According to several mortgage market sources, the long-awaited proposed amendments to the Erisa "Underwriter Exemptions," issued by the U.S. Department of Labor in order to expand the ability of private pension plans to invest in mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, is expected to be published during the early part of this week.

The Erisa amendments will go into effect right after their publication, sources said.

The combined Citigroup global equipment finance and Associates First Capital Corp.'s commercial finance operations will be headquartered in Dallas. A new name for the combined units will be announced after the merger of Associates and Citigroup is completed by year-end. The new global commercial finance business will continue to operate in truck, equipment and technology finance, as well as fleet leasing and relocation management services. Roy Guthrie, current chief financial officer for Associates, will head up the unit, following the completion of the merger. Sal Maglietta, currently managing director for Citigroup global equipment finance, will report to Guthrie.

Chicago-based Springfield Asset Management LLC has changed its name to Deerfield Capital Management LLC in conjunction with an expansion of its product line. The firm has $3 billion in assets, and manages $1.5 billion of bank loan assets in the form of collateralized bond obligations. Investment-grade corporate bond assets and asset-backed securities make up the rest of the company's product mix. Several new structured investment vehicles are expected to be launched by year end.

BondHub will launch its Internet-based electronic exchange for trading municipal, corporate and mortgage-backed securities on Dec. 15. The company will pilot its system with a select group of early trading partners, and starting 1/16/01, it will be live on the Web. BondHub will target retail and small institutional investors, as opposed to sites aimed at larger institutional markets.

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