Bank of America formed a new leadership structure within its corporate and investment bank. Brian Moynihan, president of global wealth and investment management, appointed four leaders to his team: George Ellison, global structured products and institutional client management, Mike Meyer, global fixed income; Ciaran O'Kelly, global equities; and Bruce Thompson, global capital markets. The four executives will report directly to Moynihan. This change in position follows an announcement earlier this year for Tom White, who transitioned from being head of global markets to managing the bank's trading of its own holdings. Meanwhile, Rich Prager, who previously led a group that included foreign exchange products, is leaving the bank.
Brian Lancaster has left his role as head of structured products research at Wachovia Securities to become head of portfolio strategy and chief investment officer of the bank's real estate division. Lancaster will be reporting to Bob Reid, head of real estate at the firm. This change was effective on Tuesday last week. Diane Schumaker-Krieg, current global head of research, will serve as head of structured products until a replacement is chosen. Senior structured product research analysts Tony Butler, Greg Laughton and Steve Mayeux will join Lancaster's team. The structured products research group will be adding a senior CMBS research analyst as well.
Yves Leysen, the head of fixed income at Bear Stearns, has left the bank for London-based Pamplona Capital Management, according to market reports. In her new position, Leysen is setting up a credit opportunity fund with GBP250 million in committed capital. The multi-strategy fund will focus primarily on European corporate and European ABS sectors. Leyson will start in August and the fund is expected to launch in September. Following Leyson from Bear is Sheil Aggarwal, formerly a European CLO and mortgage trader at the bank, and Joseph Pigott, who was co-head of Bear's leveraged loan warehouse and prop trading activities in Europe.
Vice chairman responsible for KeyCorp's national banking business groups Thomas Bunn will retire on Feb. 28, the company said Tuesday. Bunn joined KeyCorp in 2002 from Bank of America, where he worked for 23 years, serving as head of global debt capital markets in his last position.
The Loan Syndications and Trading Association (LSTA) appointed Meredith Coffey as senior vice president for research, communication and membership. In this newly created post, Coffey will be responsible for analyzing current and anticipated market developments, helping the LSTA build strategy, provide commentary and engage market participants, press and regulators on issues and developments in the global loan market. Coffey joins the LSTA from Thomson Reuters Loan Pricing Corp., where she was senior vice president and director of analysis focusing on the loan and adjacent markets. Her team at Reuters was responsible for developing analytics and research and providing market commentary. In her new role, Coffey will be responsible for broadening the LSTA's research and analytics on the market, while seeing that it is a non-partisan voice representing all loan market participants. She will also be responsible for the association's member relations and developments.
Advantus Capital Mana-gement has launched a high-yield mortgage investment strategy to be managed by Dean Di Bias. Di Bias joins Advantus from GMAC-RFC in Bloomington, Minn., where he was managing director and senior vice president of credit portfolio management. Executive vice president Chris Sebald said the current conditions in the mortgage securities market provide good timing for the investment strategy. In a company release, Advantus said that premiums to invest in the mortgage sector will remain attractive for some time, given the damage the housing downturn has done to the securitization market.
Fulbright & Jaworski has formed a global subprime and credit crisis practice group. The new group will comprise lawyers from various existing Fulbright practices worldwide and handle matters arising from the subprime crisis, including complex litigation, internal and governmental investigations and bankruptcy. It will also examine clients' internal policies and practices. Five co-heads from various offices within the firm have been appointed to the group: Rodney Acker, a financial institutions litigator in Dallas; David Barrack, a bankruptcy litigator in New York; Anne Rodgers, a securities and complex commercial litigator in Houston; Richard Smith, a white-collar defense and government investigations litigator in Washington, DC; and Chris Warren-Smith, a financial disputes and investigations lawyer in London.
Lewtan Technologies has promoted Jamie Harper as vice president of European, Middle Eastern and African regions (EMEA). As vice president, Harper will be responsible for running the London office in addition to business development within the EMEA. Before joining Lewtan, Harper held positions as head of sales and marketing at Thomson IFR, business development at Moody's RMS, sales and marketing director at IFex and senior vice president at Demica. At Lewtan, Harper has served as director of sales for the London office.
