Bank of America has reportedly let go Charles Bingham, head of loan syndications for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as it works towards its goal of reducing its head count by 35,000 following its acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Bingham was one of roughly 1,900 BofA and Merrill employees cut in London. Their departures comes just after BofA cut two top Merrill guys from its Asia-Pacific debt capital markets team: Ajay Sawhney, head of Asian leveraged finance, and Jon Pratt, head of Asia debt capital markets outside Japan and Australia. Other top Merrill people to have left recently include the firm's former head of U.S. leveraged finance Greg Margolies, who joined Ares Management. He is now a senior partner and head of the capital markets group for the Los Angeles-based alternative asset manager.
Anthony "Buddy" Piszel was named chief financial officer and treasurer at First American Corp. Piszel was the former executive vice president and chief financial officer at Freddie Mac, where he started in November 2006. He left the company after it was placed into conservatorship in September 2008. Prior to the GSE, Piszel was the chief financial officer for Health Net, and before that, he held a number of senior financial positions at Prudential Financial. His final job at Prudential was senior vice president and corporate controller, lasting from 1998 to 2004. At First American, he will head up the financial reporting group, capital markets activities and investor relations.
New York-based illiquid asset marketplace SecondMarket plans to launch its markets for MBS, CDOs and certain limited partnership interests in 1Q09. The limited partnership interests that will be allowed when the platform is expanded will be in hedge funds, venture capital funds, and private equity funds, the firm said. SecondMarket provides a free online trading platform that uses a proprietary matching algorithm to connect buyers and sellers, with bidding on listed assets restricted to qualified institutional buyers and accredited investors. The platform also offers access to research and market activity information. The company has traded $1 billion face value of securities since 2004, including auction-rate securities, bankruptcy claims and illiquid blocks of restricted securities in public companies.
Broadpoint DESCAP, the MBS/ABS security trading division of Broadpoint Capital, has launched a new repurchase desk and expanded its structured products group. The repurchase desk will be headed by Joanmarie Pusateri, a former Bear Stearns managing director. Before joining Broadpoint, she worked for 22 years at Bear Stearns, focusing on fixed-income trade settlements. In 2003, Pusateri joined Bear Stearns Asset Management, where she was a managing director responsible for creating and managing a multibillion-dollar repurchase book for three fixed-income/structured product hedge funds. Broadpoint Capital is the broker-dealer subsidiary of Broadpoint Securities Group.
NewOak Capital appointed David Bigelow as managing director of marketing. The new appointee will be covering institutional clients such as pension funds, public funds, endowments, private equities and financial institutions. NewOak Capital is also launching a distressed long/short strategy investing in high-yield corporate and leveraged loans in a separate account format for its institutional clients, headed by Mark Pibl, managing director. Bigelow has 22 years of experience, most recently at Clinton Group, where he was product manager for the CDO program, handling negotiations, structuring, marketing and investor relations for ABS and corporate CDOs. At Radian Asset Assurance, he served as managing director/group head for the financial risk solutions unit that focused on structured products for banks, broker-dealers and exchanges. Before Radian, Bigelow structured and closed one of the first cash flow balance sheet CLOs as an executive director at CIBC Oppenheimer, where he also worked as a director in structured finance.
Credit Agricole S.A. and Societe Generale have signed a preliminary agreement to combine their asset management operations. This new entity will bring together the entirety of Credit Agricole Asset Management group, the asset management arm of Credit Agricole, and the European and Asian activities of Societe Generale's asset management business, SG Asset Management, as well as 20 % of TCW, its asset management subsidiary in the U.S. The combined entity will be the fourth largest asset manager in Europe and the ninth on a global basis. Ownership of the combined asset management businesses will be split between Credit Agricole (70%) and Societe Generale (30%). The new entity will have E638 billion ($826.2 billion) of assets under management, more than E1.8 billion of net banking income and E0.9 billion of gross operating income.
The first structured finance CDO from London-based New Bond Street Asset Management has hit an event of default. The $1 billion cash mezzanine structured finance deal, New Bond Street CDO I, defaulted when the issuer did not pay all of the interest due on the senior notes. The deal was originally closed July 13, 2006. IXIS Corporate & Investment Bank was the arranger. The company also manages the hybrid $200 million New Bond Street CDO II.
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