Joseph Lizzio, former co-head of agency trading and sales at Citigroup Global Markets, left the bank last week, sources confirmed. The bank declined to comment by press time.
Timothy Nabors joined Six Degrees Capital Management, a structured finance asset management company, as a managing director, and will launch and oversee the company's operations in New York City. Nabors was a vice president at New York Life Investment Management, and has a track record in analyzing, modeling, and investing in mortgage-related ABS, especially the subprime home equity sector. Before working at New York Life, Nabors worked in the capital markets groups at Bank of America in Charlotte, N.C.
Amin Majidi, former head of mortgage research for the Americas at Deutsche Bank Securities, has left the firm to start up a hedge fund. The initial investor in the fund is the New York-based fund of funds manager Alpha Beta Capital. Majidi is planning on opening the fund to outside investors within the next few weeks. The new fund will focus on ABS and RMBS cross-border opportunities with a particular emphasis on the emerging markets in Eastern Europe and Latin America. Before Deutsche Bank, Majidi was previously a portfolio manager at ABP Investments U.S. Inc. and managed a hedge fund at Bear Stearns Asset Management.
Securities lawyer Anthony Nolan joined the New York office of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis last week as a partner. Nolan left law firm Goodwin Procter, where he was also a partner. Nolan will continue practicing law in the areas of securitization, derivatives and structured products.
Japanese trading company Marubeni Corp. has opened up a New York-based asset management business. CirclePoint Asset Management will first focus on CDOs backed by RMBS, and it is headed by Stephen Farrier. The firm is in the process of assembling its CDO team, but expects to begin working on its first deal early next month.
After a two-and-a-half-year stint as vice president at Calyon Corporate & Investment Bank's conduit securitization group, Corey Bresnahan is joining Mizuho Securities USA to focus on the origination side of the firm's conduit business. Bresnahan will be reporting to Hiroyuki Kasama, the bank's head of structured finance, and will begin working at his new firm on April 23. Before Calyon, Bresnahan structured ABCP deals at ABN Amro Bank and he was a term ABS rating analyst for Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co.
Highland Financial Holdings Group recruited Vincent Thompson as managing director of marketing and investor relations, where he will market the firm to institutional investors in North America. Thompson was director of marketing at JPMorgan Incubator Funds, a division of JPMorgan Asset Management Funds that specializes in emerging hedge funds. He also held sales and marketing positions at Citigroup Asset Management and Lloyd George Management.
Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner has hired Ruth Strauss as partner and she will join the firm's growing business and finance unit in San Francisco. Strauss joins the firm from Chapman and Cutler. Similar to Los Angeles partner David Fong, who joined the firm on April 2 from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Strauss will play a key role in enhancing the firm's West Coast finance capabilities. The new partner is a senior lawyer whose practice focuses on securitization as well as complex financial transactions. She has a lot of experience with rating agencies and has represented issuers, underwriters, banks, placement agents, conduits, and liquidity and enhancement providers in transactions involving a wide variety of asset classes. Strauss has previously handled vehicle and equipment leases and loans, tobacco settlement proceeds, cell site tower rent reduction contracts, railcars, toll revenues, hospital revenues, and mortgage and manufactured housing-backed securities. IP partner Aaron Wininger has joined Thelen's Shanghai office from Squire Sanders & Dempsey. And four lateral partners have joined the firm in California and China within the past two weeks.
Robert Tchenguiz increased his stake in U.K. supermarket retailer J. Sainsbury's following the collapse of CVC's bid for the retailer. Tchenguiz has increased his stake by 6.7 million shares and said he acquired the shares at between 514 pence and 535 pence on the day that CVC abandoned its attempt to acquire the supermarket chain. According to market reports, he now holds 88 million shares, representing 5.1% of the company. It's believed that Tchenguiz supports splitting the operating company from its property estate, which could then be transformed into a REIT.
PMI Guaranty Co. has hired Christopher Mortello as managing director of ABS. Mortello will focus on origination and new business development of structured finance transactions involving MBS, ABS, and CDOs at PMI Guaranty, a double-A rated provider of credit enhancement for mortgages and other asset classes that was launched in 2006 (ASR, 11/27/06). Mortello has more than 15 years experience in financial services and insurance; 12 of these years were in the structured finance area. Before PMI Guaranty, he spent 10 years at monoline Assured Guaranty in various underwriting and business development roles; his most recent was as managing director/SVP and co-head of consumer ABS. Before that, Mortello had a seven-year stint at Prudential Insurance, the last two of which were as a structured finance analyst.
The junior classes D and E on Deutsche Bank's DECO 2005 UK-C1 were put on negative watch this week, following reduced property valuations on a defaulted loan. The loan represents 1.4% of the pool. The 897.0 million ($1.2 billion) notes were backed by seven loans secured by 49 commercial properties in Switzerland and Germany. Currently rated triple-B and triple-B minus, Morgan Stanley said that the ratings of the Class E tranche are most at risk, with a shortfall likely once the property disposal takes place. For the Class D notes, the loss of subordination and collateral value, combined with some uncertainty in the performance of other loans, may not be enough to save its investment-grade rating. This is the second collateral-related negative rating action in the conduit CMBS market so far this month. Analysts at Deutsche Bank added that the growing pressure on retailers to monetize the value of their real estate assets will likely lead to greater property-related securitizations.
Derivative Fitch has published a final version of its criteria for collateralized commodities obligations ("CCO") called Rating Criteria for Commodities-Linked Credit Obligations. According to the rating agency, the criteria will increase transparency in the market and the understanding of CCO ratings. As part this release, the rating agency has also launched a public Vector CCO model to replace the Beta model released in January. Both the criteria and the model allow market participants to closely replicate Fitch's analysis for CCO transactions.
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