The new term securitization group at Westdeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale (West LB) will manage Condor Capital Corp.'s inaugural $100 million-range subprime securitization.

The deal, which is slated for later this year, will potentially feature a monoline insurance policy. Contrary to what market sources had indicated (see Whispers 6/25/01), West LB has been firmly mandated to lead the transaction for some time.

Although the U.S. arm of West LB has not brought a term deal this year, the firm has several mandates lined up, according to Jeffrey Kramer, a director at West LB.

While the firm has historically been among the top ten asset-backed commercial paper program administrators, West LB's U.S. arm only officially launched its term practice last fall, hiring away the bulk of Rothschild's asset-backed group at the time. In Europe, West LB has had an established term ABS practice for some time.

"Our group was brought in not only to bring term securitization capabilities to the U.S., but also to expand the Bank's focus beyond the investment grade issuer market," Kramer said. "Our business will be centered on using structured transactions for primarily non-investment grade issuers to access warehouse funding and ultimately the securitization market."

For example, the firm recently closed on a $75 million warehouse facility for The Finance Company Enterprises (TFC), which has been Rothschild's client in the past. In fact, Rothschild brought TFC's most recent securitization, a $60 million, double-A wrapped (Asset Guaranty Insurance) deal that priced in late April.

TFC recently announced that it had lost its warehouse line from its primary lender, GE Capital, which has shut down its automotive finance business. Meanwhile, the team at West LB is benefiting from access to the firm's balance sheet and conduit capabilities.

Of course, West LB will be managing the securitizations of the loans that come out of the new facility. "We expect to close several more warehouse transactions in the coming months," Kramer said.

Beyond Kramer, West LB term ABS team is currently made up of Brian Statfeld (director), Rick Fingeret (managing director), DeeDee Sklar (executive director), Jennifer Tarozzi (associate director), Henry Green (associate director) and Stanley Loo (manager).

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