Prompted by ABS market community requests, Strategic Research Institute (SRI) returns to the East Coast with its Bermuda ABS 2001 Symposium, following a one-year hiatus. Scheduled for Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 at the Fairmont Southampton Princess, the SRI ABS Symposium views itself as an upscale convenient gathering catering to the ABS community, offering ABS professionals a smaller, focused alternative.

With estimates of 500 to 600 attendees, according to Rita Karsadi, SRI executive vice president, SRI aims to cover forward-looking topics that have arisen this year. The focus of this year's conference will be the high-growth areas of securitization: ABCP, CDOs, and credit derivatives. Also seeing heavy coverage this year is the changing regulatory landscape of the ABS market.

The opening general session of the conference features representation from the issuer, investor and underwriter communities, with Joe Donovan of Credit Suisse First Boston serving as moderator. Panelists, usually limited to five per hour-long session, consist of Guido van der Ven of Sallie Mae, David Kimball of Ford Motor Credit, Joseph Lorusso of Structured Finance Advisors, David Friedman of Heller Financial and Phillip Sullivan of Fannie Mae.

"The focus of this conference is on content, not sponsorship," SRI's Karsadi said. "We like to offer more of a chance for delegates to network with senior decision makers," she added. Karsadi noted the venue's access to direct flights from most east coast cities as well as the U.K. as one of the tailored benefits of the ABS Symposium.

In addition to the vanilla asset classes of auto-loan and credit card sectors, discussions are scheduled focusing on the aircraft, healthcare, sports- related and operating asset/whole company securitization sectors of the market as well as the changes seen in the franchise-loan area.

The CDO market is also heavily represented, with sessions dedicated to the cashflow and market-value sectors. Also, a session dedicated to CDOs backed by ABS, RMBS and other CDOs will take place, as well as another one dedicated to synthetic CDO structures and derivatives.

Additionally, SRI prides itself on its specialty, ABCP coverage, and there will be three sessions dedicated to this market: an overview of the market in general, an assessment of ABCP liquidity and an investor-focused session.

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