Greg Reiter has joined the UBS rates research team in New York as a director in the mortgage group, reporting to Jeff Ho, head of MBS strategy, and Laurie Goodman, co-head of fixed-income research. Reiter will be responsible for relative value strategy across agency and non-agency ARM and CMO products, which is a newly created position. Prior to UBS, Reiter was in Freddie Mac's securitization department.
Deutsche Bank Securities announced the appointment of Keeyeol Nam to the firm's mortgage-backed securities group within the global markets division. Nam will be based in New York and will report to John Roach, head of mortgage derivatives. Nam joins from RBS Greenwich Capital, where he was a director responsible for mortgage derivatives trading.
Chris Chau, former head of Asian ABS at Nomura Securities, has resurfaced at Barclays Capital. Chau left his post at Nomura last October.
In his new position, Chau will work on both securitization and non-ABS transactions. The bank has not had a specific ex-Japan Asian ABS department for several years.
Fitch Ratings hired Jennifer San Cartier as senior director in its ABS group, reporting to John Bella. San Cartier joins from GE Commercial Finance where she worked on a variety of commercial ABS asset classes, most recently GE's dealer floorplan program. Additionally, Bella, who heads the commercial ABS group, will relocate to New York from Chicago and will take on the additional responsibility of the auto ABS effort. The Chicago team will continue reporting to Bella. John continues reporting to ABS group head, Managing Director Kevin Duignan.
Moody's Investors Service promoted Warren Kornfeld to co-team managing director of its RMBS group working alongside Mark DiRienz and Jay Siegal. Kornfeld has been with Moody's for four years, most recently managing its servicer rating operations. Additionally, Bill Fricke has joined Moody's as a vice president and senior analyst in the servicer ratings group, reporting to Kornfeld. Fricke previously worked at PHH Mortgage, as director of investor accounting and REO claims. Prior to PHH, he spent seven years at Fannie Mae.
Commerzbank Corporates & Markets has hired Eckhard Arndt as global head of credit markets. Arndt, based in London, will focus on credit derivatives and trading emerging markets bonds and banking book activities. He will report to Willi Ufer, global head of markets at Commerzbank, who joined the bank in April this year. Arndt joins Commerzbank from Standard Bank where he was a managing director and global head of credit trading.
Alex Reyfman recently left his position as head of credit derivatives research at Bear Stearns to accept a position at asset manager AQR Capital Management. Reyfman had been with Bear Stearns for roughly two-and-a-half years.
Avi Oster has joined Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein as a director in the debt principal finance & securitization group. In his new position, Oster reports to Tim Madigan, head of debt principal finance & securitization, Americas. Oster joins from Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank, where he was a director in the conduit group.
Heidi Katz recently left her position as a researcher in the structured products group at Fitch Ratings. Katz had worked at Fitch roughly nine years. While sources reported that she was headed to the buyside, a specific firm or hedge fund could not be confirmed.
Ginnie Mae will require issuers to disclose debt service coverage and LTV ratios on all loans backing GNMA multifamily pools starting July 1, making it easier for analysts to evaluate the credit quality of these securities. Art Frank, head of mortgage research at Nomura Securities, said that this type of disclosure currently exists in the CMBS conduit market. "Multifamily defaults are a significant part of prepayments," said Frank, adding that defaults are considerably higher than for single-family loans. Although there is an initial lock-out period for multifamily mortgages during which refinancings are forbidden, a default could occur as early as three months into the loan, resulting in a prepayment and premium investors getting paid off at par. In a release, Ginnie Mae said it believes that "enhanced disclosure at issuance will make investors make better informed decisions." Investors have access to the newly disclosed data directly through Ginnie's multifamily database found on its website.
Standard & Poor's launched a new Web-based credit ratings product called Ratings IQuery, which provides a way to analyze S&P data and research. Ratings IQuery allows subscribers to peruse and analyze the entire universe of S&P ratings. The new tool, which is updated in real time, is used for custom research and enables clients to search through 20 years worth of information on an international level. For example, a user could look for lower-rated tranches of ABS or identify ABCP issues with assets located in France issued over the last year.
Fitch Ratings announced last week that it was consolidating its synthetic CDO criteria into one document, helping to clarify its position regarding synthetically referenced ABS. The clarification applies to both credit events and the valuation process, as well further defining restructuring as a credit event for high-yield corporate debt. Under its consolidated criteria, Fitch will divide the risks of funded synthetic CDOs under three categories: the risk of losses exceeding the tranche attachment point; the instrument experiencing losses on the charged assets; and losses from the default of the credit-default swap counterparty credit event for high-yield corporates. The agency also outlines the impact of correlation on portfolio defaults and credit issues particular to managed CDOs.
According to preliminary results of a PriceWaterhouse Coopers survey of originators in the market, the primary objective of securitization for first-time European ABS issuers is to secure funding, followed by capital relief. Additionally, for these issuers, relationships tend to dictate behavior, as only 7% percent of respondents cited all-in cost as the most important factor in selecting arrangers for a transaction. Meanwhile, 45% cited personal relationships as the top factor in dictating arrangers, with price coming in second. "You've got to work with someone you're not afraid to lift the phone to," said Kevin McGovern, a senior dealer at Nationwide Building Society.
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