TIAA-CREF managing director Sanjeev Handa has taken over mortgage-related ABS senior portfolio management responsibilities. Handa replaces the well-known MD John Cerra, who now heads TIAA's general fixed-income total return fund, which is benchmarked to the Lehman Index.

Paul Jablansky recently began as a trader and asset manager at Banc of America Securities' New York office, where he will focus primarily on principal finance purchases and repackaging. Jablansky leaves a portfolio management position at Travelers Investment Management, which he had held since 2000. At BofA, Jablansky reports to Chris Hentemann, managing director and head of ABS/MBS trading, based in the Charlotte office. Prior to his position at Travelers, Jablansky headed Salomon Smith Barney's asset-backed and mortgage credit group for seven years.

United Capital Markets, which will be sponsoring the Margarita Madness event, has announced that hard rock/blues legends ZZ Top will headline the show. ZZ Top is currently on its "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers Tour 2003"in support of the group's newest release, Mescalero, which recently hit stores. The band will play from 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 9. The rock concert/cocktail party will include food, and is open to all ABS East delegates.

ABN Amro has hired Sue Lee as an associate in its auto ABS origination group, reporting to managing director Bill Haley. Lee had worked at WestLB for the past year. The move reunites her with former JPMorgan Chase banker Haley, with whom she worked prior to joining WestLB.

Nissan Motor Credit has received Securities and Exchange Commission approval to offer its first-ever wholesale dealer floorplan ABS, and the inaugural transaction from the Nissan Master Owner Trust Receivables shelf is expected in the near term. As previously reported (see ASR 5/26/03), Morgan Stanley has set up a dealer floorplan warehouse facility and will lead the term securitization, which could be as large as $2 billion in size. Proceeds will be used to pay down its warehouse facility.

Last week U.S. Bank, as trustee, paid the interest portion of the coupon payment due investors holding DVI medical equipment ABS, which had been delayed due to miscalculations on the part of the issuer. Although no principal was paid, investors were more concerned over the timely payment of interest and were reportedly fairly certain that principal will eventually be paid.

K2 Inc., manufacturer of K2 skis, Rawlings baseball gloves, Shakespeare fishing tackle and other sporting equipment brands recently closed a $225 million revolving facility via GE Corporate Lending Inc., consisting primarily of a business receivables conduit facility. The facility is made up of a $205 million business receivables asset-backed revolver and a $20 million B-tranche loan.

The Bond Market Association announced last week that former New York Gov. Hugh L. Carey and Jill M. Considine, chairman and chief executive officer of The Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation will receive the Association's 2003 Distinguished Service Award at its annual awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Manhattan.

Though dealership franchise-backed transactions have been considered the sector survivors, Falcon Financial's most recent deal, Falcon Auto Dealership 2003-1, had all classes placed on watch last week by Moody's Investors Service. The rating agency stated that one large loan, to Gorman Family Holdings, showed up 30 days delinquent in the September servicing report. The Gorman Family loan, the second largest in the deal, makes up 6.8% of the pool balance. There is approximately 8% of subordination under the bottom B3' rated class. The loan is covered by 50% real estate, but was primarily written under the business value method.

Standard & Poor's last week lowered its rating on the subordinate class B note of CIT EC-EF Owner Trust. The rating agency also removed it from CreditWatch with negative implications where it was placed on August 26. S&P cited the lowered rating that reflected the worse-than-expected performance trends of the underlying pool of commercial loans and leases on "mid-ticket" items, such as construction, manufacturing, and transportation equipment.

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