/Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes Resort, for this week's Information Management Network twelfth annual ABS East conference. Participants are expected to grapple with industry conundrums that range from the cyclical, such as concerns about disruptions in the housing market, to best practices for dealing with emerging asset classes like covered bonds. Among the registered attendees, IMN estimates that some 1,300 are issuers and investors.
This year, the IMN has assembled a lineup of high-profile industry speakers for its general panel sessions. On Monday, Dr. Edward Yardeni, chief investment strategist at Oak Hill Associates and Dr. David Resler, chief economist at Nomura Securities, will headline an economist roundtable discussion on topics including the impact of corporate credit events, interest rates and the policy biases of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the securitization markets. Yardeni's articles have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Barron's and The New York Times. He has also made several television and radio show appearances, including on ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
Aside from his responsibilities at Nomura, where he is also a managing director, Resler is a columnist for the Nikkei Financial Daily. His articles have appeared
in Business Week, the Economist and the Financial Times.
Tuesday's high points will include discussions about new asset classes, as well as updates on innovative CDO and synthetic products. Ginnie Mae recently announced that it would securitize reverse mortgages, so agency President Robert Crouch will be on hand to acquaint conference delegates with and guide them through the dynamics of the bonds. Also on the day, Alberto Basu, director of FIG DCM & ABS at ABN Amro will do the same for the covered bond market.
Also on Tuesday, the IMN will stage a separate event for ABCP delegates. The Investors Conference on ABCP & SIV conference will get underway at the Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes. The one-day conference features a new format with roundtable discussions and individual sponsor presentations by Fortis Bank, HSBC and Credit Suisse. New speakers include National Australia Bank, LMA Hexagon, or Calyon. Nelnet, the Lincoln, Neb.-based student loan lender that completed the industry's first single-seller ABCP conduit backed by student loans will also make a presentation.
As long as the IMN is focusing on new developments, it will roll out a few of its own, when it introduces its U.S. and European Advisory boards.
"The establishment of the advisory board is a clear demonstration of IMN's commitment to the needs of the investors," said Alex Wei, head of structured credit investments and chief quantitative analyst at Delaware Investments, and an IMN U.S. advisory board member. Kevin Ahern, president and CEO of Braddock Financial Corp. and Anatoly Burman, a managing director at Aladdin Capital Management also sit on the 26-member board.
IMN led activities
To keep delegates up to speed with their industry, the IMN lined up a series of seminars for investors and issuers. The sessions, which ran on Sunday, covered best practice, regulatory and strategic topics.
The IMN scheduled several extra-curricular activities this year, too. ABS East got the ball rolling with a Luau Cocktail Reception on Sunday night. Asset-backed commercial paper delegates will get a private cocktail reception on Tuesday, at the Ritz-Carlton. Maintaining its festive mood, the IMN will throw a beach-themed bash on Monday night in anticipation of next spring's ABS 2007 conference in Miami.
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