TIAA-CREF Asset Management has opened an office in London, its first international office. The new location will be staffed by local investment professionals who will extend TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate's activities in the U.K. and Europe to broaden the firm's access to new value-add and long-term investment opportunities. "This office will strengthen and enhance our global real estate platform in the United Kingdom and Europe, which will help us to continue to grow and actively manage our real estate investment portfolio in these markets and beyond," said Tom Garbutt, managing director and head of TIAA-CREF Global Real Estate.

Joanne Taylor was named chief operating officer of the Housing Development Fund (HDF) in Stamford, Conn. She has more than 20 years of experience in real estate restructuring, MBS, relationship management and management consulting, as well as commercial banking. Before joining HDF, Taylor previously served as vice president of insured portfolio management at MBIA Insurance Corp. She also held management positions at the former Chase Bank, now JPMorgan Chase, and the Mitchell Madison Group in New York.

The institutional securities business of Macquarie Group named Irfan Khan as head of structured products sales and Loretta Joseph as vice president of derivatives sales, both in India. Economist Rajeev Malik was tapped to expand product offerings in the country as well. Meanwhile, Anand Krishna will be chief financial officer of Macquarie's Indian operations. Before this, Khan was with Citigroup Global Markets in Australia. Joseph joins from Deutsche Bank, and Malik and Krishna were formerly at JPMorgan.

The steering committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association's (SIFMA) asset management group has elected its new leadership for 2008 and 2009. Richard Weil, managing director and chief operating officer of PIMCO, was elected chair of the group. Weil also serves on SIFMA's board of directors. Joan Binstock, partner and chief operations officer of Lord Abbett, was elected vice chair, and Mark Hemenetz, chief operating officer of Schroder Investment Management North America, was elected treasurer.

Katten Muchin Rosenman has created a credit crisis solutions group, which is a cross-disciplinary team assisting clients in leveraging the opportunities presented by current economic conditions. The new group, which will be co-chaired by partners Hays Ellisen and Anthony Paccione, who specialize in litigation and dispute resolution. The new group will consist of a distressed asset team and a credit crisis litigation team. The distressed team comprises attorneys practicing in structured finance and securitization, distressed debt trading, bankruptcy, real estate, financial services, corporate, public finance, tax and ERISA. Meanwhile, the credit crisis litigation team will include financial services litigation, structured finance and securitization, securities litigation, bankruptcy, real estate litigation and white collar criminal and civil litigation attorneys. Katen has also formed a covered bond team within its structured finance and securitization group. The team will be co-chaired by Ellisen and Eric Adams, who are New York-based partners and co-chairs of Katten's structured finance and securitization practice.

BNP Paribas hired Adnan Zuberi to run its structured credit desk in New York as part of an ongoing expansion of the French banking giant's credit markets business. Zuberi comes from JPMorgan, where he was an executive director in the bank's structured credit group. At BNP, Zuberi will report to Jerome Wong, the head of credit structuring for the Americas at the firm. BNP executives say they are positioning themselves for a recovery in the credit markets. At JPMorgan, Zuberi ran the structuring of North American real money accounts. Before that, he was with UBS's structured credit derivatives desk.

Other appointments at BNP last week included Sebastian Galy to the bank's foreign exchange strategy team in New York. Galy will head the foreign exchange research function covering global currency markets. He will also serve the bank's corporate, real and leverage-account client base. Galy reports functionally to Hans-Guenter Redeker, global head of foreign exchange strategy, and regionally to Christian Mundigo, head of fixed-income trading for the Americas. Galy joins from Dresdner Kleinwort in London, where he was senior currency strategist. Before that, he was at UBS, where he focused on global foreign exchange portfolio tactical asset allocation of its non-institutional base. Galy has also held positions at the Bank for International Settlements, in academia and as an analyst for the IMF for the CFA devaluation in Cameroon.

Mission Capital Advisors said that it is currently accepting bids for a portfolio of nonperforming commercial mortgage loans and Real Estate Owned (REO) properties. The loans are backed by commercial and residential real estate throughout the Southeast - including developed condominiums, retail, office, mixed-use, single-family residences, commercial and residential development land in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia - with a balance of more than $55 million. Mission said it is acting on the behalf of an unidentified Southeast bank client and will be soliciting bids for the purchase of an individual asset, any combination of assets or the entire portfolio. The portfolio is divided into 17 single asset pools, which investors can sort through to target specific assets by performance, collateral type or geography. Final bids are due Sept. 11, 2008, and the sale is expected to be completed prior to the end of the third quarter.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) said that newly originated loans to borrowers in high cost areas as defined in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (H.R. 3221) will qualify for incorporation into TBA eligible MBS. According to a SIFMA release, the association recommended that higher balance loans might comprise up to 10% of the total balance of a pool eligible for TBA delivery "to preserve the homogeneity and minimize liquidity disruption in this important market." The recommendation comes after the passage of H.R. 3221, which permanently increased the loan limits for high cost areas, up to a maximum of $625,550. The decision will be published in an updated version of SIFMA's Standard Requirements for Delivery on Settlements of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae Securities, also known as the Good Delivery Guidelines.

Babson Capital Management has officially closed two CLOs totaling $842 million, the company said last week. The CLOs, Babson CLO 2008-I and Babson CLO 2008-II, are 95% invested in senior secured bank loans. Merrill Lynch arranged the roughly $442 million Babson CLO 2008-I transaction, and Bank of America arranged the $400 million Babson CLO 2008-II. The collateral in both deals consists primarily of senior-secured sub-investment-grade corporate loans. Buyers included both U.S. and non-U.S. institutional investors.

(c) 2008 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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