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.