Gretchen Ernest recently joined Merrill Lynch's asset-backed effort, reporting to Richard Uhlig. Ernest moved over from Deutsche Bank, where she was a vice president under Philip Weingord. Uhlig had also moved over to Merrill from Deutsche Bank, where he was previously co-head of the global ABS group, earlier this year.

Sean McCarthy has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of bond insurer Financial Security Assurance Inc. McCarthy replaces Roger Taylor, who will remain president and chief operating officer of FSA Holdings. McCarthy will be responsible for setting the strategic direction of FSA, and for originations across all business lines. McCarthy has been with FSA since 1988.


Books opened last Tuesday on Honda Canada Finance's HART ABS deal. The two tranche deal, secured by Honda car leases, was a quick seller. The C$100 million two-year tranche sold out very quickly, and the order book for the C$100 million three-year tranche was all but filled, though it went a bit slower than the twos. Spreads were +36/+37 for the two year (expect final spread to be +36), and +41/+42 for the threes (expect +42 for the final spread). Final pricing was expected Wednesday.

Pricing was also expected last Tuesday for Merrill Lynch Mortgage Loans' C$256 million CMBS deal. Allocations were determined last Monday, and word is that the deal, MLML's fourth CMBS issue this year, was well oversubscribed.


Strategic Research Institute presents the Eighth Annual Asset Securitization 2001 Symposium. February 11-14, 2001 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, please call 800-599-4950 or 212-967-0095, or visit

Information Management Network presents the Sixth Annual Summit on Asset Securitization 2001. February 7-10, 2001 at the Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, please call 212-768-2800 ext. 1 or visit

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