Wachovia Securities announced last week that Glenn Schultz has joined the firm's structured products research team as managing director and head of ABS and non-agency mortgage research. Schultz, who is based in Charlotte, N.C., reports to Brian Lancaster, managing director and head of structured products research. The new hire will also be working closely with Brian McManus, who heads the firm's CDO research team, on joint research in ABS CDOs. Schultz joins Wachovia from RBC Financial Group, where he managed the home equity loan ABS business. Before, he spent almost 10 years at JPMorgan/Banc One as head of residential ABS research and as a director of prepayment modeling and analytics.
Cohen & Co. has hired away another Merrill Lynch CDO staffer. Frank Viola has left Merrill, where he was a managing director and lead portfolio manager for the ABS CDO program at Merrill Lynch Investment Advisors. Viola joined Cohen, effective last week, as a managing director and ABS portfolio manager at Cohen's ABS CDO management unit Strategos Capital Management. The hire reflects Cohen's intent to grow its presence within the ABS CDO management space. Cohen Chief Executive Chris Ricciardi said last week that he anticipates the company to close at least eight ABS CDOs this year. Viola's departure from Merrill coincides with last week's completion of the merger of asset manager BlackRock and Merrill Lynch Investment Advisors.