KGS-Alpha Capital Markets hired Robert Piano for the firm's new ABS team. Piano joins from Barclays Capital after nine years in the bank's asset securitization group, where he was most recently a director specializing in esoteric asset deals.

KGS-Alpha expanded its institutional MBS, ABS and agency debt securities platform in June 2011 by adding a four-person ABS team to offer clients expertise in originating, structuring and distributing a wide range of offerings backed by esoteric and commercial assets. 

The new hire joins the team to lead the origination of secured financings in the institutional debt markets, including bank, ABS and private placements for primarily non-traditional assets.

"KGS-Alpha has built an exceptional firm that is devoted to providing clients with the best possible range of financing capabilities, now including important ABS options," said Fouad Onbargi, who joined KGS-Alpha in June as head of origination and investment banking. "In a short amount of time, we have won two significant ABS mandates in the aircraft sector and are actively exploring opportunities in structured settlements, lotteries and auto loans among others."

He added that Piano's expertise in the esoteric sector, particularly in natural resource and infrastructure "adds yet more strength to our growing franchise."

"We are succeeding in our strategy to build a premier broker-dealer providing solutions for institutional clients seeking superior service for their evolving and complex needs," said KGS-Alpha co-founder and CEO Levent Kahraman. "By broadening our product base, our service model directly meets the needs of our clients in the capital markets."

"We started KGS-Alpha in 2010 with less than 15 people in one office and now have a team of more than 75 professionals located in New York, Boston, San Francisco, Boca Raton,
Chicago, Reston, and St. Louis. Our strong, client-focused reputation has attracted and continues to attract talented professionals who are building a unique franchise," said co-founder and President Dan Goldman."We are well situated to access the capital markets on behalf of our ABS investment banking clients and provide products to our investor base." 

Since opening its doors in 2010, KGS-Alpha has also raised $150 million in two rounds of equity financing, most recently a $75 million investment led by an affiliate of Healthcare of Ontario
Pension Plan
, one of Canada's largest and most successful pension plans that has more than $30 billion in net assets.

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