Investors say Conseco Capital Management is hoping to take over the management of the downgraded CDO Evergreen Funding, currently managed by Salomon Brothers Asset Management and underwritten by Salomon Smith Barney.

One source said that Conseco took over management of a CDO called Century Funding, and that this is a business area Conseco will pursue.

Currently, Salomon is prepping a $300 million investment grade CDO, which Conseco will manage.

People

President Bush has announced his intention to nominate Ronald Rosenfeld to be the next president of Ginnie Mae. Rosenfeld previously a served as deputy assistant to the Federal Housing Administration commissioner (1989-91). A native of Cleveland and a real estate developer, the Ginnie Mae nominee more recently worked in the administration of Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating as secretary of commerce (1995-98). Ginnie Mae has been without a president for several years, and Ginnie Mae executive vice president George Anderson has been running the program, which guarantees mortgage securities backed by FHA, Department of Veterans Affairs, and Rural Housing Service loans.

Richard Burke has joined Merrill Lynch as a director of the global asset lending and finance group. Burke will report to Michael Blum, managing director and head of global asset lending at Merrill.

Burke, a 12-year veteran of J.P. Morgan, was co-head of JP's 16-person asset-backed conduit securitization team. At Merrill, Burke will focus on autos, equipment, credit cards, and trade receivable assets.

UBS Warburg laid off 20 ex-PaineWebber executives last week. The bank originally wanted to integrate PaineWebber's real estate operation into its own, but there was a change of plan, sources said.

News

Standard & Poor's has introduced a seal to identify its "select servicers." Joanne W. Rose, executive managing director of S&P's structured finance ratings group, said the strength of the servicer is an important factor in the performance of loans that back a structured transaction. She said the seal "will be a clear indication that the servicer has the resources and capabilities necessary to perform this important service." The servicer evaluation seal is being introduced simultaneously in the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand.

Talk about mortgage origination went front and center last week with Countrywide's CEO Angelo Mozilo on CNBC noting that 2001 could see a record number of refiancings. He is estimating that the refi volumes could reach $1.6 to $1.7 trillion as loan applications are on a record pace. Countrywide has reported audited net earnings of $104.2 million ($0.85 per share) for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Feb. 28, up 4% from $99.8 million ($0.87 per share) a year earlier. The consumer mortgage origination business provided 51% of the earnings in the quarter, compared with 2% a year earlier.

Fannie Mae has announced that it is in full compliance with a voluntary agreement forged with Rep. Richard Baker, R-La., in October to expand financial disclosures, increase liquidity, and issue subordinated debt. "With today's interest rate and credit risk disclosures and the self-implementation of our interim risk-based capital test, Fannie Mae has put in place during the first quarter of this year all six of our voluntary initiatives," Fannie Mae chairman and chief executive Franklin D. Raines said. Freddie Mac says it has implemented five of the six commitments, including a forward-looking credit risk test that measures the impact of a 5% decline in housing prices. "We made these commitments to leave no doubt that we will be able to finance housing for America's families for generations to come," Freddie Mac chairman and chief executive Leland Brendsel said. The two government-sponsored enterprises made the announcements prior to a March 27 hearing before a House GSE subcommittee. Rep. Baker chairs the subcommittee.

American Business Financial Services Inc. has closed its thirteenth mortgage securitization, a $275 million mortgage deal with a lower overcollateralization requirement than prior transactions. "ABFI believes that the lower overcollateralization levels applicable in this securitization will result in the realization of cash flows more quickly by ABFI than would be realized in the prior quarter's securitization, assuming the securitized loans perform as projected," the company said. The deal, ABFI Mortgage Loan Trust 2001-1, is the company's 19th securitization overall and consists of fixed-rate loans from subsidiaries American Business Credit Inc., Upland Mortgage, and American Business Mortgage Services Inc. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter and Bear Stearns & Co. Inc., as co-managers, sold the certificates representing undivided ownership interests in a real estate mortgage investment conduit.

Banco Nacional de Mexico (Banamex) is rumored to be in the market with a credit card-receivables transaction that is expected to come in the second quarter. The terms of the deal and the parties involved have yet to be determined.

Calendar

April 23-24: Washington D.C.-The Strategic Research Institute presents the second annual forum on Securitization of Student Loans. For more information visit www.srinstitute.com or call 888-666-8514.

April 24-26: Geneva, Switzerland-Arthur Anderson and Commerzbank Securities will sponsor the third annual ABS Summit Exhibition. The conference will cover structural innovations and technical breakthroughs in European securitization for enhanced credit and balance sheet management. For more information visit www.icbi-uk.com/absummit or call 44-207-915-5103.

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