Dan Castro, longtime Merrill Lynch ABS and CDO research analyst, has resigned from his position as head of global structured product strategy. Castro, however, has not left the firm and remains on the payroll while he weighs his options, a source close to the situation reported. It is currently unclear whether Castro will remain at Merrill in a new position or land at another firm. Castro had been with Merrill since 1991, when he moved over from Moody's Investors Service. The move follows Merrill's hiring of Lang Gibson and Katherine Lynch from Banc of America Securities to run its CDO research effort the week before last. Remaining at the firm are Theresa O'Neill, who will continue handing consumer assets, and Glenn Costello, who handles home equity and mortgage ABS product.

Russell (Rusty) Hurst started at Descap Securities last week as a managing director and head of the CDO Products Group. Hurst, who previously was head of CDO research at the former Banc One Capital Markets, will focus on developing the CDO business including secondary trading and distribution. Prior to his two-year stint at Banc One, Hurst headed CDO research at Wachovia Securities.

Ken Rosenberg has been hired by Assured Guaranty Corp. as a managing director in the mortgage-related asset group, reporting to Assured President Michael Schozer. Rosenberg had been with FGIC for three years, where he held a similar function.

Peter Leonard has joined Nomura Securities fixed income division as managing director and head of the passthrough desk, where he will be responsible for trading 30-year conventional MBS positions. Leonard reports to Managing Director and Head of Structured Credit Trading and Asset Finance Donald MacKinnon. Prior to his new position, Leonard had a six-year stint at Banc of America Securities as managing director and head of the passthrough group as well as traded the 30-year conventional position. He also served as a director in a similar capacity at Smith Barney before joining BofA.

Steve Parsons was hired by BNP Paribas as head of analytics in its New York-based securitization team, reporting to David Mandel, head of North American securitization. Parsons joins from Radian Guaranty where he headed mortgage insurance transactions since 2003. Prior to Radian, Parsons spent 14 years at Banc of America Securities, most recently as a managing director in global structured finance and head of analytics.

Didi Parks recently joined JPMorgan's Institutional Trust Services (ITS) division as a vice president. Parks will be focusing on MBS sales for the division reporting to U.S. MBS sales manager Kevin O'Hare. Prior to joining JPMorgan, Parks had worked at Clayton the Shelton, Conn.-based firm that provides due diligence and transaction support services for the loan market.

Paul Severs was named FGIC's chief legal counsel in the U.K. last week, reporting to A. Edward Turi III, senior vice president and FGIC's general counsel. Prior to joining FGIC, Severs was a partner at the law firm Clifford Chance for 17 years. "Paul's technical expertise, market knowledge and extensive contacts will help FGIC's infrastructure and structured finance teams accelerate their integration into the U.K. and European markets," said Tim Travers, senior managing director and head of international finance at FGIC.

Raymer McQuiston has joined law firm Brown Rudnick as a partner from his position as a partner at Torys LLP. In addition to securitization, his role in the firm's corporate practice group will have him focused on mergers and acquisitions, spinoffs, venture capital financing, licensing, joint ventures, tender offers, proxy solicitations, leveraged financings, cross-border transactions, securitizations, consent solicitations, initial public offerings, private placements, and Rule 144A transactions.

Danielle Melchione recently started as an analyst in Credit Suisse First Boston's ABCP origination group, reporting to managing director and group head Maureen Coen. Melchione most recently worked as an associate producer for CNN and CNNfn at the New York Stock Exchange. Additionally Emily Lao Chua returns to the ABCP investor-marketing group at CSFB as an associate working with group head Stephanie Gentile.

Tony Porter was promoted to executive vice president, managing director of international mortgage insurance at PMI Capital Corp, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The PMI Group. Porter retains his responsibilities as managing director and chief operating officer of PMI Mortgage Insurance (PMI Europe), which he joined in August 2001. He joined PMI in 1983 and led the acquisition of PMI Australia prior to his current position at PMI Europe.

SG Corporate & Investment Banking has been named as substitute administrator for the Rhineland Funding Capital Corp. conduit. SG takes over for CIBC, which announced its intention to resign as administrator in February (see ASR 3/1/04). The change officially became effective at 12:00 a.m. last Thursday. On Sept. 14, both Moody's Investors Service affirmed Rhineland's ABCP rating at P1 and Fitch Ratings has affirmed at F-1.

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