GMAC-RFC Senior Vice President of Securitization Management Diane Wold will be moving over to General Motors Acceptance Corp. sister unit Residential Capital Corp. as head of investor relations and corporate finance, reporting to CFO Louise Hurley. Taking over her securitization duties at GMAC-RFC will be Lisa Lundsten. Wold will continue her role as American Securitization Forum executive board member.
Bear Stearns has hired Akihiro Iisaka to be part of the firm's residential mortgage-backed business in Japan. Iisaka, formerly from Aozora Bank Ltd., will be working in the group headed by Ross Antoci, senior managing director and head of MBS in Tokyo. Iisaka will be starting this week.
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP has hired Loren Taub, formerly from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary US, and David Viklund as special counsel to the firm in the global finance department and Terence Workman, previously from Hawkin Delafield & Wood, as special counsel to the firm in the capital markets department. While Workman has focused on municipal finance transactions, both Taub and Viklund have a focus on securitized real estate deals.
Rabobank International is planning to build an ABS credit default swap trading desk, according to Rabobank Executive Director Rich Bennett, speaking on the structured finance CDO panel at last week's ABS East conference. Bennett did not report that the bank had made any new hires to initiate the effort.
International law firm Brown Rudnick has hired Frederic Rosenberg as a partner focusing on asset securitization in its New York-based structured finance group. Formerly from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, Rosenberg's experience spans traditional asset classes and esoteric ones like music royalties and other IP assets. He was also part of the structuring and marketing of two sports facility revenue-backed securitizations for the Pepsi Center in Denver and STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. Brown Rudnick's structured finance group has recently added several partners to its New York office. In July, Thomas Cassidy joined the firm, bringing over 15 years of ABS and MBS experience, while Madeleine M.L. Tan was hired in May to focus on asset-backed, tax-advantaged and structured finance transactions.
Aside from hiring Tom Mykityshyn as managing director in its structured credit sales group as ASR reported last week, Guggenheim Capital Markets also hired John Calabrese as a managing director in the same group. Both will work alongside the new ABS and CDO trading desk. Calabrese joins from Friedman Billings Ramsey, where he covered institutional structured credit. Mykityshyn joins from Calyon, where he headed the North American structured credit sales effort. Additionally, Bob Shayegani was hired as vice president on the trading desk. Shayegani most recently worked as a consultant for a commercial and residential real estate transaction consulting business.
Ford Motor Co. is selling its Hertz Rent-A-Car unit to a consortium consisting of Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Inc., The Carlyle Group and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. The three entities combined will finance the purchase with a $12 billion package consisting of a mix of senior debt, a large revolving credit line, a high-yield bond issue and a large ABS financing backed by the company's fleet of vehicles. The securitization will total somewhere inside 50% of the total deal size, according to published reports. Part of the senior debt is likely to be sold into the European market, but overall the process will be driven out of the U.S., sources said. Deutsche Bank, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch were the investor group advisers while Debevoise & Plimpton LLP served as legal counsel. Hertz, founded in 1918, tops the global car rental market with over $7 billion annual revenue and 7,000 locations in the U.S. and 150 foreign countries.
Barclays Capital's Sheffield multi-seller conduit facility, launched in May at $1 billion, has grown to roughly $3.5 billion, according to Barclays Director Fouad Onbargi, speaking on a panel called "The Search for Liquidity" at last week's Information Management Network ABS East conference. Onbargi added that he expects the facility to reach $7 billion in outstandings by year-end.
The Securities & Exchange Commission has quietly closed its inquiry on FIN 46R, noted Credit Suisse First Boston Managing Director Maureen Coen. The SEC made no recommendations to the proposed interpretation, Coen added.
CenterPoint Energy received regulatory approval to go ahead with its proposed $1.85 billion stranded cost securitization, according to records filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission. No underwriters were named in the filing and the transaction is currently slate to price before year-end.
The American Securitization Forum, Australian Securitization Forum and European Securitization Forum are jointly working on developing an international accounting standard covering capital adequacy and credit conversion factors for conduit facilities.
ABN AMRO has priced the Netherlands' first-ever structured covered bond, according to a press release from the arranger. The 2 billion ($2.45 billion) deal, the first under the firm's inaugural 25 billion covered bond program, priced at the tighter end of the seven to eight basis point range over the 10-year midswap rate. The covered bonds are scheduled to pay a fixed-rate coupon of seven basis points over the 10-year midswap rate and are rated triple-A by Standard & Poor's, Moody's Investors Service and Fitch Ratings. The maturity is 10 years. Investors from Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom bought more than 50% of the deal, with the remainder purchased by investors in Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Finland and Ireland. Banks took up half the order book, with insurance companies, central banks, fund managers and pension funds taking the remaining half.
Wachovia Corp. formally announced last week its purchase of both the automobile finance firm WestCorp, and the 16% portion of WFS Financial that WestCorp does not own, allowing Wachovia to expand into auto lending and reach the southwestern U.S. retail banking sector. The $3.9 billion purchase, expected to happen in 1Q06, will also make Wachovia the ninth largest auto loan originator in the nation. In commentary about the sale, Bear Stearns analysts stated that Wachovia has followed the footsteps of companies like Capital One Financial Corp. that bought nonprime auto lender Onyx Acceptance Corp. and Washington Mutual that purchased credit card originator Providian Financial Corp. "The ABS investors of the acquired entities benefited from spread tightening following the announcements - look for a possible repeat for WESTO bonds," wrote Bear analysts.
Fitch Ratings released last week a new report looking into the quantitative impact that Basel II will have on the market. Titled Basel II: The Bottom-line' Impact on Securitization Markets, the report outlines the implications on the credit strategies of banks as well as the structuring process for certain deals.
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