Brigitte Posch has joined the emerging markets team at Ambac, having left Moody's Investors Service, after eight years at the agency. Posch assumes her new position as first vice president on Oct. 10. Posch had worked in Moody's Latin American business, particularly in the burgeoning local markets of Mexico and Brazil. She will have a similar focus at Ambac, reporting to Managing Director Diana Adams.
Masumi Goldman has joined Bear Stearns as a managing director covering CMBS research replacing Peter Rubenstein. Goldman reports to head of quantitative research, Senior Managing Director Dale Westhoff. She was hired after six years at Morgan Stanley, which included five years in research and one year in structuring. "Bear Stearns has a long-standing reputation for strong securitized products research," Goldman said in a company release. "I am excited to join the team, and I am looking forward to contributing to the franchise."
Moody's Investors Service has named Yaron Ernst head of business development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The position was created to formalize duties that had previously been scattered among various people. Ernst himself divided his time between business responsibilities and those of an analyst. Ernst's appointment to head EMEA growth is apparently a move designed to drum up business in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, where Ernst has experience assessing structured transactions. He reports to Group Managing Director Frederic Drevon.
Computershare Limited purchased SPV administrator Lord Securities last week for $12.4 million in cash plus a maximum additional payment of $3.1 million, should certain incentives be achieved. Australia-based Computershare specializes in share registration, employee equity plans, proxy solicitation and other financial and communication services. Lord will maintain its New York-based offices and its 20-person workforce will not change as a result of the purchase. Managing Directors Benjamin Abedine and Orlando Figueroa will continue running the firm.
Dominion Bond Rating Service announced the opening of its first office in Germany, located in Frankfurt. This represents the fourth international office for the Canadian rating agency and its second in Europe. Senior Vice President Michael Dawson-Kropf will head the German office, which plans to rate transactions originated out of Germany, Switzerland and Austria.
The Blackstone Group announced that John Kukral, CEO and co-founder of its real estate group, will leave the firm, effective at year-end. Kukral has been with the firm since 1994. Taking over Kukral's duties in running the real estate group will be Managing Director John Gray.
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw hired Dominic Griffiths as a securitization and structured finance specialist. Griffiths, who was previously with the finance team at White & Case LLP, will work closely with the firm's German and French offices, where the firm has already made several high-profile hires, primarily Matthieu de Varax in Paris. "Dominic joins the firm at a critical time," said Senior Partner Paul Maher. "His addition confirms the growth in our finance practice to date and is an indication of where we want to take it going forward."
The CIT Group Inc. announced plans to divest certain non-core assets, including the sale of a real estate investment and intention to sell certain aerospace and manufactured housing assets. CIT will offer approximately $190 million older-vintage, out-of-production aircraft, as well as accelerate the liquidation of approximately $100 million in manufactured housing receivables. The aircraft divestiture will result in a pre-tax loss of approximately $90 million in 3Q05, while the MH liquidation will result in a pre-tax loss of approximately $20 million in 3Q05. "These actions result from our strategic planning initiatives and reflect another milestone in our campaign to optimize our portfolio of businesses," said CIT Group Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Peek.
Collegiate Funding Services announced it diversified its loan-liquidity options by entering into separate loan purchase agreements with JPMorgan Securities and Goldman Sachs. Under the agreements, JPMorgan will purchase $500 million of consolidation loans originated by CFS. Additionally, Goldman Sachs purchased approximately $100 million in FFELP consolidation loans originated by CFS. CFS-SunTech Servicing will provide life-of-loan servicing for the loans purchased under both agreements.
Nelnet, Inc. entered into an agreement with the Greater Texas Foundation to acquire the outstanding stock of its wholly owned student-loan subsidiary LoanSTAR Funding Group. The transaction includes the acquisition of LoanSTAR Funding's student loan portfolio of approximately $850 million, primarily originated under the FFELP Program. Nelnet also agreed to purchase the servicing assets, including the student loan servicing operations in Bryan, Texas, of LoanSTAR Systems, Inc., a Texas-based nonprofit corporation.
Moody's Investors Service, Torto Wheaton Research, and Trepp LLC have reached an agreement that will make a new product, Moody's Commercial Mortgage Metrics. Each month the most recent loan and property data available in the Trepp library will be run through the product in order to produce annual and cumulative probabilities of default under multiple scenarios, as well as other key metrics such as loss given default. Markets covered include most of the top MSAs in the U.S., are covered by the product's primary market model. A secondary market model covers nearly 300 additional markets. The asset classes covered by CMM include multifamily, retail, industrial, office, and hotel.
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