Salmaan Siddiqui, who served as a vice president of fixed-income trading for Arlington, Va.-based investment banking firm Friedman, Billings Ramsey, left the company recently to join Credit Suisse. His last day at FBR was June 30. Siddiqui, who joined Friedman Billings Ramsey about two years ago, previously worked at RBC Dain Rauscher and JPMorgan & Co.
ABN Amro promoted Brad Dansker to head of its North American term securitization business. The investment bank, which recruited Dansker in 2004, credits him with successfully expanding its auto and equipment term ABS franchise. Under Dansker, the auto and equipment term franchise business has secured repeat ABS mandates for Ford Motor Credit, GMAC, CNH, Caterpillar and Nissan. Representing those issuers allowed the company to act as a bookrunner on $9.4 billion in deals in 2005, up from $3.5 billion in auto and equipment ABS deals in 2004. Year to date, ABN Amro has acted as bookrunner on auto and equipment ABS deals totaling $5.5 billion, according to figures from Thomson Financial. Previously, Dansker was head of autos and equipment ABS at JPMorgan Securities. Dansker replaces Bill Haley, a managing director who now oversees the bank's ABS conduit and debt capital markets business. Both are based in the bank's New York City office.
ABN Amro also promoted Boudewijn Berger to the position of head of Asian securitization. Based in Hong Kong, Berger has since 2004 been vice president for the Asian team, helping structure deals in Taiwan, Korea and Singapore. He replaces Gary Watmore, who leaves after eight years at the helm in Singapore, where he started the Asian franchise from scratch. Perhaps the most notable success under Watmore's charge came in November 2000, when the bank completed the region's first synthetic securitization, backed by a pool of its own residential mortgages. Watmore moves to the bank's London office to take up the newly created position of head of emerging markets ABS, reporting to Gareth Thomas, global head of emerging markets at the firm.
Thacher Proffitt & Wood announced that it elected five associates and one counsel to the partnership last week. Among the new appointments are Christopher Lewis, Peter Morgan, Robert Olin and Scott Swerdloff, all members of the structured finance practice group. Lewis's practice includes ABS, structured finance, derivatives and cross-border securities, including cash and synthetic CDOs, credit-linked notes, credit derivatives referencing ABS and synthetic mortgage- related reinsurance capital market transactions. Morgan's practice, among other areas, focuses on the representation of financial institutions, issuers, borrowers and trustees in securitizations and other secured transactions for both private and public transactions. Olin represents issuers, underwriters and servicers in public and private offerings of RMBS and ABS with a variety of credit support structures, and also deals with whole loan mortgages. Swerdloff represents issuers and underwriters in public and private offerings of residential and commercial mortgage-backed and asset-backed securities, as well as purchasers and sellers in connection with the sale and financing of whole loan mortgages.
Luminent Mortgage Capital has announced the execution of LUM 2006-5, a securitization of $509 million of prime quality mortgage loans. The triple-A tranches of the deal, which represent 90% of the total securitization, priced at Libor plus 21 basis points. "Luminent 2006-5 advances our strategy to invest efficiently in prime quality mortgages and to eliminate interest rate exposure," said Gail Seneca, Luminent's chairman of the board and chief executive officer. In other Luminent news, James Doyle is joining the firm to manage its CDO effort. Doyle has worked at major Wall Street firms and managed CDOs at Declaration Management and Research, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial.
Jocelyn Martin-Leano, who joined the company shortly after its founding in 1996, was appointed president of Irwin Home Equity Corp. last week. Martin-Leano, who has served in leadership positions in both loan servicing and operations at Irwin, was promoted to executive vice president of operations in 2005, and later that year was named interim president following the retirement of former president, Elena Delgado. Prior to joining Irwin, she has held positions in the mortgage divisions at ITT Residential Capital Corp., Bank of America and Citibank.
In its latest 8-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Fannie Mae announced that board member Donald Marron, currently chairman and CEO of Lightyear Capital and Fannie Mae board member since 2001, will resign his post in the company. This announcement closely follows the May 19 announcement that board member Thomas Gerrity plans to leave the board by the end of 2006. In the filing, Fannie Mae stated that Marron's departure was long planned but that he "felt it was important to stay on the Board of Directors through the Paul, Weiss investigation and the Office of Federal Housing Oversight special examination, which are now complete."
