Barclays Capital has hired Marta Ricardo as an associate director in its term U.S. ABS group, reporting to managing director Michael Wade. Ricardo, who starts Monday, had worked in a similar position at JPMorgan Securities. Ricardo will cover credit cards, student loans and equipment leases for Barclays. With the move, Ricardo is reunited with Guiseppe Pagano, her former colleague at JPMorgan, who joined Barclays late last year.

Williams Capital has doubled its structured finance team with the additions of Rocco Capoccia and Jean Holloway as principals in the firm's Structured Products Group. Both came from different product groups within the firm. Previously, Capoccia was a banker, covering insurance companies and financial institutions for both secured and unsecured debt funding. Holloway joins the sales and trading group, where she will work primarily with crossover investors on the corporate, ABS, RMBS, CMBS and CDO products.

Recruiting firm Morgan Stampfl has clients seeking associate to vice-president level structured finance professionals. Interested parties are directed to for contact info. "The marketplace right now is not as heavy for the MD level, but we are seeing a lot of movement and demand for the associate to vice president level," said a contact at MS.

New Jersey State Senate passed a controversial anti-predatory lending law last Thursday by a unanimous 36 to 0 margin. Passed by the state assembly on March 13, the bill is now headed to the desk of Governor Jim McGreevey (D, N.J.), where he is expected to sign it into law. "New Jersey's law will be one of the strongest in the nation, and represents a reasonable compromise between consumer advocates, lenders, and secondary market institutions," the N.J. branch of consumer-advocate group ACORN said in a release.

The servicing rights of bankrupt Union Acceptance Corp. may officially be transferred to System & Servicer Technologies (SST), a unit of J.P. Morgan Chase, during a bankruptcy hearing scheduled for Tuesday, March 25. Although the transfer has gone through numerous postponements, if finalized, it is scheduled to close April 1, according to court records.

Consumer Portfolio Services (CPS) announced last week its first retail auto loan ABS of the year, a $139 million fixed-rate offering underwritten by WestLB. As has been the case with previous transactions, XL Capital will be providing a surety wrap. The deal contains two classes, $18 million of 0.16-year A1, and $121 million of two-year A2 notes. CPS, an Irvine, Calif.-based subprime auto lender, plans on pricing the deal this week.

The Metris Companies announced last week that it had entered into a new agreement with federal regulators. The company also said that it has secured $850 million in conduit facilities for the master trust via undisclosed banking syndicates. This facility replaces the $170 million unsecured revolver it had outstanding. The operating agreement with regulators includes revised liquidity and capital maintenance provisions for the bank and allows for a $155 million dividend payment from its bank subsidiary, Direct Merchants Bank. On the news, Metris share price rose 75% to $2.31, off its 52-week high of $46.93.

Deutsche Bank Securities has purchased $1 billion of auto loan receivables from non-prime auto lender AmeriCredit Corp., the company announced last week. The loans will be placed in a Deutsche Bank six-month revolving facility. The servicing rights will be maintained by AmeriCredit, which will collect a 225 basis point servicing fee. After each six-month revolving period, AmeriCredit may transfer additional receivables into the trust.

Mitsubishi Electric Corp. is planning to formulate various ways of managing intellectual property rights, including the securitization of patent rights that they own, according to a published report. The firm is hoping to improve in-house systems for obtaining patent rights on valuable technology. The firm now holds about 45,000 patents in Japan and abroad, and files approximately 10,00 patent applications yearly.

Michael Barnes, head of UBS Warburg's principal finance CDO investment team, has resigned from his post last Tuesday, according to IFR Markets. Barnes has moved to a large NY-based hedge fund called Mariner. He led the structuring of several static pool CDO of CDOs at UBS. Prior to joining UBS, Barnes was a senior managing director at Bear Stearns.

Banc of America Securities has kicked off the equity and mezzanine debt marketing to select investors for BlackRock's Magnetite V CLO, said IFR Markets. BlackRock is considered a top CDO manager. Triple A's are modeled at 57 basis points over Libor, single As at 180 basis points over Libor and triple Bs at 300 basis points over Libor. Neither the issuer nor the underwriter could be reached for comment.

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