Standard and Poor's office in Madrid, Spain has welcomed Jose Ramn Tora earlier this month. Tora recently moved from his New York-based position as director of structured finance for Latin America to join a pool of analysts looking into European transactions. In his new position, Tora will be primarily focusing on Spain and Portugal. Leo Brand will be filling the open director of Latin American structured finance position. Brand, formerly an analyst in the risk solutions group, will be reporting to Rosario Buendia.

Rick Onkey was recently hired as an associate on the ABS syndicate desk of Morgan Stanley. Onkey is a recent graduate of MIT's Sloan School of Management MBA program. He will be working with veteran Caroline Morrill dealing with the ABS and CDO markets.

Insurer XL Capital Assurance recently hired former CGA Investment pro Grace Emilio as a vice president in its ABS surveillance group, sources confirmed. In her new position as vice president, Emilio will report to Dick Heberton, who heads the group at XL Capital. Prior to CGA investments, Emilio was a rating analyst at Standards & Poor's covering the RMBS sector.

Student loan guru Ron Paige has left his position at auction market presence NELNET Student Loan Corp. Sources said he left the firm to pursue other interests and was not said to be starting anywhere else. The company has yet to replace Page, a long time ABS veteran.

John O'Grady Walshe, head of structured finance investments for Bank Gesellschaft Berlin, has resigned this month to start the European office for Zais Group, out of Dublin. BGB has a portfolio of approximately $5 billion in CDO investments, 90% of which is triple-A rated. Zais is known for its benchmark CDO of CDO issues. Walshe is being replaced by Dermit Hardy and James Hart, both working out of Dublin, sources said.

ZAIS Group, LLC was founded in July 1997 by Christian M. Zugel, who remains its president and largest equity owner. Zais Group consists of 12 professionals.

Effie Michailidis has joined Moody's Investors Service as an associate analyst, initially covering student loans. Michailidis was most recently an associate at Chase Securities, where she had been for about six years in various units including Global Syndicated Finance, Capital Markets, and Global Transportation. Also, Brett Jetter has moved over from Moody's Corporate Ratings Group to the Asset Finance Group, as an associate analyst, covering student loans.

Meanwhile, Moody's mistakenly left Christine Lachnicht out of its temporary analyst listing in lasts week's ASR. Lachnicht's can be reached at 212-909-4724. Andy's Silver's phone number should have read 212-208-3456.


Brazil's Banco Itau S.A. has acquired Lloyds TSB Group, an asset management and private banking businesses. The acquisition will not affect the bank's rating. According to Standard & Poor's, which provided a Bbpi rating for the bank, the latest move has added nearly $1.9 billion of new assets to its portfolio, making the bank the second largest asset manager in the country. According the rating agency, the move also reinforces the ongoing concentration within the Brazilian asset management industry, where the 10 largest asset managers represent about 75% of total assets under management.

Moody's Investors Service has assigned its first servicer rating of SQ3 to Costa Rica's Banco San Jose. The rating reflects the bank's ability as a primary servicer of residential mortgages and it's ability to mitigate losses in a securitzation deal.

Fitch has recently placed three Latin American airline transactions on watch negative as a result of the rating agency's concerns that the losses incurred from the September 11 attacks could prove to be higher than the current expectations for both Centre and the global Zurich Insurance organization.

AeroMexico Receivables U.S. Trust, rated AA, Mexicana Receivables U.S. Trust, rated AA, and Pelican Series 1999-1, rated AA were the three transactions placed on watch negative.

Last Thursday Fitch downgraded classes G, H and J of Merrill Lynch Mortgage Investors, Inc. mortgage pass-through certificates, series 1999-C1.The rating agency also placed class F on ratings watch negative. An important reason for the downgrade and ratings watch negative placement is the expected losses on a loan collateralized by four multifamily properties located in Virginia. The loan payments are currently more than 90-days delinquent and in July 2001an appraisal was performed resulting in a $5.4 million appraisal reduction. Special servicer ORIX Real Estate Capital Markets (OCM) is concurrently pursuing foreclosure and giving the borrower time for a possible sale of the properties. OCM has also filed a representation and warranty claim against the loan seller for the entire loan balance which is currently outstanding.


Oct. 10: New York, NY - Strategic Research Institute's ABS industry gathering. Held from 3:00-5:30 at the grand Hyatt Hotel and simultaneously at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago. For more information visit

Oct. 23-24: Rome, Italy - Information Management Network presents the Italian and Southern European Securitization conference. For more information, visit

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