As per our winter publishing break, Asset Securitization Report's next issue date will be Jan. 6, 2003.

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To clarify last week's top Whisper, the new structured products group at Wachovia Securities represents the combination of Wachovia Securities' real estate capital markets and asset securitization businesses with the structured finance components of its fixed-income sales, trading and research platform, a contact at the firm said. Leah Torstrick, head of commercial ABS finance; Mike Warden and Randy Robertson, co-heads of residential mortgage and consumer; and Jim Sigman and Russ Andrews, co-heads of structured products syndicate and capital markets now report directly to Tom Wickwire.

Wickwire also heads up real estate capital markets, structured credit products, ABS investment management and conduits, structured products sales and generalist sales groups. Brian Lancaster, formerly head of CMBS and commercial real estate research, was named to head up an expanded structured products research group, reporting to Wickwire.

Textron Financial announced last week that David Wisen was named president and managing director of its capital markets group, which offers loan syndication, asset securitization, and mezzanine debt financing for the firm. This group has structured and syndicated more than $10 billion worth of loans and leases backed by receivables, equipment and real estate. Wisen, who has been with the company for nine years, succeeds Frank Ficca. Ficca has agreed to postpone retirement and remain with the capital markets group to assist with special situations.

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SG Cowen is said to be ramping up a principal finance effort. According to an insider, the bank intends to purchase whole loan collateral and securitize it via its own issuance vehicles. Contacts at the firm did not comment as of press time.

Standard & Poor's released a statement last week saying that it has almost completed a review of Ambac Assurance Corp., Financial Security Assurance, MBIA Insurance Corp., Ace Guaranty Corp. and XL Capital Assurance. This review includes the performance of their CDOs. The rating agency stated that it has found nothing thus far that will impact any of the insurers current ratings.

Financial services provider Sun Capital HealthCare Inc. (SCH) just signed a deal to provide immediate working capital to rescue Lincoln Hospital Medical Center (LHMC). This hospital is one of the first of NCFE clients that had filed for bankruptcy after the NCFE debacle erupted involving alleged fraud. Based on the bankruptcy filing decision in California court that approved the aforementioned deal, it's looking like alternative financing options have opened up for NCFE clients whose reimbursements have been locked up pending resolution of NCFE bankruptcy proceedings

After the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago received approval for a requested enhancement to its Mortgage Partnership Finance Program (which allows FHLB of Chicago to buy high-quality tranches of MBS issued by a member bank and consisting of pooled MPF loans through a program called Shared Funding), sources said the first securitization involving this program could come as early as January next year from one of the large member financial institutions under FHLB Chicago.

JPMorgan has priced one of the few CDOs that were backed by high yield bonds in 2002 for Canyon Capital. The $275 million deal, which carried an Ambac surety on the class A tranche, priced at 60 basis points over Libor with a seven-year average life. The class B tranche cleared at a significant discount (96.4956) to yield 425 basis points over Libor with an average life of nine years.

Black Rock has its first managed IG synthetic CDO, Galaxite I, in the market. The deal is half the size of a typical static pool CDO transaction, at $500 million. The transaction includes of $375 million super senior tranche. This will also be Credit Suisse First Boston's first visible synthetic CDO that it had underwritten via their investment grade CDO team. Over 130 individual obligors are expected to comprise Galaxite's portfolio. The advisory fee structure aligns Black Rock's interest with equity and note holders. The deal gives Black Rock 40% of the residual collateral account balance at maturity as an incentive advisory fee. The underwriter and issuer could not be reached for comment.

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