BNP Paribas hired MBS passthrough trader Andrew McConnell from RBS Greenwich Capital. In his new position, McConnell will head BNP's New York-based mortgage passthrough trading desk, reporting to U.S. fixed-rate trading head Zbigniew Ryzak. Prior to working at RBS Greenwich, McConnell had worked at ABN AMRO, Bear Stearns and Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette.

Deutsche Bank Securities recently hired Christopher Babu last week as a director in the firm's MBS group, where he will focus on mortgage derivatives trading. Babu, who will report to Head of Mortgage Derivative Trading John Roach, was hired from Banc of America Securities and has more than eight years experience in the field. In October, Roach and the Head of the MBS Group Anilesh Ahuja joined Deutsche from RBS Greenwich Capital. Other recent hires are co-head of correspondent lending Maxine Matteo, head of mortgage analytics Mark Appel, and MBS research head Amin Majidi.

Januar Lawde was hired by HSBC Securities to work in the ABS structuring analytics group headed by Managing Director Cyrus Mohebbi. Lawde, who joins from ABN AMRO, had worked with Mohebbi while at ABN, which he left last year (see ASR 5/10/04).

Irwin Mortgage Corp. signed two definitive agreements to divest a portion of its traditional retail, and all of its net branch and credit union lending operations, representing less than 20% of its total 2004 originations. The mortgage-lending unit of holding company American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. was purchasing 23 of Irwin's retail branches, a loan operations center as well as Irwin's credit union channel. Additionally, Irwin will sell the balance of the branches and its loan operations center to Pinnacle Financial Corp. Going forward, Irwin said it would focus primarily on its wholesale, correspondent and consumer direct lending operations, which have been its most profitable business lines. Additionally, Irwin said it would increase its focus in traditional retail lending to serve low- to moderate-income homebuyers and emerging market customers.

Global Signal Inc. announced last week that it planned to issue a third securitization of its cellular-phone tower sites. The telecommunications tower rental REIT also reported entering into interest rate swaps in anticipation of future acquisition financing. Global Signal's two previous cellular-phone tower receivables-backed securitizations, both issued last year, were underwritten by Bank of America Securities and Morgan Stanley.

UBS recently launched a new property-lending team with plans to establish a European ABS program, according to market reports. The new team will be led by Wilson Lee, the former managing director of Lehman Brothers European real estate group. Lee is expected to head a team of twelve that will focus on U.K. and continental European ventures. Along with setting up a new securitization program, the team will also syndicate loans and provide senior loans, mezzanine and equity financing.

Providian Financial Corp. announced that it would delay the filing of its annual earnings report, so it could recalculate its earnings from 1999 to 2004, due to errors in its method for estimating the value of the interest-only strips from its securitizations, reported ASR sister publication, American Banker. The filing had been scheduled for last Wednesday. The restatement was not expected to impact 2004 earnings, according to the company.

Origen Financial Inc. reported that its manufactured housing originations increased 33% in 2004, to $250 million from $188 million in 2003. Additionally, originations in 4Q04 were up 20% from the previous year's quarter. Sixty-plus day delinquencies totaled 1.9% of its owned portfolio, and charged off net loan losses were $5.4 million to the general loan-loss reserve in 2004, up from $4.7 million in 2003.

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