* In 10 short months, the ASF can point to many accomplishments in the midst of a "perfect storm" on the regulatory front, to use the words of one founding member. In addition to growing its membership rapidly to a diverse group of 60 due-paying organizations, the ASF has responded effectively to many regulatory initiatives; formed core committees that are now fully functioning; hired its Executive Director, Dwight Jenkins; organized and hosted topical seminars; and begun the process of establishing industry standards. Members' contributions have been essential. According to Vernon Wright, ASF Chairman, "Every achievement to date is a direct result of members and membership participation."
* Several specialized ASF committees - such as Market Standards and Practices, Legal, Regulatory, and Tax - are actively examining a host of issues confronting the industry and ways to respond to them. The Market Standards and Practices Committee, headed by Dan Stachel of State Street Bank & Trust Co., now has five active task forces whose goal is to establish either "best practices" or minimum standards in a variety of areas in the ABS and ABCP markets, including issuer reporting, disclosure, syndication, ABS workouts, and CMO payment adjustment. An ABCP issuer reporting standard is up for adoption by the Executive Committee, and should be available, prior to approval, on the ASF website.
* A critical issue recently tackled by the ASF's Legal Subcommittee was the Durbin-Delahunt bankruptcy bill that could have had disastrous consequences for the securitization market and for secured financings more generally. The timely and collective efforts of the ASF and other industry participants were successful in removing troublesome provisions, prior to the bill's passage.
* Other efforts include the ASF's ongoing response to the Financial Accounting Standards Board SPE consolidation exposure draft; providing input, in coordination with the European Securitization Forum, to the Bank for International Settlements concerning revisions to the Basle Capital Adequacy Accord. The ASF is also dealing with issues relating to the Sarbanes-Oxley law.
* In May, the ASF hosted an industry roundtable evaluating the potential market and economic impact of FASB's proposals on the securitization markets, particularly managed-asset CDOs and multi-seller ABCP conduits. The views generated from this discussion were presented in meetings arranged by the ASF with all the federal banking regulators. In other instances as well, the ASF has advocated its members' common interests through direct and substantive communications on important issues with regulators, including FASB and the SEC.
* The ASF has established itself as an important source of information for its members on emerging developments within the industry. On the educational front, the ASF has hosted two "Sunset Seminars" that provided substantive information on current critical issues of the day, as well as a venue for informal networking. During the Sept. 10 seminar, Deloitte Touche's Jim Johnson and Marty Rosenblatt, as well as Jason Kravitt of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw presented "The Changing Regulatory Environment for Securitization" to 150 industry professionals. On Dec. 10, the ASF hosted "The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and its Impact on Securitization."
* The ASF's Communication and Education Committee, which conceived and organized the seminar series, is also overseeing a "Securitization Institute," whose curriculum will include basic information and education on securitization structures, products and markets, in addition to specialized areas and topics. Its aim is to provide up-to-date content to regulators, lawmakers, and the general public.
Contact: Dwight Jenkins, 646.637.9232