Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group, the Arlington, Va.-based investment bank, has hired a team of mortgage-backed securities sales and trading professionals from Freddie Mac to create its own institutional MBS trading business. The team will be led by Michael Swell, former vice-president and head of Freddie Mac's Securities Sales and Trading Group. Robert Cole, formerly head trader at Freddie Mac's SS&T Group, will head the trading effort of the new unit. The MBS unit will be combined with FBR's existing asset-backed securities team and will begin operations in the first quarter of 2005.

Wachovia Corp.'s institutional trust group has hired Mike Hellmuth as a relationship manager in its structured finance trust services group in London, where he will lead trustee administration for all types of structured financings, such as asset-backed and mortgage-backed securities, tax liens and leveraged lease transactions. Hellmuth joins Wachovia from JP Morgan Chase, where he served as vice president in the trustee and asset administration team.

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