The UBS student loan ABS group is settling into some major changes. Paul Wozniak, managing director and longtime manager of its education loan group, recently passed leadership of the team to Amy Monblatt, a managing director who has been with the bank for about 15 years, said market sources. Subsequently, in March, two executives left the group for rival banks.
Word has it that Joseph Santoro, a director, and Benjamin (Jay) Darnaby, IV, a managing director, left UBS and joined Banc of America and JPMorgan Securities, although their new assignments could not be confirmed at press time. Wozniak still works for UBS bank full time. Several months ago he denied that he had retired from the investment bank. At the moment, market sources say, he has moved his family out of the New York City area and settled in Utah, where he continues to work on several accounts for UBS.
HVB recently hired Fazel Ahmed as a managing director, responsible for securitization efforts in Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Turkey. Ahmed previously worked for ING, where he helmed the securitization business for Europe. Prior to ING, he headed international securitization at CIBC World Markets. At HVB, Ahmed's focus will be on existing assets, an area that is smoldering with potential for deals from the ex-Soviet Union and, further down the road, from Turkey. Ahmed's appointment roughly coincides with Deutsche Bank's poaching of Tim Nicolle, who handled emerging market deals from the Eastern Europe-Russia region for HVB (ASR, 4/9/07).
Cohen & Co. appointed William Tomljanovic as managing director responsible for new corporate initiatives. Tomljanovic previously served as executive vice president of structured finance for ACA Capital Holdings. He also served as president of ACA Management, ACA Capital's asset management arm, and as a member of the company's executive committee and as chairman of several structured finance collateral committees and
credit committees for ACA's structured products. Before joining ACA, Tomljanovic was a director for Prudential Securities, responsible for originating and structuring CDOs with a focus on credit derivatives, high yield bonds and loans and asset-backed securities. Tomljanovic has a B.A. from Duquesne University and an M.B.A. from Fordham University. He will report to Chris Ricciardi, Cohen & Co.'s chief executive officer. Cohen & Co. has more than $32 billion in assets under management.
Guggenheim Capital Markets hired Dan Steuer to lead a new Los Angeles-based MBS/CMO team. Steuer joined Guggenheim from United Capital Markets, where he led the CMO division. He will report to Ron Iervolino. Adam Laskar, also of UCM, will join Steuer. Both joined UCM in 2001. Institutional salesmen Lance Soloway and Matthew Sibley are also joining GCM's West Coast office.
Assured Guaranty Corp. has hired Jeffrey Nabi as managing director of the consumer and MBS group. Nabi will focus on leading the monoline's businesses that focus on underwriting financial guarantees and credit enhancement for residential mortgages, consumer autos and leases, student loans and credit cards. He will also focus on the company's CMBS and structured finance and ABS secondary markets. Nabi joins Assured Guaranty from Ambac, where he was managing director of the rival guarantor's consumer ABS group. In his former role, he led the team that was responsible for underwriting and transacting mortgage-related, manufactured housing, credit card, consumer loan, auto loan and lease, rental car fleet and other consumer-related deals.
NovaStar Mortgage Corp. hired Deutsche Bank to help it pursue "strategic alternatives" to its current operating structure that may include an outright sale. Wachovia Corp. last week extended the Kansas City, Mo.-based subprime mortgage lender $100 million in additional credit for "general corporate purposes." NovaStar, which operates as a REIT, was the 19th-largest subprime lender last year, according to ASR sister publication Inside Mortgage Finance.
Merrill Lynch International and Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw recently structured a subordinated Tier II capital market offering for the First Bank of Nigeria, the country's largest bank, completing the first such transaction from this region. Merrill Lynch International was the lead bookrunner on the $175 million issuance. The Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw team advising Merrill Lynch International included partner Jim Patti, banking and finance associate Maria Sakamoto, and London associate Ijeoma Ekwueme-Okoli.
A spokesperson at BNP Paribas confirmed that Julien Mareschal, head of ABS/MBS trading at BNP, has left the bank. At press time, no further information was available, but market reports indicate that Mareschal intends to continue in the ABS field. He had been with BNP since 2000.
Standard & Poor's and ICAP plc, an interdealer broker, are joining together to begin offering ICAP services to S&P clients. Standard & Poor's Securities Evaluations will provide the ICAP global interest rate and credit market and derivatives pricing data through MasterFeed, its consolidated securities reference data and end-of-day pricing feed service. According to a release on the announcement, S&P said that the addition of the ICAP data comes as a response to growing demands from clients who deal with complex global, multi-asset class instruments, including Asian and European credit derivatives, Asian government bonds and other fixed-income products. Access to ICAP's comprehensive and authoritative pricing data can help Standard & Poor's clients improve overall portfolio management and risk assessment.
According to Deutsche Bank research, a number of product investment funds have begun to experience sharp declines over recent weeks. Most of these funds are listed on the London Stock Exchange and typically invest in subordinated or equity tranches of ABS/MBS transactions. These funds, said Deutsche Bank, were listed between mid-2004 and mid-2006. Cambridge Place Investment Management's Caliber Global investment and Cheyne Capital Management's Queen's Walk investment stock have seen their share price drop by over 40% this year. Queen's Walk is currently trading at GBP6.20 ($12.26), compared with trades at around GBP10.50 through to January. Other listed ABS funds have experienced more modest share price falls. The recent selloff appears to be related primarily to concerns about the extent of U.S. subprime mortgage exposure, reported Deutsche Bank.
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