The Bond Market Association published revised recommended procedures for MBS buy-ins - the procedures that are used by brokers to clean up securities that are not delivered by customers by the settlement date -effective July 5. "A key element of the revised procedures is that they address the effects of amortization of the underlying mortgages pools in determining the settlement amounts of securities to be bought in, with different procedures for specified pools and to-be-announced, or TBA, transactions where specific pool information is not known until two days prior to the settlement," said a recent BMA press release. Additionally, BMA worked with Bloomberg to create a new system which streamlines calculations and makes it easier for broker-dealers to implement the guidelines. The revised procedures are available at the BMA Web site.
Freddie Mac announced last week that beginning in August of this year, the company will provide monthly loan-level updates on its single-family mortgage PC securities issued after December 1, 2005. According to an interview with ASR sister publication American Banker, Mark Hanson, Freddie Mac's vice president of mortgage funding, called the move to have regular updates a "massive undertaking" and said that the GSE expects its various efforts toward greater disclosures to boost its securities prices. Freddie Mac is the first agency issuer of mortgage securities to release any loan-level data on them.
This Wednesday Standard & Poor's is launching ABS Consumer Report, which will be released periodically and focus on the different consumer ABS sectors. The launch is scheduled at the rating agency's ABCP conference to be held in New York. The new report will feature several topics including, subprime mortgages, auto loans, U.S. consumer finance companies, an outlook on the state of consumer credit and debt and surveillance reports on the different ABS consumer sectors.
According to Fitch Ratings in the most recent edition of Credit Card Movers & Shakers, charge-offs for both prime and subprime U.S. credit card ABS would probably begin to slowly increase as consumers use credit cards more frequently to pay for gasoline. "While consumer confidence recovered last month, its volatility hinges on energy prices," said Cynthia Ullrich, Fitch director. "Even with an expected slowdown in consumer spending, however, credit card usage may increase as they are used to purchase gas more frequently." According to the report, the increase has already begun for the prime segment as charge-offs for May jumped 39 basis points to 3.5%, while late-stage delinquencies rose four basis points to 2.41%. Subprime charge-offs remained unchanged at 5.09%, but they are likely to increase in the coming months. Moreover, in terms of spread, "rising charge-offs will erode excess spread and bring it down to historically observed levels," Ullrich said.
Wendy Sharon has joined Deloitte Financial Advisory Services (Deloitte FAS) as a principle in its valuation services practice. Sharon, who was most recently a managing director at an independent financial advisory firm and has advised clients on transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, workouts, bankruptcy proceedings and management buyouts, will be based in Chicago. She is also a past president of the Chicago Finance Exchange and is a member of the Business Valuation Association. Deloitte FAS is a subsidiary of Deloitte & Touche.
HSBC Guyerzeller Bank AG and HSBC Private Bank (Suisse) SA will collaborate with their trust and fiduciary services domains to create a new specialized entity named HSBC Guyerzeller Trust Co. AG. HSBC Guyerzeller Bank's Konrad Haeuptli has been appointed CEO of the new trust company, which is aiming to become one of the preferred providers of trust and fiduciary services in Switzerland and globally. In addition, it is expected that within the year, the Swiss government will ratify the "Convention on the law applicable to trusts and on their recognition" (Hague Convention), which will strengthen Switzerland's reputation and position of trust services.
GE Commercial Finance announced new leadership at the Northeast region manager level of its North American corporate lending business. Randy Hicks, who has more than 13 years of sales leadership roles at GE's corporate lending and commercial & industrial finance businesses, will lead the Northeast region and its 65 professionals going forward. "Growth for the benefit of our customers is the key here," said Tom Quindlen, president and CEO, corporate lending. "The expanded capabilities will allow us to build more meaningful and longer-term customer relationships." Corporate lending's Northeast region has provided over $2 billion of commitments through the first half of this year.
Fitch Ratings has announced the launch of its investment process ratings (IP). The new ratings will provide an independent assessment of the investment processes within an investment management organization and will also provide an indication of its capacity to deliver the investment objectives. The new methodology assesses the quality of an investment process in terms of resources, the decision-making process, investment risk management and portfolio management and monitoring tools, which will be grouped into the following categories: staff and organization, portfolio management, investment risk management, and technology and operational environment. Fitch's investment process ratings will be announced via a press release and followed by reports published on the agency's Web site.
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