People

Glenn Costello will be starting today in the ABS research group at Merrill Lynch as the director responsible for all real-estate ABS, reporting to Dan Castro. Costello worked at Fitch IBCA since 1990, and managed the residential mortgage ratings group there for the past three years. Before that, he worked at Goldman Sachs & Co. for four years. Costello joins Merrill three months after the departure of Chris Flanagan, the former head of real-estate-related ABS research, who left with analysts Ralph Diserio and Ryan Asato to join Chase Manhattan Corp. Regarding Costello, Castro said: "We're real excited to have him, because we need the help!"

United Capital Markets has hired Sean Kirk, an asset-backed trader from Bear, Stearns & Co., to strengthen the company's business of trading subordinate asset-backed securities. In the ABS business for more than 10 years, Kirk was a senior trader at Bear, specializing in the trading of subordinate securities backed by home-equity loans, manufactured housing loans, equipment and CBOs. According to John Devaney, the president and founder of UCM - and also an experienced trader - Kirk was one of the top providers of liquidity in the ABS market. "He had a very good chunk of the secondary trading flow out of Bear," Devaney said. "The fact that Kirk joined us, a smaller regional dealer, as opposed to other larger firms, is a great vote of confidence for our company. He has traded a lot of product in subs, which are very illiquid and complicated bonds, and he will be a huge asset here for us."

Rejoining Moody's Investors Service is Christopher Donnelly. Reporting to Brian Clarkson, group managing director for global asset finance, Donnelly will take on the role of senior vice president in the asset-backed group. Kieran M. McShane is joining Moody's as a vice president and marketing specialist for structured finance. McShane reports to Mark E. Ameida, group managing director of investor services. Both Donnelly and McShane come from Fitch, where they were previously apart of the structured finance team for Duff & Phelps.

Starting today, Mark Golombeck will be working at J.P. Morgan Securities as an associate in the asset finance group. Reporting to Vice President Richard Lawrence, Golombeck will focus on the auto, heavy equipment and equipment lease sectors.

Most recently, Golombeck was a principle in ACA Financial Guaranty Corp.'s structured finance group. Before that he had been a lead analyst at Standard & Poor's for several years.

Canada

Market sources say that National Bank of Canada is coming out with an asset-backed commercial paper issuance expected at the end of the month. The offering, which is rated R-1 (high) and will be done through Vision Trust, will be backed by a mixture of mortgages and/or credit card receivables. Pricing will be a spread to three-month bank acceptances.

Miscellaneous

AmeriCredit Corp. has closed $800 million in new structured warehouse facilities. The expected maturity date for the facilities is June 2001. Included in the $800 million are a $500 million facility with Deutsche Bank AG as agent and a $300 million facility with Barclays Bank as agent.

On the ABCP front, Nextcard is within a month of closing another conduit backed by its Internet credit-card receivables. Following that, the company is one step closer to its debut term deal, a source said.

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