As ASR went to press, the Structured Finance Industry Group’s membership had grown to 96 and counting. While in the minority, investors have joined the association along with their SF peers. Members who have so far signed up as investors include BlueMountain Capital Management, Prudential Fixed Income, Hildene Capital Management, The Midway Group, Lord Capital and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), according to a spokesman.

The new trade organization’s website has a link listing all the firms that have joined the group: www.sfindustry.org/Founding_Members.html.

The list is going to be updated regularly. Having started only in March, the trade group has an interim board as it gets up and running, according to a spokesman. Once it has moved past this phase a permanent board will be elected.

In what many in the industry took as a direct challenge to the American Securitization Forum, the SFIG scheduled its first conference for January 22-24 2014 in Las Vegas, only days before the ASF holds its annual powwow in Vegas.

The SFIG was started by a group of ASF defectors in March.

 Akre Leads Private Label RMBS at Oak Circle

David Akre is the new managing director at Five Oaks Investment Corp.’s, Oak Circle Capital Partners group, where he will develop opportunities in non-agency investments, securitization and origination.

Akre was previously co-chief executive, vice chairman, director and co-founder of New York Mortgage Trust, and prior to that he was vice president of capital markets, bulk acquisitions and secondary markets at Thornburg Mortgage.

He has extensive experience in the residential mortgage loan market, including whole loan acquisition, credit underwriting, securitization, hedging and financing. 

“We are looking forward to participating in the recapitalization of the private mortgage market, and [Akre’s] in-depth experience and background will help us to build out our capabilities in this regard,” said David Carroll, chairman and chief executive of the company, in a press release.

Five Oaks Investment is a real estate investment trust focused on investing in, financing and managing a portfolio of RMBS, residential mortgage loans and other mortgage related investments.

Tobben Leads Aspen Re New Capital Markets Unit

Aspen Reinsurance launched Aspen Capital Markets and appointed Brian Tobben managing director of the newly created unit, according to a press release.

Aspen Capital Markets will develope alternative reinsurance structures to leverage the reinsurer’s existing underwriting franchise and increase its operational flexibility in the capital markets. The unit will provide investors direct access to Aspen Re’s underwriting expertise.

“Our decision to establish a capital markets division recognizes developments in the reinsurance market over recent years as the influence of the capital markets on the catastrophe segment has steadily increased,” said James Few, chief executive.

Tobben joined Aspen on April 8, having previously been with PartnerRe for almost 10 years, most recently as head of insurance linked securities where he managed a portfolio of catastrophe ILS, life ILS, weather and commodity investments. He is based in New York and reports to Few.

Finacity Hires Paul Jenison

Paul Jenison has joined Finacity Corporation as part of the firm’s effort to expand its business of securitizing and funding consumer receivables, Finacity said in a press release.

Jenison’s an old hand in the field of structured finance. Since 1986, he has handled more than $33 billion in structured finance issuance, including $12 billion in credit card deals, according to the website for Jenison Financial, a firm that he has managed along with five others prior to joining Financity. Jenison Financial will continue operating.

In addition to this namesake boutique shop, Jenison has worked for larger household names such as Prudential Securities and Paine Webber, where he was managing director.

Jenison’s experience in securitization covers a range of asset classes beyond credit cards, including home equity, trade receivables, legal settlements, leases, medical receivables, airline receivables, and contract monetization.

Finacity had a record year in 2012, with more than $60 billion of commercial and consumer receivables financed for its clients, according to chief executive Adrian Katz.

Zahn Heads Franklin Templeton’s Euro Fixed Income Push

Franklin Templeton Investments announced that David Zahn has been promoted to head of European fixed income.  Zahn has been managing European fixed income portfolios for over 10 years, both at Franklin Templeton and in his previous role at Citigroup. He is a member of Franklin Templeton’s fixed income policy committee and is a portfolio manager for several Franklin Templeton funds, including Templeton strategic bond fund, Templeton Euro government bond fund and Templeton European corporate bond fund. Zahn works with a team of nine investment professionals in London and four in California.

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