Jones Day has announced additions to its structured finance practice, part of the firm's banking and finance group. The law firm added John White, who was formerly at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, as "of counsel" for its CDO team. White, who is based in Atlanta focuses on commercial real estate CDOs, which complements the firm's focus on cash, synthetic and hybrid CDOs. The new hire is joined in Atlanta by associate Bruce Luna, also from Cadwalader. Additionally, joining Jones Day's New York office are structured finance associates Carey Gabay, formerly from Schulte Roth & Zabel, and Katherine Bushueff, who was previously at Cadwalader.
Financial Security Assurance has hired Dan Champeau as a director in its Infrastructure Finance Group, Americas. The new hire will report to Olivier Garnier, managing director and head of the same group. Champeau held a similar position as a managing director at Fitch Ratings. In earlier positions at Fitch, Champeau was the head of the New York public finance office, and also managed all revenue bond and infrastructure ratings groups nationwide, including transportation, public power utilities, health care/hospitals, and sports/entertainment facilities, among others. He was also the vice chairman of the public finance executive committee.
Markit Group recruited Niall Cameron as an executive vice president, responsible for its Index Management and Equities businesses. Cameron has worked in the capital markets for over 20 years and has focused on fixed income, equities and foreign exchange. His most recent stint was global head of traded markets and member of the global markets executive committee at ABN AMRO where he worked for more than seven years.
Singapore's Monetary Authority said last week CDOs may pose a risk to financial stability. Speaking at an industry seminar, representatives of the SMA reportedly cited historically low yields and volatility that may have led to "the under-pricing of risks" - and that a rapid change in risk appetite could lead do sharp price corrections." While the country's central bank said it is not aiming to stop the market from developing, it said pricing and legal frameworks should be up-to-date with the increasing complexity of products in the
American Tower is preparing a $1.7 billion ABS deal secured by ground leases on about 4,760 communications towers throughout the U.S. Morgan Stanley is slated to act as lead underwriter for the transaction, which will be American Tower's first-ever cell-phone tower deal.
JPMorgan Chase formed the JPMorgan Entertainment Advisors to offer an array of financial and strategic advice, services and products to clients of all types in entertainment- and media-related businesses. Alan Levine and Ken Lemberger will be heading up the new division. Levine is counsel to Los Angeles-based Ziffren Brittenham Branca Fischer Gilbert-Lurie Stiffelman Cook Johnson Lande & Wolf, an entertainment law firm. He was also previously the former president and COO of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Meanwhile, Lemberger has several high-level consulting and counseling roles in the entertainment industry. He will be leaving his position as counsel to Century City, Calif.-based law firm Kaye Scholer. David Shaheen, currently an executive director in the JPMorgan entertainment industries group, will also be a principal of the new group.
AIG Europe (UK) formed AIG Trade Finance, a new venture that will facilitate access to the capital markets to securitize trade credit accounts receivables. Toward that end, AIG Trade Finance is aligning trade credit insurance directly with trade finance. The firm offers comprehensive due diligence processes, access to a new technology information and control system and new capital markets-friendly documentation, according to the company. The release also said that this capability is designed to benefit banks and corporate clients by making access to funds both cheaper and easier. "Until now trade receivables have been a difficult asset class for banks to lend against, primarily because their value changes every day as bills are paid and invoices issued," said Neil Ross, senior vice president, trade credit, AIG Europe. "In addition, banks need to respond to the new regulatory requirements imposed by the introduction of Basel II. AIG Trade Finance offers a compelling solution."
U.S. home builders entered the 2007 spring selling season grappling with a glut of competing supply in key housing markets and a rise in subprime mortgage defaults that threatens to exacerbate the inventory, according to a report by Standard & Poor's. The rating agency has not taken any rating actions on home builders simply because of the subprime issue, said credit analyst James Fielding. However, Fielding said that increasing foreclosure rates and tightening consumer credit are red flags indicating a cyclical housing downturn that is "deeper and broader than previously anticipated." Fielding added that the duration of this downturn will be a result of how well the economy, and job growth, holds up in the next year "since it is the steady absorption of excess housing supply that will lead to eventual stabilization."
Eurohypo's Opera Germany (No.3) Ltd. has issued 550 million ($749 million) of CMBS rated triple-A and double-A by Standard & Poor's and triple-A by Fitch Ratings. This is the firm's 15th Opera deal, bringing total issuance volume under the program to 8.7 billion. The deal was helped by the strong credit quality of the Federal State of Hesse as a tenant and the 30-year lease term.
According to a company release, U.K., German and Irish investors bought just under two-thirds of the bonds, but all in all, investors from 15 countries participated. The triple-A rated Class A was five times oversubscribed and priced at a spread of 16 basis points over the reference rate.
The transaction was secured on a single 10-year loan to nine German borrowers, which are ultimately sponsored by the Austrian property company CA Immobilien Anlagen AG. The underlying portfolio is made up of 36 office properties, which are all let to the Federal State of Hesse under a 30-year lease. The portfolio includes the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Culture in Wiesbaden, and also includes police stations, court houses and various administrative offices located in 19 cities across the Federal State of Hesse. Citigroup Global Markets and Bayerische Hypo- und Vereinsbank acted as joint bookrunners on the deal.
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