Underwriter DZ Financial Markets recently completed a $71 million term securitization for Settlement Capital Corp., marking this as the first term securitization executed by DZ Bank's U.S. subsidiary, said Dominick Ruggiero, vice president of the asset securitization group at DZ Financial.

The five-year transaction, named SetCap Structured Settlement Trust, carries a 4.57% coupon, approximately 15 basis points inside of the most recent comparable settlement offering, according to Ruggiero. The single-tranche senior notes received a triple-A rating from both Moody's Investors Service and Standard & Poor's, due to a wrap from MBIA, and was placed with three institutions.

Settlement Capital, a Dallas-based diversified finance company, purchases and services periodic payment contracts, structured legal judgment settlements, lottery winnings, annuities, royalties, government and commercial contracts and other secured future payment obligations. SetCap has been purchasing structured settlements since 1989, and claims to be both the "pioneer" and "recognized industry leader" among structure settlement purchasers.

DZ has provided SetCap a revolving warehouse facility for the last four years, noted Ruggiero. "The financing and aggregation of the assets for this deal was done through the warehouse facility and built up critical mass to do this term securitization," he said. The warehouse facility, he added, was provided through Autobahn Funding, a $4 billion facility, with roughly $2 billion in available capacity. The agent also has a fairly new securitization group out of the head office in Frankfurt, which operates a separate conduit, named Coral.

DZ Bank's 15 member New York securitization group administers and manages the Autobahn conduit and is headed by senior vice president Richard Wisniewski, who joined DZ Bank in 1999 after a stint at ING Barings.

Wisniewski's group focuses primarily on warehouse lending through the Autobahn conduit, financing specialty finance companies and financial assets. The New York branch has other units focusing on structured trade finance and project finance issuers, Wisniewski said. Currently the company has plans to build its broker dealer business significantly over the next couple of years. "We want to be able to find new clients and take some of our existing clients to market for private placement type executions," Wisniewski added.

The business in Germany, where DZ Bank serves as a co-operative central bank for about 1,200 member banks representing over 80% of DZ Bank's shareholders. "The U.S. business is very focused on the capital markets, but in Germany there is a very close tie where the co-operative system exists to provide services to the member banks," he said.

The bank does not focus on any specific asset class, but rather spreads its wings among a plethora of investments including structured settlements, small ticket equipment leasing, rental car fleet leases, time share receivables and home improvement loans, said Wisniewski, adding that his group was the first to provide financing to a life settlement structure. "We pretty much started the market in that business," he said.

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