The American Securitization Forum officially announced that its ASF 2005 conference will be held January 25 through January 26 at the Fairmount Scottsdale Princess in Scottsdale, Ariz. Once again, the conference will feature small panel discussions and one-on-one issuer/investor sit-downs. Entertainment for the conference has been confirmed to be the Tonight Show host Jay Leno.

Barclays Capital has hired nine traders, analysts and sales people for its new mortgage-backed bond team, including four from Citigroup Global Markets. The firm named Will Sylvia as a director in the CMO trading area. Sylvia will report to Levent Kahraman, managing director and head of CMO trading. The moves follow Tom Hamilton, also formerly of Citigroup, who joined Barclays earlier this year.

Also joining Barclays Capital, Kwaw deGraft-Johnson has joined the Barclays ABS origination team with a focus on home equities, reporting to Joe O'Doherty. Prior to joining the firm, deGraft-Johnson was in graduate school after a stint at Fitch Ratings.

HSBC Corporate, Investment Banking and Markets, has added five ABS professionals to its European team. James Whetman, a director at CIBC World Markets in London, joins the U.K. financial institutions origination and execution team as an associate director, and Leonor Pinto, an assistant director at Banco Finantia in Lisbon, joins the Southern European origination and execution team as a manager. Hitesh Gupta joins from HSBC in New York as an associate. Whetman, Pinto and Gupta will all report to Scott Dickens, European head of ABS and structured bonds. On the structured bond side of the business, Herve Nedellec, an associate director at ABN AMRO and Marion Thomas, an associate in structured finance at Royal Bank of Scotland in London, both join as managers.

Wachovia Securities announced that David Carroll will assume leadership of the company's Capital Management Group effective Jan. 1, 2005. Carroll, who currently heads merger integration and corporate marketing, takes over for Donald McMullen, who is retiring at yearend. Carroll has been with the firm since 1981 and has served in several leadership positions, including president of state operations in Georgia and Florida.

The Murrayhill Company hired Thomas Cronin as vice chairman of sales and business development. Cronin is formerly a managing member of Interactive Mortgage Advisors LLC. In his new role at Murrayhill, which is a Denver-based a credit risk management firm, Cronin will focus on Murrayhill's long-term development of new services to improve performance and oversight of private-label securities, focusing on benefiting mortgage servicers, security dealers and investors. Cronin, a mortgage industry veteran, is also a member of Murrayhill's board of directors.

MCG Capital Corp. announced last week the completion of a $397.7 million term securitization of commercial loans that meet certain requirements, including, but not limited to, term, agency rating, spread and sector diversity requirements. The private, Rule 144A transaction, was underwritten by UBS as sole manager. The transaction matures July 20, 2016, or sooner upon repayment of the offered notes.

Capital One Financial plans to consolidate its operations work by eliminating 220 positions at its call center facility located in Irving, Texas. The vast majority of the work will be transitioned to its Richmond, Va. facility.

The company intends to shut down the facility by the end of the second quarter 2005.

While not technically a securitization, a Mexican toll-road deal entered the market last week in a sector that has been using ABS to tap the domestic market. Hit hard by a severe peso devaluation in mid 90s, toll road operators in Mexico have returned to the market by backing deals with toll receivables, but least one player is taking a different route. ASR sister publication PPL reported on a $49 million deal being shopped around by lead Capital Partners and co-agent Comerica Bank. The issuer is specialty purpose corporation Krausen International and the proceeds are apparently being used to purchase a toll road concession from the Mexican government. The deal is not yet rated, but sources said it will be considered investment-grade. The toll road connects the cities of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and Laredo, Texas and functions as the commercial bridge between the two countries, sources said. As part of the deal, the Government of the State of Tamaulipas is selling a 25-year concession agreement.

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