GMAC-RFC Securities has hired Robert Cole as managing director, head of trading, and appointed John Glessner as senior trader in MBS. Both Cole and Glessner were most recently with Friedman, Billings, Ramsey in Arlington, Va., where Cole was senior managing director and head trader for fixed income sales and trading. His responsibilities included developing and managing the trading team within the firm. Meanwhile, Glessner was also a managing director and senior trader who was responsible for building and managing agency ARM and CMO trading. GMAC-RFC Securities expects that recent additions will increase its competitiveness in the RMBS sector.
Deutsche Bank has announced the appointments of Kevin Flaherty as European head of syndicate for ABS and Greg Branch as senior ABS trader in Europe, in addition to his current role as senior CDO trader. Both men will report to Greg Lippmann, who was just appointed global head of ABS trading and syndicate (ASR, 06/12/06).
Bear Stearns hired Marielle Jan de Beur as managing director and head of global CMBS research. Jan de Beur was head of US CMBS research at Morgan Stanley. In her new role at Bear Stearns, Jan de Beur will be responsible for providing investors with advice and analysis of the CMBS market and the commercial real estate CDO market. She will report to Gyan Sinha, a senior managing director and global head of structured credit research.
Bond insurer MBIA appointed John Cutting as a managing director in its asset management group. In his new role, Cutting will focus on the ABS sector, reporting to Cliff Corso, head of MBIA Asset Management and chief investment officer of MBIA Insurance Corp. Cutting will also head the CDO group and assist in expanding MBIA's RMBS and CMBS platforms. Cutting was most recently a managing director at Eurohypo where he built the U.S. asset management group that trades RMBS, CMBS, CDO securities and issues ABS CDOs.
The Bayard Firm recruited Keith Parnell to expand its structured finance and securitization capabilities. Most recently in the Cayman Islands, Parnell focused his practice on capital markets and securitizations, including structured finance engagements for corporate trust clients. Since 2001, he has also served as director of Sigma Finance Corp., managed by Gordian Knot, London, and also located in the Cayman Islands. Parnell has joined The Bayard Firm as counsel and will be based in New York.
Financial services law firm Chapman and Cutler LLP appointed Patrick Lawler and Christopher Oliver as corporate finance partners in its San Francisco office. They will oversee efforts to expand the firm's presence in structured lending, structured finance and securitization markets. Oliver, most recently with Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, mainly concentrates on asset securitizations. Lawler, most recently a partner in charge of the debt-financing group at the San Francisco office of Kirkland & Ellis, focuses largely on secured lending in the private equity arena.
Seneca Capital recently sold Seneca III, a leveraged CDO that invested in high yield bonds and bank loans with roughly $250 million in assets. The fund's debt investors never missed a coupon payment and preferred shareholders will receive an IRR of about 11.6% from when it started. Seneca Capital now has three CDOs under management, totaling roughly $1.5 billion, with three more in development that are expected to raise about $2 billion.
In an effort to increase transparency, Fitch Ratings last week outlined its analytical approach to special-purpose vehicles in global structured finance deals. The agency does not make or announce any fundamental changes to its SPV analysis. Fitch's analysis looks primarily at the certainty with which the assets have been isolated for the benefit of note holders. The ways of achieving this could be different between jurisdictions, asset classes and structures, said the rating agency.
Last week Standard & Poor's updated its portfolio level approach methodology to rating U.S. market value CDOs backed by investment grade MBS and ABS. The original release of this approach was published in December 1997.
Moody's Investors Service recently released its fifth issue of Japanese ABS indices covering six asset classes: lease, auto-loan, installment sales loan, card shopping loan, card loan, and consumer finance loan. The rating agency found that the outstanding balances of static asset pools, including lease, auto loan and installment sales loan, are decreasing, while the outstanding balances of revolving asset pools, including card shopping loan, card loan and consumer finance loan, are stable or increasing. The performances of lease, auto loan, installment sales loan, card shopping loan and card loan indices have generally been stable since the date of the last publication in December 2005. Moody's will continue releasing these updates on a regular basis.
For the week ending June 9, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported an increase in mortgage application activity. The Refinance Index jumped 10.6% to 1499.4. The Purchase Index moved above 400 for the first time in four weeks to 414.6, up nearly 5% from the previous week. The gain was not totally unexpected with the previous week's activity down, which could be partly attributed to the Memorial Day holiday. The MBA also reported a one basis point increase in the 30-year fixed contract rate to 6.61%.
Kudos to Alex Batcharov who moderated the panel on monoline insurers at last week's Information Management Network's Barcelona conference and prevented an angry hotel employee from cutting his session short by 15 minutes. The employee tried to hold the sound system hostage to get Batcharov, the panelists, and the rest of the audience out of the room. Batcharov pulled out some nifty Spanish, stood his ground and with some monoline backing, kept the session going for the remaining fifteen minutes as planned. Batcharov emerged as the hero of the Barcelona summit this year!
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