The securitization industry is set to gather this week in New York for the American Securitization Forum's second annual meeting. The hot topic: regulatory and accounting issues, primarily associated with the Securities and Exchange Commission's recently released disclosure proposals.
With roughly 350 registered attendees, the gathering has already surpassed last year's total attendance. Furthermore, ASF officials anticipate last-minute arrivals to boost this year's number. ASF insiders are hoping for a total attendance topping 400.
"Registration is already ahead of last year's pace and we do expect a flurry of same-day arrivals," said GMAC-Residential Funding Corp.'s Diane Wold, who heads the ASF Communications and Education Committee.
On hand to address some of the most important regulatory issues facing the industry is the SEC's Director of Corporation Finance, Alan Beller. Beller is the ASF's keynote speaker. "We are very excited to have someone of Alan Beller's position within the SEC addressing the securitization market's event sponsored for the industry and by the industry," added Wold. "He certainly has a thorough understanding of the hot topics, including the disclosure proposal before us today," she added.
Also, a panel is dedicated to regulatory developments, featuring Mayer, Brown Rowe & Maw partner Jason Kravitt grilling Deloitte & Touche's Marty Rosenblatt, the OCC's Amrit Sekhon, Debbie Toennies of Banc One Capital Markets and Citigroup Global Markets' Stephen Young.
But the one-day gathering is not focused solely on regulatory issues. Also on tap are sessions dedicated to corporate funding options facing issuers and market trends and growth of extendable ABCP. Of course, the lunch will be dedicated to ASF committee chairmen.
One new twist added to this event is a panel discussion titled Three Perspectives On The ABS Market,' featuring an equity and corporate unsecured debt analyst debating funding options with an ABS analyst. Representing ABS will be Citigroup Global Market's head of ABS research Ivan Gjaja, who will discuss respective funding options with Sanford Bernstein equity analyst Howard Mason and JPMorgan Securities debt analyst Allerton (Tony) Smith. Buysider Blake Murphy, a portfolio manager at Fortis Bank, will moderate the session.
The analysts, all of whom have different perspectives on the specialty finance industry, will compare strategies that issuers may undertake, primarily from perspective of the market outsider looking in. Capital One Financial, MBNA Corp. and New Century Financial are among the companies that are expected to be discussed.
Discussing ABS market trends will be JPMorgan's Chris Flanagan, Lehman Brothers' David Heike and Credit Suisse First Boston's Neil McPherson. Moderated by TIAA-CREFF mortgage ABS portfolio manager Sanjeev Handa, the trio will debate developing trends and the outlook for the future, as well as the current state of the ABS market.
The panel focusing on extendable ABCP, moderated by Lehman's Marilyn Hill, will discuss, among other things, the credit risks of the developing product compared to traditional ABCP. ABN AMRO's Robert Konning, Barclays Global Investors' Sami Mesrour and Everett Rutan of Moody's Investors Service will be on hand to discuss extendable ABCP.
Once again, the panel discussions will offer attendees the opportunity to voice their opinions through the use of a wireless polling system, allowing for a real-time assessment of voter opinion. And, of course, all sessions will be followed by a networking reception.
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