Ready to learn a thing or two about how to expand their corners of the ABS business, industry professionals are swarming around Las Vegas this week for the ASF 2007'.

Some 6,000 registered attendees are expected at the conference, which, according to the American Securitization Forum, will be the largest assemblage of asset securitization professionals anywhere in the world. Although there is no stated theme for the event, said George Miller, executive director of the ASF, the Las Vegas conference aims to cover all aspects of the securitization business, hitting all asset classes, plus entrenched and emerging issues that confront the market.

The group has also substantially upgraded the selection of professional credits that industry professionals can earn by attending the panel sessions. Investors and analysts can now earn CFA Institute credits, a new benefit. Also, at press time, the ASF expected to offer accountants and auditing professionals the chance to earn CPE credits. Securitization attorneys, who have been able to earn continuing legal education (CLE) credits at ASF conferences, will retain that benefit in Las Vegas, Miller said.

Ahead of a formal spring introduction, the ASF will continue to promote its new ASF Securitization Institute, an education and training curriculum open to all of its members.

Speakers will discuss the growing role of hedge funds in securitization and ongoing regulatory issues such as the hashing out of Basel II accords and the implementation of Reg AB.

The regulatory panel sessions are a "continuation of dialogues that we are having with them at all times," Miller said. In addition to covering movements in the major asset classes, the program will feature emerging transaction types, such as developments in the U.S. covered bond market, structured life insurance, infrastructure finance and whole business securitizations, according to the ASF.

When not attending meetings or panel sessions, delegates can wander the exhibit floor to mingle with some 139 sponsors, as well as rub elbows with other attendees during breaks, meals and other activities the ASF will stage there.

Elizabeth McCaul, a partner at the Promontory Financial Group and formerly the superintendent of banks for New York State, will kick off the workweek on Monday morning, when she serves as the ASF 2007's keynote speaker. While banking superintendent in New York, McCaul was chairwoman of the Conference of State Banking Supervisors from 2001 to 2002, was a member of the FFIEC from 2002 to 2003, participated in the Joint Forum for Financial Conglomerates, and was an instructor on Corporate Governance at the Financial Stability Institute at the BIS. From 1985 to 1995, she was an investment banker for Goldman Sachs.

The conference will not be all work, however. Aside from McCaul's appearance, the ASF lined up a golf outing later in the day, and comedian Jay Leno to perform at the industry dinner on Monday night.

Convening at The Venetian Hotel, the conference concludes on Wednesday.

(c) 2007 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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