A restructuring at Wachovia Securities has led by the elimination of the asset securitization group, which has been headed by Scott Shannon. Instead the bank has created a new structured products group, encompassing asset-backed finance, CDOs and real estate financial services. Structured products will be run by former CDO group head, managing director Tom Wickwire. Wickwire will report to head of fixed-income Ben Williams, a longtime First Union Securities real estate finance veteran. Also as part of the reorganization, the asset-backed conduit group, headed by Ed Covington, was moved into the capital finance area of operations. Covington will now report to Wayne Robinson.
Michelle Tan, a former vice president and CDO structurer from CSFB, has landed at Wachovia Securities reporting to Yu-Ming Wang, managing director heading Wachovia's CDO business, according to Thomson IFR Markets. The hire happened within less than a month following a round of layoffs in the CSFB's fixed-income group in November. Tan worked for CSFB for 3 1/2 years and reported to managing director Christopher Ricciardi. Prior to CSFB, Tan was at for Standard & Poor's structured finance group for four years working closely with David Tesher, who is now head of the S&P's CDO group.
Sidley Austin Brown & Wood has hired Michelle Cenis, a credit derivatives lawyer from Deutsche Bank, to work on synthetic CDOs, repackagings and other derivatives transactions. She was a senior derivatives lawyer during her eight-years at Deutsche, which includes a stint as one of three global coordinators for the derivatives legal practice group. She started in Sidley's New York office last Monday, Dec.2.
Intellectual property law firm/boutique TAEUS announced the appointment of Ray Throckmorton as vice president of intellectual property finance. Throckmorton will focus on helping TAEUS clients realize the tangible value of their intellectual property assets through valuation and financing activities, specifically through the TAEUS sale/license-back program. Throckmorton's background is in the area of financing of intellectual assets, project management, economic modeling, and cost and pricing analysis. He has held senior management positions concentrating on intellectual asset management at PricewaterhouseCoopers and KPMG, among others.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will possibly meet on Wednesday (Dec. 11) to further discuss issues associated with the consolidation project, despite earlier indications by FASB that there would be no more public meetings.
The recent negative market conditions have caused the first-ever aircraft-lease ABS to be put off until next year, sources said. Willis Lease Finance Corp. will likely return to the market with its $300 million area 144A offering via bookrunner UBS Warburg and co-lead managers Barclays Capital and Fortis Bank N.V. in early 2003. This is the second setback for Willis, which had initially been scheduled for late 2001, and was postponed due to the events of Sept. 11.
All three rating agencies took negative ratings actions on Conseco Finance last week, following the announcement that it would suspend payments to its corporate guaranteed B2 manufactured housing bondholders. Fitch Ratings downgraded 45 B2 classes of Conseco/Green Tree MH ABS to single-C, while Moody's Investors Service downgraded 118 classes to various ratings. Standard and Poor's cut the senior unsecured rating to D from CCC-, effectively downgrading all tranches backed by a corporate guarantee.
Standard & Poor's said last week that it lowered the long-term and short-term counterparty credit ratings on Conseco Finance Corp. (Conseco) to D' from CCC-' and C', respectively. Furthermore, Conseco announced its intention to suspend all such guarantee payments relating to manufactured housing trusts until the restructuring of its manufactured housing business has been resolved.
Nomura Securities International last week came out with a report called CMBS Credit Migrations. This looks at the frequencies of both positive and negative credit migrations for CMBS issued from 1992 through mid-year 2002. The study's more interesting findings have to do with rating agency specific issues. Among these are: CMBS rated by multiple rating agencies have had lesser frequencies of adverse credit migrations; deals rated by all three rating agencies had the lowest frequency of adverse migrations; and for transactions rated by two agencies, the Moody's and Fitch combination have had the lowest frequency of adverse migrations.
Moody's Investors Service released a report last week that said securitized Jumbo residential mortgage loans have shown solid credit characteristics in 2002, which is characterized by record-breaking issuance volume. Along with the report, the rating agency also introduced a new tool for evaluating RMBS - Moody's Mortgage Metrics. The current model has improved the analytics versus Moody's old model. It uses loan-by-loan information for all loan characteristics as well as survival analysis, which is an advanced mathematical algorithm that uses more data for each loan than other research techniques. The new model also runs over a thousand simulated economies for each loan to get a full distribution of potential loss.