In one of the more significant Asian moves in recent times, UBS's longstanding head of Asian securitization Anthony Cutcliffe has switched to a new position with the bank's principal finance group. UBS has not yet appointed his successor. According to rival bankers, Cutcliffe - who held the role of UBS's Asian ABS chief since 1997, making him the longest-serving head in the region - will now be responsible for buying structured deals in ex-Japan Asia. He reports to Adrian Pizer, UBS's head of Asian principal finance, which, along with the global group, will be spun-off into a new company, Dillion Read Capital Management, next month. Although Cutcliffe's new role means he stays involved in the Asian ABS scene, his days of structuring are over for the time being. Even his fiercest competitors would concede that, under his charge, UBS arranged some of the most challenging transactions completed in Asia over the past decade. These include the first cross-border deal from Korea, Korea Export-Import Bank's $265 million ABS in 1998, Asia's first US-dollar nonperforming loan deal by Korea Asset Management Co. in 1999 and Taiwan's first international securitization by Cosmos Bank in 2003.
Mark Nicolades has left the firm Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw where he worked for 20 years. Nicolades also provided outside counsel to the European Securitization Forum and has been closely working on the implementation of Basel II. A spokesman at the firm could not provide further details on Nicolaides' departure.
Fitch Ratings appointed Carlo Barbarisi as a director in the capital markets team in Milan. Barbarisi will be responsible for structured finance business development in Italy, reporting jointly to Marco Cecchi de'Rossi, managing director of Fitch in Italy, and Matias Torrellas, head of continental European structured finance business development. Barbarisi joins Fitch after six years in business development at Standard & Poor's.
The Bank of New York last week announced the promotion of Karen Peetz, head of its global corporate trust business, to senior executive vice president. This follows the firm's announcement last month that it entered into a definitive agreement with JPMorgan Chase to buy its corporate trust business. In Peetz's new role, she will lead the combined business, overseeing the corporate trust franchise that serves 90,000 clients and has 3,700 employees in 55 offices located in 20 countries. Peetz will continue to report to Brian Rogan, senior executive vice president and head of Bank of New York's global issuer services, global markets and securities lending sectors.
Mortgage insurance provider Radian Guaranty announced last week that William Kaiser has joined the company as senior vice president in operations. Kaiser will oversee the firm's field operations, contract underwriting, and centralized operations that include customer service related functions. Kaiser was previously a vice president in business solutions at Option One Mortgage. There he developed advanced mortgage lending technology solutions including automated loan structuring and underwriting systems and implemented many business process improvements. Prior to that, Kaiser held leadership roles with American Business Financial Services, Advanta Corp. and Arthur Andersen. "Bill is a seasoned professional with vast operational expertise," said Mark Casale, Radian Guaranty president. "His background and commitment to excellence will greatly aid Radian in providing our customers enhanced services. We're pleased to have him join our team in this important role."
British Land, the U.K.'s second largest property company behind Land Securities, reported last week that its full year pretax profit increased by 28% to GBP228 million while net asset value for the year rose by 32%, which was driven by the strong demand for commercial property. The results were primarily due to increases in office prices as the recovery in that market continues, said the company. Sources said that British Land's fixed sterling CMBS bonds remain highly sought after and continue to trade tight to their peers. The company said that it plans to convert to REIT status in early 2007.
Closely following the opening of its San Francisco office earlier this month, NewStar Financial announced last week that it has opened a Chicago office as well. This expands the company's presence to five cities - in addition to these two new locations, the company has offices in Boston (its headquarters), Darien, Conn., and Charleston, S.C. Managing director Ira Kreft will lead the new Chicago office, reporting to the co-heads of NewStar's middle market group in Boston, David Dobies and Tim Shoyer. Before joining NewStar, Kreft worked for more than 20 years with Bank of America Business Capital, where he was an executive vice president and managed the bank's central group out of Chicago.
Last week Fannie Mae named Dennis Beresford to chair the board of directors' audit committee. Beresford replaces Thomas Gerrity who is stepping down and leaving the GSE's board at the end of the year. The new chair joins Fannie Mae after 25 years at accounting firm Ernst & Young, where he served as senior partner and national director of accounting. He was also chair of the Financial Accounting Standards Board from 1987 to 1997. The previous week Fannie Mae also hired Enrico Dallavecchia as executive vice president and chief risk officer. Dallavecchia was the head of market risk management for JPMorgan's chief investment office and retail financial services.
The Bond Market Association announced the creation of The Alan Greenspan Award for Market Leadership to be given annually to a public official whose leadership has made a significant contribution to the financial markets. The award is named after the former chairman of the Federal Reserve Board. Greenspan was the honored guest speaker at the BMA's 30th anniversary dinner on May 18, when the award was first announced. The Association has established an advisory committee to choose the recipient of the award, and while the committee is still in the formation stages, a few confirmed members already include Roger Ferguson, former Fed vice chairman; William McDonough and E. Gerald Corrigan, both former presidents of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Eddie George, former governor of the Bank of England; and Yutaka Yamaguchi, former deputy governor of the Bank of Japan.
Fitch Ratings said last week that the use of automated valuation models (AVMs) in assessing the value of homes may no longer result in property value penalties under its revised criteria. When the rating agency addressed the use of AVMs in U.S. residential mortgage properties in 2004, it differentiated the risk of AVMs by region and said it would discount property values derived from an AVM assessment of 10% to15% in regional markets deemed "weak" or "soft." In the new criteria, however, the focus has now shifted from the region to a lender's process and controls for using AVMs, explained Senior Director Suzanne Mistretta. Fitch will apply new guidelines to evaluate each originator's program and process for using an AVM or other non-full appraisal methods. The property value would be discounted by 5% or more if either a lender's usage processes and controls do not adequately mitigate overvaluation risk, or if a lender's processes are not disclosed to the rating agency.
Global Transaction Services, a division of Citigroup Corporate and Investment Banking, announced recently that it would offer enhanced trustee and collateral administration services to the European CDO market. As part of the offering, Citigroup will provide trustee, paying agency, portfolio administration, and calculation agency services to its clients. The firm expects that these new services will enhance its existing capabilities for managed synthetic deals with full functionality for cash CDOs.
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