Moody's Investors Service is looking to add between 10 and 12 people to its Asset Finance Group, which includes the agency's asset-backed and mortgage-backed businesses, all under the direction of group managing director Brian Clarkson.

Moody's plans to hire three to four analysts to focus on commercial paper, the remaining to be distributed between the ABS and RMBS groups, although as part of the agency's new organizational structure, Moody's is looking for candidates who can work across the ABS/MBS lines, a company spokesman said.

"We're always looking for the best people possible," the spokesman said. "So if it's all senior people, that's what we'll get, and if it's all junior people, that's what we'll get."

David Iannarone has been promoted to executive vice president of Criimi Mae, a Rockville, Md.-based commercial mortgage real estate investment trust. He will be responsible for the acquisitions of CMBS, structured finance, legal affairs and investor relations as the company emerges from bankruptcy protection. Iannarone previously held the positions of general counsel and senior vice president at the company.

Gilles Marchand has been hired to manage the collateralized debt obligation business at Stamford, Conn.-based Aladdin Capital. He previously spent less than a month at Gleacher & Co., where he managed the company's loan portfolio. Before that, he was with Merrill Lynch Investment Advisors.

Don Sottile has been hired by Internet-based mortgage trading platform Pedestal Inc. as chief technology officer and senior vice president. He will be responsible for the ongoing development of the company's mortgage securities and whole loan trading platforms. Prior to joining Pedestal, Sottile held the position of chief information officer for Atlanta-based SunTrust Equitable Securities Corp.

Scott Schaevitz has joined First Union Securities as a managing director and head of real estate advisory in its real estate investment banking division.

Deutsche Bank is restructuring its units, which includes its global markets unit as well as its sales and trading units. More detail was brought forward by the firm following the tragic death of Edson Mitchell, a member of the group board of managing directors with responsibility for sales and trading. The global markets unit will be split into three divisions and will report to Josef Ackermann, head of investment banking, who will become chairman of Deutsche in 2002. Thomas Gahan will run Deutsche's loan products group, including leverage finance, high-yield and commercial bank lending; Grant Kvalheim will continue to run global debt capital markets; and Anshu Jain will run the rest of the old global markets unit.

Neil McPherson, head of the asset-backed research group at Credit Suisse First Boston, has been named a director with the firm. McPherson, formerly a vice president, had been with CSFB for eight years.


GMAC-Residential Funding Corp. has issued its first securitization under its Home Solution Loan Program. The $175 million first lien high-loan-to-value securitization was issued off of RFC's new Residential Asset Mortgage Product (RAMP) shelf. The shelf was created to offer a investors a wider variety of MBS and ABS products.

The House Banking Committee has changed its name, and has an expanded jurisdiction as well. The House Financial Services Committee has taken over securities and insurance issues that previously resided in the Commerce Committee. Reps. Marge Roukema (R., N.J.) and Richard Baker (R., La.) are battling for the committee's chairmanship.

Providian Financial Corp. has agreed to settle a series of class action lawsuits filed within California and Pennsylvania. The company will take a charge of $22 million from its fourth quarter earnings.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has placed the ratings of ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. on credit watch with negative implications as a result of the company's inability to raise capital. Capitalization levels are currently below those required for a single-A rated financial guarantor. The only remaining capital raising option is the possibility of a contribution from some of the initial investors and/or a new financial investor, S&P said.

Merrill Lynch & Co. has closed its sole office in Peru due to political turmoil in the region.

The broad nature of regulatory proposals that set higher capital standards for "residual interests" in mortgage- and asset-backed securities have raised concerns among market participants, according to The Bond Market Association. The association said the universal application of the rules to apply to all residual interests by all regulated institutions could reduce the ability of many regulated institutions to fund their lending activities within acceptable capital and risk management limits.

Del Mar, Calif.-based real estate investment trust American Residential Investment Trust Inc. has filed a law suit in the California Superior Court in San Diego seeking to recover damages arising from its purchase of a pool of residential mortgage loans from Lehman Capital in late 1997 and early 1998. No assurance can be given that American Residential will recover all or any portion of the amounts claimed.

Boxclever, a British television and video rental company, plans to offer a GBP750 million bond backed by customers' bill payments in the second quarter of this year. The deal is helping to refinance a loan made to the company to fund a recent merger. West LB will lead manage the deal.

Asiana Airlines has issued its first securitization through OZ Receivables plc via lead Chase Securities. The $65 million five-year fixed-rate deal was backed by Asiana Airlines' future ticket receivables.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services last week said it downgraded two classes of the Northstar CBO 1997-2, in what a company official called S&P's most severe CBO downgrade to date. The AAA-rated A-2 class was downgraded to AA, which was the first time S&P has downgrade a AAA-rated class of a CBO, the agency said. S&P also downgraded a BBB-minus A-3 class to B-plus. ING Pilgrim Investments is collateral manager.

It is said that a single investor is currently performing due diligence on Bay View Financial Corp.'s remaining approximate $800 million franchise loan portfolio. An official at the company declined to comment on the rumor, but did say that Bay View is still pursuing the sale/reduction of its portfolio. The company closed on approximately $100 million in loan sales in December.

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