Susan Hindle Barone was hired by Credit Suisse First Boston to head its London-based European commercial paper origination group, taking over the duties of Louise Mason, who has moved to the ABCP conduit group. Barone previously worked at Goldman Sachs, where she was responsible for investor marketing. Although Barone reports to Zahra Peerbhoy, she will work closely with Maureen Cohen, CSFB's global head of ABCP origination.

Ed Bankole has joined WestLB as executive director within the credit risk management/structured risk group leading the asset-backed securitization credit and risk assessment initiatives in the Americas. His responsibilities will include oversight of the asset-backed term loan, as well as securities products groups. Bankole, who reports to Stephan Kloock, regional head of structured risk in the Americas, had spent 12 years in the Moody's Investors Service asset finance group. Bankole resigned from Moody's in June.

Surety provider FGIC has hired Mathias Pulster as managing director in the underwriting credit risk management group, reporting to President and Chief Underwriting Officer Howard Pfeffer. Pulster will also chair FGIC's credit committees for all structured and international transactions. Pulster is a 13-year veteran of Deutsche Bank Securities, where he performed credit analysis in the ABS and CDO groups.

Kris Harihara has been hired by E*Trade Asset Management as a director in the credit strategy group, reporting to Dennis Web, executive vice president of E*Trade's asset management operations. Harihara had worked at GE Asset Management for the last two years.

Thacher Proffitt & Wood has hired Christopher Lewis as counsel in its New York-based offices. Lewis had worked at law firm Simmons & Simmons since 2002, and prior to that was at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. As a member of the CDO group, Lewis reports to Jim Cotins.

Harpal Maini recently joined BNP Paribas as an MBS trader, reporting to Zbigniew Ryzak, head of the interest rate group. Maini, who joins after two years at GMAC-RFC Securities, will work closely with Head of MBS Trading Angus Duncan.

ABN AMRO has hired Alison Miller as its new global head of credit strategy based in London, reporting to Roger Appleyard, global head of research. In her new role, Miller will develop derivative and index research based around the iTraxx platform. Working under Miller is a team of analysts including Hans Peter Lorenzen, Dominin Kini and Haqnoor Khan. Miller's employment history includes stints at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, Chase Manhattan, the Bank of England and regulatory body Financial Services Authority.

Steve Adams recently started in the conduit group at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi, after resigning from his position at CIBC. Adams is the latest in a string of CIBC ABS pros to leave CIBC due to regulatory constraints following the Enron scandal. This comes on the heels of Bill Rainey leaving CIBC.

Law firm Linklaters has elected Adam Glass, who recently joined from Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, to partner in its New York office. Glass has been commissioned to build a new U.S. structured finance and derivatives practice at Linklaters. Glass has previous experience - both advisory and transactional - covering CDOs, general structured finance, conduits and securitizations as well as pure derivatives and securitized derivatives. Glass reports to Nick Eastwell, global head of capital markets at Linklaters.

In 2003, the structured finance market saw a record number of impairments, but 2004 should show improvement, according to a report from Moody's Investors Service. Last year, 189 securities became impaired, comprising $5.4 billion and representing about 1.7% of all outstanding U.S. structured finance securities at the beginning of 2003. The sharp rise in 2003 was due mainly to broad corporate credit problems in 2001 and 2002, and the poor performance of securities backed by manufactured housing and franchise loans in particular, analysts said.

Equifax Inc. announced a $125 million on-balance sheet trade receivables-backed revolving credit facility with ABCP conduit Blue Ridge Funding. Wachovia Bank, N.A., the agent for Blue Ridge Funding, also acts as backup administrator on the multiseller conduit. The Equifax facility has a one-year tenor, but may be extended up to three more years if specified conditions are satisfied.

TD Securities and Grange Securities have jointly led the first reported three-year CDO squared transaction aimed at the Australian investor base. The transaction, named Kosciuszko, is a portfolio of eight tailor-made, static, synthetic CDO tranches referenced by roughly 75 equally weighted corporate, financial institution and/or sovereign entities. Settlement is slated for mid-September.

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