Lay-offs in the securitization world are starting to hit emerging markets. Dresdner Kleinwort has apparently dismissed people in the Latin American structured finance team of the New York office, according to sources. Managing Director Enrique Bustamante, head of Latin America in the global finance division, is one of the departures, said sources. Bustamante had been active in Mexican existing assets, and had worked in the Latin American capital markets group in Merrill Lynch for nearly two years prior to starting up at Dresdner in May 2001. Surat Maheshwari, who was also a familiar face in emerging market securitizations as the head of private placements at Dresdner, was another casualty, according to sources. A Dresdner PR official in London declined to comment and e-mails to Bustamante and Maheshwari were bounced back. Sources said personnel based in Mexico hadn't been affected by the departures. A call and e-mail to a Mexican Dresdner banker weren't returned as of press time. Meanwhile, Moody's Investors Service has let go of Carlos Maymi, a senior credit officer who was a lead analyst for a few RMBS in Mexico. As of press time, there was also talk that South Africa's Standard Bank had let go of at least one person in their New York-based LatAm team, although recent hires on the ground in the region were still around. Calls to officials in the New York and Buenos Aires offices, and an email to a New York official, weren't returned as of press time.

Alec Crawford, formerly head of MBS strategy at RBS Greenwich

Capital, left the bank in early December, sources at the bank confirmed last week. Crawford spent more than three years at RBS Greenwich, which he joined after serving as managing director and head of mortgage and cross rates strategy for Deutsche Bank Securities. Before that, he was Morgan Stanley's chief mortgage strategist for about four years.

NovaStar Financial handed out the pink slip in lieu of bonuses to some of its employees this year. According to an 8-K filing over the Christmas holidays, Scott Hartman was "terminated" as chief executive officer of the company and resigned from the company's board of directors, which became effective last Thursday. Lance Anderson will replace Hartman as CEO as well as continue his responsibilities as director, chief operating officer and president. Gregory Metz was "terminated" as chief financial officer, also effective on Jan. 3. Rodney Schwatken, vice president in strategic initiatives, will take over Metz's responsibilities. In a press release last month, the company announced that Hartman and Metz had "left" the company.

European Commission unit Internal Market and Services (IMS) is putting together a white paper on mortgage funding. The project seeks to provide a framework for improving the competitiveness and efficiency of mortgage markets by facilitating the cross-border supply and funding of mortgage credit and by increasing the diversity of products available, according to Charlie McCreevy, the European Commissioner for the IMS. McCreevy made his remarks during a speech to the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Committee. The paper would also address a number of mortgage-related subjects such as land registration, property valuation and forced sales procedures. McCreevy said that the Commission plans to continue its analysis of the nature, the causes and the magnitude of the problems identified by both the Mortgage Funding Expert Group and the European Financial Markets Lawyers Group's working group on securitization.

Moody's Investors Service placed the C+' bank financial strength rating (BFSR) and the A1' long-term bank deposit and debt ratings of Bradford & Bingley on review for possible downgrade. The P-1' short-term debt and deposit rating was affirmed. Moody's said that the rating review will focus on the likely performance of the bank's specialized lending through the more difficult conditions that the U.K. mortgage market is now facing and the impact this may have on the bank's capital.

Societe Generale and Calyon have merged the brokerage activities of their respective subsidiaries, Fimat and Calyon Financial. The subsidiaries will operate under the name Newedge and will both execute and clear listed derivative products, according to the company, which hopes to arrange an IPO within 18 to 24 months. Marc Litzler, Calyon's chief executive officer, will be chairman of the new company. Philippe Collas, Newedge's vice chairman, is deputy chief executive officer of SocGen in its global investment management and services division. The two have been appointed for two years, after which the two leading positions will alternate between SocGen and Calyon. Newedge is based in Paris.

National City Corp. slashed 900 jobs in its mortgage lending unit and cut its quarterly dividend by 49% to $0.21 per share from $0.41 per share. Since August, the bank has eliminated or restricted production of non-agency eligible mortgage loans, reduced staffing by approximately 1,700 positions and exited all broker-based mortgage lending, including shutting down its wholesale mortgage division last week. Combined with the mortgage reductions already in place and those announced last week, the company has reduced headcount by a total of 3,400 positions, the bank said. National City Mortgage said it will continue to originate mortgages through its retail office network and via its 1,400 National City Bank branches.

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