Cohen & Co. has hired Constantine Boyadjiev as a managing director responsible for leading the firm's risk management functions. This is part of the company's efforts to expand initiatives across its diverse business lines. Boyadjiev, who will be based in Cohen's New York office, previously served as senior vice president and risk officer covering the North American business operations of KBC Financial Products USA. As a specialist in equity, credit and fund-linked derivatives, he had oversight of the risk management for the company's U.S. trading operations. Prior to serving in this role, Boyadjiev was a vice president in the Credit Markets and Portfolio Risk Management Group of JPMorgan Chase. Here Boyadjiev covered the investment bank's structured finance business, and developed risk methodologies and procedures; established risk management policies; and set and monitored risk limits, among other responsibilities, for JPMorgan Chase's market and credit risk management practice.

A&O has appointed Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer counsel Jean-Dominique Casalta as a real estate partner in its Paris office. Casalta, who was appointed counsel at Freshfields in 2005, focuses on corporate and financial structuring of property transactions and pan-European investment and financing, including the real estate aspects of securitization. The hire is the latest attempt by the firm to bolster its real estate practice. In February the firm's Amsterdam office hired Arent van Wassenaer from Norton Rose. A&O's head of real estate Adam Cleal said the hire was part of an ongoing growth strategy for the department, saying: "The growth of our French practice has been a strategic imperative for some time, and we are delighted to have someone of Jean-Dominique's calibre to help us meet the growing demand from clients for French real estate advice."

Norton Rose has hired Barclays Capital in-house lawyer Dean Naumowicz as a partner in its international securities team. Naumowicz was previously a director at Barclays who focused on derivatives and worked in emerging markets. Naumowicz will work with former Lovells derivatives and securitization partner Laurence Garside, who joined the team last August, Tak Matsuda, who joined as a debt capital markets partner from Allen & Overy last September and structured finance and securitization partner Sandrine Sauvel, who joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in November.

Michael Diaz has joined Deutsche Bank's trust and securities services group after having spent six years as a vice president at Wilmington Trust. Diaz is responsible for selling SPV administration in Delaware and in a variety of other tax-efficient locations. The new hire will be working in the bank's New York office. Diaz reports to Global Head of Sales William Webbe, who is based in Jersey, Channel Islands.

Following the acquisition of Four Seasons Health Care by Delta Commercial Property, healthcare securitizations Tiara Securities and PHF Securities will be subject to a tender buyback. Four Seasons Healthcare was acquired at the beginning of the month from previous owner Allianz Capital Partners in a deal worth GBP1.4 billion ($2.6 billion). According to market reports, Four Seasons has no plans to separate the operating and property constituents of the company or to initiate a sale leaseback of the properties. The tender offer, which expires on Sept. 28, involves buying all the notes. Noteholders can also vote to add a call option to redeem any notes not accepted under the buyback.

Fitch Ratings announced that is has published its finalized methodology incorporating SMARTView into its U.S. structured finance ratings methodology for the deals that it monitors. SMARTView is currently available for Fitch-rated U.S. CMBS transactions, with the remaining structured finance asset classes to follow. Together with the SMARTView launch, the rating agency tagged 51 U.S. CMBS deals among its $415 billion-rated universe as Under Analysis.' This indicates that Fitch will be issuing a rating action within 30 days. There were 367 CMBS deals that were designated with today's date, indicating that no immediate action is necessary. "SMARTView will provide evidence to the investor community that Fitch is actively monitoring each deal on a continuous basis," said Mary MacNeill, a managing director at the rating agency.

ProLogis European Properties, the real estate fund, announced last week that it is looking to raise 829 million ($1.04 billion) through an IPO, which would dilute the stake of the 21 institutional investors who currently own the majority of the company. Its Denver-based parent company ProLogis will retain the 24% stake in the business it currently owns and will continue to manage the fund. The floatation, which may reportedly values the firm at 2.8 billion, will be the biggest in the European property market since Canary Wharf's in 1999. In total, the fund currently owns over five million square meters of distribution facilities in 11 European countries. The European subsidiary is the originator in the pan-European Industrial Properties securitization series (four deals) that have a total of 1.1 billion in bonds outstanding.

Citibank economists said last week that the German Finance minister's Peer Steinbreck proposal to introduce German REITs retroactively could see this paper introduced to the market before 2008. Steinbreck said that he would work hard to introduce G-REITs by January 1, 2007. He admitted that the schedule for the law-setting process would be tight to enact the law in January. However, he said that even with a later approval of the G-REIT legislation, the instrument could be introduced retroactively by January 2007, Citibank explained.

WMC Mortgage Corp. plans to begin extending mortgage offers to Canadians planning to buy homes in Mexico. The Pasadena-based mortgage lender, a unit of GE Capital, recently began lending to U.S. borrowers heading South for a new home. Amy Brandt, WMC's chief executive, said she is fairly certain WMC is the only U.S.-based lender offering mortgage financing to U.S. borrowers looking to buy Mexican real estate. She added that the quality of loans - which have largely been made out to baby boomers looking for second homes - is like a "dream pool."

The Senate Banking Committee reportedly said it would hold a hearing Sept. 26 on the proposed Basel II capital accord. Scheduled witnesses for the hearing, which was announced midweek, include Federal Reserve Board Governor Susan Bies and Comptroller of the Currency John Dugan. ASR sister publication American Banker reported that the proposal came under fire last week from House lawmakers, who expressed concerns about the differences between the U.S. and European versions would hurt U.S. banks' competitiveness.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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