Robust attendance is expected at the American Securitization Forum's (ASF) ASF 2012 to be held in Las Vegas' ARIA hotel and convention center starting this Sunday, Jan 22. The conference will last until Wednesday, Jan 25.

Registered attendees are currently at 4,432. Tom Deutsch, executive director of the ASF, said that another 300-600 securitization professionals are expected to register onsite.

"I'm not aware of many issuers or investors who have much spare meeting time in their conference calendars, so by all measures this will be our most successful conference since the crisis began," he stated.

He explained that this gathering is ultimately the most efficient way for many issuers and investors to meet. "It's much more cost-effective in these budget-restrictied times," he said. "Issuers can meet with investors that are scattered all throughout the U.S. in one day. Creating that efficiency to help dialogue will hopefully generate new types of securitized transactions."

The last time the conference was held in Las Vegas was in 2009 at the Venetian and Palazzo resorts. Deutsch said coming back to Las Vegas has become the only option to hold ASF 2012 given that there are no other facilities in the country except those in the area that can host a gathering of this size.

In terms of the conference agenda, aside from the various U.S. regulatory and asset class-specific panels, there seems to be an increased focus on global issues. Two of the general sessions on Monday, for instance, look at global securitization policy reforms and at the implications of the European debt crisis on securitization.

"This year we have an integrated global format instead of regional formats to make it easier to identify trends and promote discussion on the global coordination of regulation," Deutsch said.

The global focus aside, conference discussions will still revolve around domestic regulation, which fits into one of ASF's goals for 2012.

Deutsch said that the ASF is looking at helping the market address the new securitization regulatory framework, most of which revolves around Dodd-Frank Act rules. This can be done through creating market standards and practices that make compliance with the new regulations more efficient. He cited the ASF's recent release of a 15GA1 implementation guide as an example of the work that the ASF wants to pursue this year.


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