BMO Capital Markets is looking to add seven or eight associates and junior vice presidents to its securitization group, after seven executives, led by Pete Walsh, former co-head of origination and structuring, left to start the structured finance asset management firm Six Degrees Capital Management (see p.1). Forty-five professionals made up the securitization group before the eight ABS professionals announced their departures in late January. At press time, the investment bank had made offers to four candidates, who are expected to start at the bank between the latter half of February and the first week of March. Dave Kucera, who was co-head of origination and structuring with Walsh, now solely oversees that operation.

Mexico's BBVA Bancomer has decided it can no longer resist the vibrant MBS market. The investment bank has poached housing finance maven Luis Enrique de la Pena from Fitch Ratings' Monterrey office in a bid to grab a piece of this proliferating asset class. De la Pena will hold the title of vice president and relocate to Mexico City, where he will report to Adolfo Osorio, BBVA's head of Mexican structured finance. Osorio and his colleagues have so far stuck to infrastructure, arranging deals for toll road operators. Real estate has been De la Pena's province for the last five years at Fitch, where he rated transactions backed by construction bridge loans and mortgages. He joined Fitch five years ago, fresh from local university Instituto Tecnologico de Monterrey. With his new hire, Osorio said the shop also aims to move more aggressively into asset classes apart from mortgages and toll road financing.

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