Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft named Robert Davis Jr. as partner in its Washington D.C.-based structured finance practice. Davis Jr., who has been an attorney with Cadwalader for 14 years, concentrates his practice in the tax structuring, qualification and ERISA aspects of structured finance and capital markets transactions. "We are very pleased to welcome Bob to the Cadwalader partnership," said Cadwalader Chairman and Managing Partner Robert Link Jr.

Countrywide Securities has hired ABS trader Brett Fitzgerald to work in its Calabasas, Calif.-based offices. Fitzgerald had previously worked at Atlanta-based SunTrust Bank.

BNP Paribas hired home equity ABS trader John Lennon to work in its New York offices. Lennon previously worked for JPMorgan Securities.

Cantor Fitzgerald has opened a new office in Memphis, Tenn. and hired Scott Gruber as managing director to oversee the office's fixed-income sales and trading efforts. Gruber will report to Irvin Goldman, president and CEO of the firm's debt capital markets group. Cantor's new Memphis office will be focused on providing fixed-income sales and trading across an array of debt capital markets instruments, including MBS, ABS, corporate bonds and U.S. agency securities. This is the fifth new office the firm has opened in the last four months, other recently opened offices are located in Atlanta, Austin, Houston nd Summit, N.J.

Commerzbank AG has hired Michael Eleftheriou as senior originator and structurer for European securitization. Eleftheriou was formerly director and member of the European securitization team at Rabobank Groep. This is part of the firm's move to revamp its London-based securitization business, which includes moving Robert Jaeger from Frankfurt to London. Eleftheriou will report to Christopher McMullen, head of securitization in London, who joined the firm in August from GE Capital.

Sallie Mae reported that it experienced record consolidation loan levels in the third quarter, as it continued processing applications received from borrowers seeking to lock in long-term, fixed interest rates in advance of a nearly 2% rate reset increase. As of Sept. 30, consolidation loans made up 59% of the Sallie Mae's managed, guaranteed student loan portfolio, up from 47% last year. Additionally, the company's managed student loan portfolio totaled $121 billion, a 23% increase from $98 billion at the same time last year.

Sidley Austin Brown & Wood announced that it will open an office in Frankfurt early next year. Oliver Kessler and Jens Rinze, currently partners in the Frankfurt office of Lovells, will join Sidley Austin as partners. The Frankfurt office will initially focus on securitization, structured finance, derivatives, and international securities transactions. "We are delighted that Oliver and Jens have decided to join us," said Graham Penn, co-head of Sidley's London-based international finance group.

Ford Motor Credit Co. earned $901 million in the third quarter, compared with $1.1 billion in the previous year, reflecting higher borrowing costs and lower receivable levels, offset partially by improved credit loss performance. In the quarter ending Sept. 30, Ford Motor Credit's on-balance sheet net receivables totaled $114 billion, compared with $133 billion as of year-end 2004. Additionally, managed receivables totaled $149 billion, down from $168 billion at year-end 2004, reflecting lower retail placement volumes and wholesale inventory levels.

New York Life Investment Management promoted Anthony Malloy to senior managing director and head of the firm's securities investment group. Malloy will oversee more than $100 billion in fixed-income investments, including ABS, high-yield and investment-grade corporate bonds, bank loans, private placements, emerging markets, project finance, managed by a staff of 70 investment professionals. Malloy, who joined the company in 1999, reports to Frank Ollari, executive vice president and head of the firm's fixed income business.

Citigroup Inc. last Monday posted a 35% increase in net profit over the same period last year, rising to $7.14 billion from $5.3 billion. The rise happened despite Hurricane Katrina-related setbacks and an uptick in bankruptcy filings. Citigroup said Katrina carved out $222 million in the quarter, while bankruptcy filings accounted for $124 million. The company waived $25 million worth of loan fees and interest for hurricane victims during the quarter and, like other lenders, restructured payments for its customers living in the affected areas. Lagging growth in the company's consumer finance receivables was a testament to its "ongoing decision" to stay away from aggressively priced teaser rate and interest-only mortgage products. Meanwhile, consumers flocked to rewards, new deposit and loan initiatives, leading to a 10% growth in card purchase sales and higher retail banking deposits and loans.

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