People

John Principe has been named managing executive of First Union Institutional Trust Services, a move that follows the merger between First Union and Wachovia. Principe, a senior vice president and 30-year veteran in the custody and securities business, said the group grew fee revenues by more than 20% in 2001 and affirmed the company's commitment to the business in the post-merger environment. Wachovia sold its custody business to State Street Corporation in 1999. Principe joined First Union through the CoreStates merger in 1998.

Steven A. Katz has joined XL Capital Assurance Inc. (XLCA) as a director in the credit group, which is a newly created position. Katz will focus on financial institutions and will report to Patrick Mathis, senior managing director and chief credit officer.

Katz has ten years of credit and research experience, most recently at Seix Investment Advisors, where he was a senior research analyst on the high-yield team, with a focus on financial/leasing companies and ABS. Before that, Katz was associate director of the global credit group at Bear Stearns & Co. and director in financial services at the former Fitch Inc. He began his career at Natwest Bancorp, where he was an assistant treasurer.

Prolific CDO issuer Deerfield Capital has promoted Jonathan Trutter to chief investment officer, freeing-up the responsibility from the firm's president Scott Roberts, according to TF Carson's Money Monitor Manager. The move is a logical progression since Deerfield has gone from an infrequent CDO issuer up until 2000 to managing $5 billion in CDO assets across three core competencies: bank loans, investment-grade corporate bonds, and structured finance. Roberts will remain president and continue leading the charge in marketing the firm's new CDOs.

Trutter will remain in charge of the firm's leverage-loan business and has a fresh $300 million to $350 million arbitrage, cashflow CLO lining up for a second quarter closing.

Trutter worked at Skudder Kemper from 1989 to 2000, where he was last a managing director and head of private debt.

Paula Horn is Deerfield's lead investment-grade bond portfolio manager and Lipkee Lu runs the structured finance portfolio.

News

Fitch announced last week that it would change its name to Fitch Ratings from the original Fitch IBCA, Duff & Phelps. The move is made to align the company firmly in the public's mind as one of the three major rating agencies.

"Today, we rebrand our organization Fitch Ratings as a declaration to the market of our total commitment to be the preeminent provider of high quality credit ratings and research," said Stephen W. Joynt, President and CEO of the newly minted Fitch Ratings.

In tandem with the name change there is a new logo for the company, which has dropped the names of the merged entities that have made up the firm since the 2000 merger of the then Fitch IBCA and Duff & Phelps closed.

General Motors Acceptance amended its shelf registration last week, furthering its plans to bring its first-ever auto lease transaction, according to records filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Dubbed COLTS by the issuer, which is an acronym for Central Originating Lease Trust, the issuer says there are no imminent plans to bring a lease transaction in the near term.

Standard and Poor's released a report last week stating that structured finance transactions in emerging markets are currently surviving the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. While tourism-dependent transactions seem to be holding up, the rating agency said commodity transactions are sporting a mixed performance. And, while remittance transactions are currently performing well, the future is unknown. To view the report visit www.standardsandpoors.com.

The Metris Companies privately placed $600 million of seven-year credit card-backed securities recently, the company announced last week. The two equally sized deals were reportedly placed via a reverse inquiry made to the company, without the aid of an underwriter, according to sources close to the company. "Metris said in a recent conference call that they had been working on a source of funding that had been made to them by a reverse inquiry," an insider said. No pricing details of the transactions were made available by the company.

Ratings

Standard and Poor's assigned a BB-' long-term foreign currency rating to Brazil-based Banco Itau. While the rating reflects the bank's strong and well-diversified business profile, the outlook is negative as a result of the sustained strategy to grow through acquisitions, which has been delaying the much-needed reduction in expenses.

CDOs

Global Investment Advisors was rushing to ramp up its $1 billion notional, five-year bullet, managed synthetic IG CDO by closing last Thursday. The Bear Stearns-led deal mimics the Wells Fargo Sutter-managed IG synthetic CDO that priced in December. Both deals have approx. 1.6% in equity, a pool of 100 corporate names, and a 90% super senior synthetic tranche.

When GIA first began marketing the 10% cash tranches in the fall, the triple-As were seen at +45bp/3ML but printed at +60bp/3ML. The double-Bs widened the furthest to 800bp/3ML, from +700bp/3ML.

MBIA is the super senior swap receiver, likely receiving a 15 basis point fee on $904 million, analyst sources said.

Subscribe Now

Access to a full range of industry content, analysis and expert commentary.

30-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Access coverage of the securitization marketplace, including breaking news updated throughout the day.