People

Dennis Kraft, ex-ABS portfolio manager at The Hartford Investment Management Company (HIMCO), has landed at Conning Asset Management. Kraft now heads the trading and credit at Conning, which is owned by Swiss Re. Conning has 21% CMO/RMBS/CMBS and 6.5% ABS comprising its $17 billion-area fixed-income portfolio, according to Thomson Financial BondWatch.

Meanwhile, HIMCO has hired Alan Breliant as senior ABS portfolio manager. Breliant previously worked at Skudder in Chicago, as well as at Colonial, and was at HIMCO back in 1993, sources familiar with the situation said.

XL Capital Assurance (XLCA) has hired Gregory King as a director in structured investments, a newly created position. King will report to David Czerniecki, senior managing director, structured investment products.

King was most recently at CGA Investment Management, as a vice president and buyside credit analyst focusing on CDOs, non-prime autos, home equities and new and emerging asset classes.

Credit Suisse First Boston ABS research analyst Samir Bhatt has returned to New York after spending the second half of 2001 helping his European counterparts.

Meanwhile, Christopher Ricciardi has been promoted to managing director in CSFB's structured credit products group. Ricciardi will still report directly to MD John Chrystal and will remain in charge of day-to-day structuring of ABS CDOs, IG, and synthetic deals. Jerry De Vito and Alan Mentle run CSFB's cash high-yield bond and loan deals.

Edward M. Weber is joining Norddeutsche Landesbank on January 2 as vice president in the asset-backed finance group, reporting to Omar Bolli, senior vice president and group head. Ed Weber was previously with Dresdner Bank in its securitization group. At NORD/LB he will be originating, structuring and implementing transactions for the Hannover Funding conduit.

Moody's Investors Service recently hired Lisa Tibbitts away from Standard & Poor's Corp. as assistant vice president of rating communications for the structured finance and financial institutions, including the sovereigns group. At Moody's, Deborah Primiano is the vice president and manager of Rating Communications.

At S&P, Tibbitts held the title of media relations manager. Temporarily taking responsibility for her former duties on the domestic ABS front is Toshiko Tanabe, a director of communications for the Japanese and Korean markets.

News

AutoNation formally announced in late December that it would exit the lending aspect of it operations and focus instead on just the sale of cars (See ASR 12/10/01). This confirmed speculation that the annual ABS issuer, pressured by an unprecedented volume of captive-initiated incentive loans, was leaning towards getting out of the lending business.

In a release, the company said this would not negatively impact the company, as 95% of vehicles it sells are financed by third parties. Also, bolstering its outstanding ABS, servicing rights for its deals are contracted to World Omni Financial.

GreenPoint Financial Corp. is exiting the manufactured housing lending business just three years after acquiring the second-largest originator of these loans. Thomas S. Johnson, chairman and chief executive of GreenPoint, said the company had concluded that "the expected returns, the necessary level of capital support, and the inherent earnings volatility do not justify staying in the manufactured housing finance business." The company said it will sell $850 million of manufactured housing loans on its balance sheet. Fitch said it was not surprised by the announcement and had factored in the expected decision when it downgraded GreenPoint on Jan. 22, 2001. "This announcement clearly recognizes that the company's foray into manufactured housing lending ... has been a major disappointment," Fitch declared.

Calendar

Feb. 6-9: Phoenix, Arizona Information Management Network will host the seventh annual investors' and issuers' summit on Asset Securitization 2002. For more information visit www.imn.org.

Feb. 10-13: Scottsdale, Arizona The Strategic Research Institute will host the ninth annual Asset Securitization 2002 symposium, an investor and issuer forum. For more information, visit www.srinstitute.com.

Feb. 25-26: New York, New York - Information Management Network will present the fifth CDOs 2002: Brave New World. For more information visit www.imn.org.

March 24-25: Las Vegas, California - Banc of America Securities will host the fourth annual ABS and MBS investor/issuer forum. For more information contact Covell Day at (704) 388-7835 or gmgevents@bankofamerica.com.

May 14-15: Royal Park, Tokyo Japanese Securitization will be hosted by the Information Management Network. For more information, visit www.imn.org.

June 4-6: Barcelona, Spain Information Management Network will host the sixth annual Global Asset Securitization. For detailed information visit www.imn.org.

To have your event included in this section, please fax information to 646-822-4920, or, alternatively, e-mail to colleen.garry@tfn.com

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