James J. Johnson has been named chairman of Equecat Inc., a subsidiary if EQE International. Formerly, Johnson was president of Eqecat and will continue in his role as executive vice president and chief executive officer of EQE International. Johnson brings 30 years of experience in risk analysis for natural and man-made hazards to the job. He has also lead Eqecat's catastrophe risk securitization initiatives. Michael A. Vallejos has been named the new president of EQE.

Capital Recovery Service, Inc. (CRS), recently announced that Andy Tricules has joined CRS to serve as president and CEO. Tricules brings extensive experience in sales and marketing, operation and management to his new position.


According to a source at Salomon Smith Barney, next week the bank will be underwriting the very first U.K-based mortgage-backed securities deal issued in U.S. dollars. Though the source could not name the issuer at this time, he said that the transaction "is going to be an alternative investment to other short floating-rate alternatives."

Late last week Bank One Corp. said it is selling a $2.15 billion real estate loan portfolio to Household International, a leading consumer finance company based outside Chicago. The sale to Household includes 97 offices of Banc One Financial Services, the company's consumer-finance arm, and most employees in 29 states. It was also reported that Bank One has hired Morgan Stanley Dean Witter to advise on the possible sale of, Bank One's Internet-only bank experiment.

Leaders in the House and Senate introduced a bill Monday that would sell Texas' share of the tobacco settlement. Officials say that unless the state sells its share of the settlement, the state would have to depend on people continuing to smoke to guarantee future revenues. So far this year, revenues have been cut 14 percent because of a nationwide drop in smoking. The bill that is being introduced in the House calls for the creation of a structured settlement financing corporation that would allow the corporation and the state treasurer to purchase the state's right to receive part of the tobacco litigation settlement damages. The corporation would be required to issue bonds to fund the purchase.


Merrill Lynch Canada will likely come out with a C$260 million commercial mortgage-backed term deal in the first or second week of April. The transaction will be issued from the company's Merrill Lynch Mortgage Loans Inc. shelf. This would be the third time the company would be issuing from this particular shelf.

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