Lehman Brothers has named senior vice president David Heike as head of its asset-backed research strategy group, taking over for Arthur Chu, who left the bank in March to accept a position at Deutsche Bank's QVT Fund. Heike, who has been with Lehman for five years, has focused on consumer asset ABS in the past. In addition to heading the research effort, Heike will also work closely with Lehman's quantitative modeling team. He will report to managing director and liquid markets research head Jeff Biby.

Barclays Capital has hired banker Paul Menefee and trader John Carroll from Morgan Stanley to work on whole loan acquisition and trading in its New York offices, reporting to managing director Mike Wade. The pair will focus primarily on mortgage-related assets, but will also work on auto loan collateral.

Wachovia Securities recently hired five ABS professionals to work out of its Charlotte headquarters as well as satellite offices in New York and London. Johnnie Watson, formerly of Merrill Lynch, was hired as a vice president in the Charlotte office. Phil Leftkowitz, formerly of CDC IXIS; Mike Gaffney, formerly of Credit Suisse First Boston; and Brian Farrell, formerly of Societe Generale, were all hired as directors in the New York office. Rolf Friedrich, formerly of Bear Stearns, was hired as a director in Wachovia's London office. Of note, Leftkowitz had only been with CDC for two months after having left a similar position at CIBC World Markets in a mass defection in March (see ASR 3/17/03).

Shawn Kaufman has accepted a position as a research analyst with GMAC Commercial Mortgage Corp., jumping from his position at accounting firm Deloitte & Touche. Kaufman, who had been with Deloitte for three years, will report to Tammy Heyman and David Lazarus, who jointly head the CMBS Securitization group.

JPMorgan Securities has reassigned managing directors Tamara Adler, Richard Tray and Jeff May to new roles within the London offices of the bank. The trio had made up the team responsible for whole business securitizations.

JPMorgan Securities has hired Brendan Zeigon as an analyst in its structured credit derivatives group where he will be responsible for pricing, working with Michaela Ludbrook and Mark Goldsmith in monitoring and reporting of derivative products. Previously, he worked in the portfolio management unit of Natexis Banques Populaires.

Wachovia Trust Services has hired Christophe Schroeder as a business development manager in its structured finance trust services group, reporting to national sales director John Shope. Schroeder, who previously worked as a director at NewLine Capital Partners, will be based in Wachovia Trust's New York offices.

GMAC announced that it has acquired three units from Australian real estate concern Lend Lease Corp., American Banker reported last week. In the deal, GMAC will pay $106 million for the Atlanta-based debt advisory group and its Dallas-based asset management group. Additionally, GMAC will acquire Lend Lease unit CapMark Services. As a result, GMAC will add $60 billion in loan servicing contracts to its portfolio and the backup servicer role on another $21 billion of distressed loans.

Underwriter WestLB has ramped up is activity in the warehouse lending market, having set up a pair of facilities for two programmatic issuers of term ABS. WestLB set up a $100 million revolving credit facility for medical equipment lender DVI Inc. and a $75 million warehouse line for commercial lender Business Loan Express. "Both DVI and Business Loan Express add two solid companies with diversified businesses to our existing portfolio of clients," said executive director Brian Statfield.

Lombard US Equipment Finance, a unit of Portfolio Financial Servicing Co., was hired by The Royal Bank of Scotland to administer its U.S. equipment lease portfolio. "We are pleased to partner with PFSC, the industry's leader in lease and loan portfolio management," said Laird Boulden, president of Lombard US Equipment Finance. "We believe our industry expertise, available capital and cost of funds, coupled with PFSC's capabilities, reputation and experience creates a formidable and dynamic industry force."

FM Watch, a staunch opponent of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has hired former U.S. Rep. (and University of Oklahoma quarterback) J.C. Watts as its new chairman. Watts, a Republican, retired from the U.S. House at the end of last year. The new hire replaces Gerald Friedman, a former mortgage insurance executive who came out of retirement in 1999 to help launch FM Watch. FM Watch also announced that the organization is changing its name to FM Policy Focus.

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