In an attempt to re-build an ABS team, UBS Warburg has hired former Banc of America Securities rainmaker Shahid Quraishi as managing director and group head of its U.S. ABS origination team.

The 34-year-old Quraishi was formerly responsible for origination of mortgage-related ABS at BofA, handling such accounts as Long Beach Mortgage, Option One and GMAC-RFC, which greatly contributed to the firm's recent rise in ABS underwriter rankings.

He will report to Ramesh Singh, global head of ABS and RMBS for UBS Warburg. Also, UBS hired Peter Slagowitz as executive director and Bill Moss, each from Credit Suisse First Boston.

Quraishi is bringing with him four former BofA pros, including Paul Scialabba, a long-time ABS veteran who has worked at a number of banks, and three associate-level structurers from his former bank. Additionally Quraishi is tapping Tamer El-Rayess from Goldman Sachs, and Mostifiz Mohammed from Wachovia Securities. Also, talk is that he is poaching an additional 10 to 15 pros from rivals to round out his group. As of press time, all the ink had yet to dry and specific names could not be confirmed.

Commenting on the departure of one of his top bankers, head of global structured finance for BofA George Ellison wishes Quraishi the best in his new position, adding, "As a leading underwriter in the ABS market, we are subject to our own success; the question now becomes With inevitable departures, how do you maintain that success?'" Prior to his current role at the Charlotte-based bank, Ellison was formerly at Merrill Lynch.

Quraishi's new team will be based in the New York offices of UBS Warburg, rather than the Stamford, Conn. U.S. headquarters of the Swiss bank.

UBS is known more as a player in the mortgage-backed side of the structured finance world, topping the Thomson Financial MBS league tables in the first quarter of this year. UBS finished last year as the leading MBS underwriter and finished sixth overall in 2000.

This move follows the exit of a number of highly regarded ABS players in the late 1990s, following the 1998 merger with Suisse Bank Corp. (SBC), that led to a shift in strategy into unsecured corporate debt and away from ABS. "Wall street is littered with former UBS talent," one former UBS pro said.

The list is topped by former global co-head Douglas Renfield-Miller, who has since moved on to become managing director and head of international ABS and conduits at guarantor Ambac. Also, bankers Robert Malin, currently at Salomon, and Diane Rinnovatore of Lehman Brothers, are both managing directors.

In trading and syndicate, Salomon's John Dahl, a vice president, and Andrew Schaeffer, currently a managing director at Barclay's Capital, are also UBS alumni. And Barclays ABS researcher Jeff Salomon used to head the asset-backed research effort at UBS.

Rounding out the former UBSers are Hiram Matthews and Susan Aldworth, both directors in sales and trading at Barclays, along with Mike Damas, currently a buyside professional.

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