UBS managing directors Laurie Goodman and Chuck Mounts have been named global co-heads of a reorganized research group, named Fixed Income Rates and Currency (FIRC). Goodman will head the U.S. fixed-income and interest rate coverage out of New York, with Mounts heading Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Both will report to Bill Chandler, FIRC COO, and both will David Liu recently joined the research group at UBS, as a director in the Mortgage Strategy Group, where he will be responsible for mortgage credit, quantitative analytics and strategy. He will report to head of ABS research Tom Zimmerman. Liu joins from Deutsche Bank, where he was a vice president of ABS research, covering the home equities and manufactured housing sectors.

It is rumored that Hypo Real Estate Bank's securitization team, headed by former HypoVereinsbank group head Tom Glynn, has had its first issuance structure publicly rated. No details were available as of press time Thursday night. An announcement is due out from the rating agencies.

ABN AMRO has hired Liz Pedova Hanson as a banker in its credit card origination group. Pedova Hanson spent the bulk of her career at Bear Stearns before moving to Prudential Securities, prior to its exit from the business in 2000. Since then, she had worked in an undisclosed real estate venture.

Beth Russotto has left her position as a senior analyst in the Fitch Ratings CDO group to join monoline insurer Financial Guaranty Insurance Corp. In her new position, Russotto, a director in FGIC's CDO group, will be reporting to Tracy Pridgen. She worked at Fitch for five years.

At press time, American Capital Access Holding Limited (ACA Holdings) announced it had entered into a purchase agreement in which Bear Stearns Merchant Banking will invest up to $120 million of capital in the firm. The transaction likely will close in the third quarter. As part of the transaction, ACA Holdings will give significantly all of the net proceeds to the surplus of ACA Financial Guaranty Insurance Co. (ACA). ACA Holdings also stated that since June 2004, existing institutional stockholders, including Stephens Group Inc. and Third Avenue Trust, gave roughly $28 million of new capital. ACA will be hosting a conference call on Monday.

Deutsche Bank has hired Mustafa Chowdhury as managing director and head of U.S. rates research within its global markets division. He will be responsible for examining fixed-income markets in the U.S. His duties include identifying major trends across asset classes and recommending investment strategies to institutional investors. Chowdhury, who is based in New York, reports to Global Head of Rates Research Jamil Baz. Chowdhury was formerly from Bear Stearns as managing director in fixed-income research. Prior to that, he was a vice president in asset-liability management at Freddie Mac, where he was responsible for interest rate derivatives trading and portfolio management.

Former Banc One Capital Markets ABS researcher John McElravey has started as a Vice President at buyside firm Asset Allocation & Management Company, where he will be responsible for credit and relative value research in the structured products group. In his new position, he will report to Scott Edwards, who leads the firm's structured finance area. McElravey had worked in Banc One's ABS research group for seven years.

Life Settlement Solutions, Inc. has announced the appointment of former Prudential Insurance Company of America executive Gregory John Schmitt as the company's executive vice president and chief operations officer. Schmitt previously served as territorial vice president for Prudential. "Greg brings a quarter-century of life insurance, technology and operations expertise to LSS," said Larry Simon, president of LSS.

JPMorgan Chase has joined the race to buy U.K.-based Internet banking provider, Egg plc, and entered a GBP1.4 billion bid last week, according to market reports. The auction has been open since the start of 2004 with MBNA Corp., Capital One Financial Corp. and Royal Bank of Scotland counted among the potential suitors eyeing the bank and credit card issuer. An announcement of the winning bidder is expected in the coming weeks.

Standard Chartered has succeeded in bringing a BWP1 billion ($200 million) CLO on behalf of the Government of Botswana, the first securitization to be completed in Africa. The deal's maturity profile also sets a new benchmark, extending Botswana's fixed-income yield curve from 12 years to 21 years. The issue is comprised of a series of notes with seven different maturities issued by Debt Participation Capital Funding Limited, a special purpose investment company backed by the Government of Botswana.

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