Joseph M. Donovan, a 23-year seasoned expert in the asset securitization business and chairman of ABS and debt financing at Credit Suisse, is planning to retire from the company by yearend.

The news took the ABS industry by surprise last week, as Donovan circulated a two-page email in which he enthused: "The ABS market has never been in better shape - the depth and breadth of the market, the liquidity, the knowledge and expertise from issuers on through investors is testimony to the strength of the U.S. capital market system."

Without detailing specific plans on the next phase of his life, Donovan said that he was moving on to focus on new endeavors.

Donovan joined Credit Suisse in 2000 as managing director and co-head of its asset finance business, as part of an aggressive recruiting sweep aimed at re-establishing Credit Suisse's market position as a top lead manager of ABS deals. The recruiting push, which swept up several professionals from Prudential Securities that same year, also served as a homecoming of sorts for Donovan. He was a managing director at First Boston before joining Smith Barney as its head of asset finance.

"He's a great guy - a thought leader and a great mentor," said a former Credit Suisse colleague. "He's got a wealth of experience in the issuer and investor sides."

Donovan was also a vocal member of the American Securitization Forum, where he served as an executive officer of its board of directors.

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

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