For the second quarter in a row, Salomon Smith Barney owned the No. 1 spot in the manager league tables, with close to $11 billion in proceeds for the quarter, $19 billion year-to-date (includes U.S. public and Rule 144A transactions), according to preliminary figures provided by Thomson Financial Securities Data.

Interestingly, fifth-place bank Merrill Lynch, which at $8 billion was the second most active firm in 2Q2000, was way back at spot No. 11 at the end of the first quarter. Lehman Brothers, at $13.5 billion, swapped third for second place with Credit Suisse First Boston, which brought in $12.4 billion in year-to-date proceeds. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, at $12.1 billion, was just behind CSFB for the No. 4 spot, up one notch from 1Q2000.

"I think what's interesting is that the No.1 spot hasn't changed, but the composition of No. 2 through No. 5 has, and to me that's part of the story," said William E. Grady, III, managing director and co-head of global ABS at Salomon. "There's been a lot of movement on the street, and we have maintained consistency, both in terms of our team, and in terms of our franchise."

Of highlight deals for the quarter, Salomon brought the second PECO Energy Co. stranded-cost deal to market, worth approximately $1 billion. Salomon also brought the Mound Financing transaction, a $1.2 billion deal backed by U.K. mortgages, and structured in accordance with rule 144A.

"That [deal] was a continuation of a trend we saw in the first quarter," Grady said, referring to the Arran One deal with Royal Bank of Scotland, where U.K. credit card receivables were sold in the U.S. "We're going to continue to see for the rest of the year more cross-border business, meaning non-U.S. assets out of the U.K. and Australia being sold in a dollar format."

Grady said that, while overall volumes are down from the same period in 1999 - mainly due to the slack in home-equity issuance - Salomon's pipeline has never been so strong.

Though only bringing roughly $650 million to the Rule 144A market in the second quarter, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter still managed to land the No. 1 spot in year-to-date proceeds, riding a $2.9 billion tidal wave the firm brought in the first quarter.

"For us, the big sectors this quarter were autos and credit cards, which were issued in the public markets," said Gail McDonnell, managing director of ABS at MSDW. "The truth is, we don't wake up everyday and say, Let's focus on the 144A market or let's focus on the public market.' We really look at the two as a blended business."

MSDW was No. 1 one in the credit card sector both for 2Q2000 and for the year so far, largely due to Discover Card, the firm's largest credit-card client and affiliate to MDSW.

"What we find, is that volume breeds volume," McDonnell said. "A number of our transactions were driven by very interesting reverse inquiry that were below market levels and created very attractive economics. When you're a provider of product, the buyside comes to you in a proactive way."

As many had anticipated, with its change in management, Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown has made a substantial jump to No. 9 with $6.1 billion in YTD proceeds, the sixth most active firm in the second quarter. At No. 19, Deutsche's proceeds at the end of the first quarter were approximately $275 million.

"Frankly, the big issue for us is that we were able to reach critical mass very, very quickly," said Jorge Calderon, managing director and group co-head at Deutsche. According to Calderon, more than 45 people had moved over to the Bank over a period of two weeks, back in early March.

Interestingly, when the group initially moved to Deutsche Bank, office space was a very real issue. It took two months of reshuffling to establish a consolidated, definitive space on one floor of the building for the 65-member team, Calderon said.

"I think that the general principles [of our team] are going to be the same as they were before," he said. "I think what we have here is, overall, a stronger research function, a broader distribution function globally, and considerably more capital, both on the trading side and on the conduit side."

Calderon predicts that Deutsche will be at between $17 billion and $18 billion in lead managed business by the end of the year. Last year, his team at CSFB hit nearly $38 billion in proceeds from both U.S. public market and Rule 144A combined, while Deutsche slid in at No. 16, with roughly $4.4 billion.

Calderon expects this month to be a big one for Deutsche, as the bank will bring to market "some names we haven't seen in a long time," he said. -

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