AmeriQuest Capital founder Roland Arnall was nominated by President George W. Bush to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Bush's announcement came on the same day Arnall's subprime lending company - the largest privately held mortgage company in the U.S. - announced it had set aside $325 million toward a possible settlement of predatory lending allegations in 30 states (see ASR 7/25/05). Arnall, his wife Dawn Arnall and the company have been Bush's largest political donors since 2002, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The California billionaire and his wife contributed $1.1 million toward Republican candidates and some $900,000 to Democrat party candidates between 2000 and 2004, the center points out.
Fannie Mae Senior Vice President of portfolio management Andrew McCormick and Head of Credit Finance Darren Thompson will be leaving the GSE to start a REIT, according to wire reports. Taking over for McCormick will be Ramon deCastro and Andrew Bon Salle. There was no word as to who would take over the credit finance duties of Thompson.
Freddie Mac announced last week that Michael May was appointed senior vice president of multifamily sourcing division to prepare for the mid-2006 retirement of Adrian Corbiere, the GSE's current senior vice president of multifamily sourcing. Over the next year, May and Corbiere will be co-leading the division to prepare for the final transition. May will be taking over responsibility for the firm's $97.7 billion multifamily portfolio, including the cash mortgage, structured transaction, CMBS and low-income housing tax credit portfolios.
FGIC hired Thomas Jacquot as a vice president in its London-based structured finance group, reporting to Managing Director Rick Watson. In his new role Jacquot will focus on the marketing and execution of a variety of financial guarantee and credit derivative products, with an emphasis on whole business and corporate securitizations, utilities and CMBS. Jacquot joins from Ambac Assurance UK Ltd., where he concentrated on the origination and execution of structured finance transactions.
Impac Mortgage Holdings has appointed William Morris to the newly created position of executive vice president of mergers and acquisitions. In his new role, Morris will oversee strategic options examination, potential acquisitions and post acquisition integration. Morris reports directly to CFO Richard Johnson. Morris previously worked at Media Arts Group, where he was executive vice president and CFO.
MortgageIT hired Charles Johnson as vice president and Midwest retail sales manager, reporting to Senior Vice President of National Retail Production Larry Schiavi. Johnson joins from RBC Mortgage Co., where he served most recently as North Central Division Production Manager and was responsible for mortgage loan production operations in 27 offices in 17 states.
Morgan Stanley announced that it would retain its Discover credit card unit, as well as sell its aircraft-leasing unit, CEO John Mack announced. Discover had been speculated to be on the block under former CEO Phillip Purcell. Discover mad up 19% of Morgan Stanley's profit last year, the company added. Its aircraft leasing business, which owns 155 planes, will result in a $1 billion after-tax charge once sold.
ING Group filed suit against PricewaterhouseCoopers regarding its involvement in now-defunct National Century Financial Enterprises, according to wire reports. PWC, as NCFE's auditor, should have notified ING, an investor in NCFE's now defaulted ABS, of the fraudulent receivables in the trust, according to the report. ING claims in its suit that it bought $500 million of NCFE ABS in 2001, based partly on the auditing report authored by PWC accountants.
Credit Suisse First Boston has agreed to acquire SPS Holding Corp. and its subsidiary Select Portfolio Servicing Inc. (formerly known as Fairbanks) for approximately $144.4 million. CSFB will make additional future contingent payments up to approximately $39.9 million to SPS joint owners FSA Portfolio Management Inc., Greenrange Partners and PMI Group Inc. for mortgage loans currently serviced by SPS on behalf of third parties. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2005. "SPS will help CSFB grow its residential mortgage businesses and cut costs by capturing servicing fees now paid to outside vendors," said Andrew Kimura, co-head of structured products trading at CSFB. "Owning an in-house servicer complements our residential mortgage growth strategy as we originate, securitize and invest in mortgages."
Freddie Mac announced recently that it will begin offering loan level data on its new securities this year. This will take its mortgage bond disclosures past those of Fannie Mae and towards those of private issuers. The new disclosures will give investors better information for predicting prepayment speeds, and will cut down on the possibility of GSE's using non-public information to cherry pick assets for their portfolio. Although Fannie Mae does not currently offer loan level data, a spokeswoman said that its disclosures are "constantly being reviewed."
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