Orlando, Fla. - Issuers who want to bring new or esoteric asset classes to market should consult with rating agencies early on in the process, according to participants at the twelfth annual Information Management Network ABS East conference held here last week. These points were made at the panel entitled Bringing New Asset Types to Market: Challenges and Potential, Pitfalls for New Issuers'.

Issuers should conduct early discussions with rating agencies to determine what the potential risks and challenges of an asset class would be, Winston Chang, director of new assets at Standard & Poor's, suggested. One question that could arise: Does an issuer have the static pool information that the rating agencies need to analyze? That data is crucial to give rating agencies an idea of the potential issuer's history, servicing platform, and the role that ABS plays in the issuer's line of business. These types of details will help issuers determine whether they might get the rating that they are aiming for before they are too far into the process.

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