Radian Group has appointed Teresa Bryce as president of Radian Guaranty, the company's mortgage insurance subsidiary, effective immediately. Bryce is the current executive vice president, general counsel corporate secretary and chief risk officer for Radian. She will start her new role in the mortgage branch effective immediately. Bryce will report to S.A. Ibrahim, president and chief executive officer of Radian. David Applegate, whom Bryce will replace, has resigned from his position but will remain with Radian as a consultant for the foreseeable future.
Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey Kelly will retire from National City Corp. on Sept. 30. Kelly has also retired from the National City Board of Directors, effective immediately. Lines of business that previously reported to Kelly have been realigned. The National City Mortgage unit now reports to the company's retail banking segment, and National City's national commercial banking, capital markets and structured products businesses have been realigned under centralized commercial banking segment leadership. Beginning his career with the company in 1979, Kelly has served as management assistant in the bank's investment division, senior vice president overseeing investment and funding activities, executive vice president, chief funds management officer and CFO, among other positions. Kelly will continue as CFO until his retirement; a search has been initiated for his successor.
Wayne Hummer Asset Man-agement appointed William Gregg as managing director and director of fixed income. Gregg will help the Wintrust Financial subsidiary expand its investment product line and "fill out the array of products for our existing private clients," Wayne Hummer president Dan Cardell said in a statement. He joins Wayne Hummer with more than 24 years of trading and market-making experience. Most recently, he served as a senior portfolio manager for Peak6. Gregg was one of the original part-
ners of Springfield International Investments, a fixed income arbitrage hedge fund firm that grew to over $1.8 billion in assets. He also founded Windy Hill Asset Management in Lake Forest, Ill.
GFI Group has named Scott Wilson as head of structured credit products and Jim Higgins as head of North American credit brokerage. Previously, Higgins co-headed global credit trading at Citigroup in New York. In his new position, he will report to GFI president Colin Heffron. Wilson has been at GFI for five years and was responsible for new business development in structured credit. Wilson will report to Higgins. Eleven credit brokers have contracted to join GFI's credit brokerage operation in New York since mid-April. Four senior GFI derivative brokers also have transferred internally to GFI's New York credit operation.
Standard & Poor's last week lowered its credit ratings on Class F and G of the European CMBS deal Titan Europe 2007-3. Class G remained on Creditwatch negative while the Class E and F notes were placed on Creditwatch negative. The rating agency's main concern is the increased uncertainty about the borrower's ability to repay the Auric whole-loan principal balance in a timely manner when the loan matures in January 2009 and the increased potential for default of the Metro loan - the sole tenant of which went into administration - during the term or at loan maturity in January 2013.
Fannie Mae is increasing its commitment to buy small multifamily loans of up to $3 million ($5 million in certain markets). During the first half of 2008, it invested $20 billion in multifamily housing. The company plans to increase its participation in the seniors housing market as well. It provided more than $1 billion in financing for seniors housing during the first half of 2008 and has added to its staff in order to help serve more borrowers and meet a multi-billion-dollar production goal for the year.
The National Association of Realtors reported that its Pending Home Sales Index in May fell 4.6% to 84.7, which was below consensus expectations for a decline of 2%. Compared with a year ago, the index is down 14%. All four regions of the country were down, with the South showing the largest drop at 7.1% for the month and down 22.1% year-over-year.
Citibank subsidiary Student Loan Corp. (SLC) will cut 174 jobs as part of its restructuring plan, the company said last Wednesday. The cuts will be in various areas across the company. SLC cited severe market and economic conditions as well as Federal policy changes as the factors that caused the layoffs. The positions, which will be discontinued this August, are split between 146 SLC and 28 Citibank positions. The bank said it will provide human resources counseling, severance, and other benefits to the affected employees, as well as encourage them to apply to other Citi jobs where available.
The Federal Housing Au-thority (FHA) announced that it will begin expanding the qualifications for borrowers looking to refinance into an FHA loan starting the week of July 14. The government agency said it was lifting the requirement that borrowers be current on their loans for the past six months and will begin extending the program to borrowers who are at risk as a result of job loss or divorce.
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