PACIFIC INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT CO. (Pimco) recently poached Brigitte Posch, a veteran of Latin American ABS, from her post as head of Latin American securitizations at Deutsche Bank. Jibing with the trend of i-bankers crossing to the buy-side, the move comes after a stint of slightly more than two years at the German bank. No word yet on her new position. A Pimco spokesman didn't return a call for comment. Before Deutsche, Posch spent six months at Ambac, and before joining the monoline, she worked for eight years at Moody's Investors Service.
GUGGENHEIM CAPITAL MARKETS has hired Lenny Blasucci, Matthew Perkins and Nicholas Smith. Blasucci specializes in ABS, with a focus on non-residential mortgage backed and other non-mortgage ABS. Before joining Guggenheim, he held roles at Clinton Group and Sherman Financial Group and began his career at Bear Stearns. Perkins' expertise is in investment banking, specializing in ABS. Previously, Perkins was co-head of the ABS group at Bear Stearns. Smith has extensive structuring and trading experience within the mortgage backed arena, primarily with residential products. Previously, he traded on Bear Stearns' ARM desk. The three will be based in the New York office.
FBR CAPITAL MARKETS has named Daniel Blood as senior managing director and head of debt capital markets. In his new role, Blood will oversee the origination and execution of all fixed-income securities either underwritten or through private transactions. Most recently, Blood served as the co-head of global debt capital markets at Bear Stearns, where he'd been for more than 18 years in numerous senior positions in investment banking and emerging markets.
WILMINGTON TRUST hired 12 staff members for its corporate client services business. The new hires specialize in administrative services for corporate debt issuances, corporate debt defaults, mergers and acquisitions including escrow services, corporate restructurings and other fiduciary and agency services. The new staff members include Julie Becker, Joe Clark, Peter Finkel, Frank McDonald, Tim Mowdy, Joe O'Donnell, Jeff Rose, Kristin Schillinger, Jane Schweiger, Nick Tally and Barbara Thomas. They will be led by Lon LeClair, who most recently headed a corporate products group for Wells Fargo.
WILLIAM BALLENT has joined Wrightwood Capital to lead its Western Region. Most recently, Ballent was regional manager for Merrill Lynch Capital, where he was responsible for structured and mezzanine lending in Texas and the Western United States. In 2007, Ballent and his team originated $1 billion in transactions, and as a founding member of Merrill Lynch Capital, he had a leading role in establishing strategy and providing overall direction to the real estate group. Before Merrill, Ballent was senior vice president and region manager at Heller Financial, where he worked with several members of Wrightwood Capital's executive team and was responsible for originating structured debt, floating-rate loans and mezzanine financing.
UNICREDIT GROUP appointed Andreas Bohn, Bernhard Brinker and Piergiorgio Peluso as co-heads of investment banking. They will report to Theodor Weimer, executive chairman of global investment banking. Bohn will be responsible for financing and principal investments. Peluso will be responsible for investment banking in Italy and Brinker will be responsible for investment banking in Germany and Austria.
HSH NORDBANK has hired Alexander Buehl for its London syndications team as a syndications manager. He reports to Hans Tamm, head of syndications at the bank. Buehl will have primary responsibility for syndicating projects in the infrastructure sector. He joins the bank from Helaba, where he worked as a manager in structured finance covering infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
STANDARD & POOR'S is requesting comments on a proposal to incorporate credit stability as an important factor in its ratings. The credit stability factor would measure an issuer or security's likelihood of experiencing significant adverse changes in credit quality under moderate stress, according to Chief Credit Officer Mark Adelson. The potential change would be implemented for six months. The framework is intended to function as a limiting factor on the ratings assigned to credits that S&P believes are vulnerable to exceptionally high instability. The change would likely not impact corporate and government ratings, but would affect ratings on derivative securities such as CDOs of ABS, constant-proportion debt obligations (CPDOs) and leveraged super-senior structures.
The FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. (FDIC) board approved a final covered bond policy statement. This decision should facilitate the development of the U.S. covered bond market by providing bondholders with expedited access to collateral if the FDIC declines to continue the covered bonds after a bank failure. The final statement comes after an earlier one published on April 23, which received widespread support from national banks, federal home loan banks, industry groups and individuals, according to the release. The supporters favored the clarification as to how the FDIC would treat covered bonds in the case of a conservatorship or receivership. Some market participants were disappointed with the final version. "Like new socks on Christmas morning when you were expecting the latest model bike (or, for adults, a new flat-screen TV) - the policy statement dashed all expectations," said commentary from the law firm Morrison and Foerster (MoFo). According to MoFo, although the statement did not go as far as market participants had hoped, the FDIC addressed the status of actual compensatory damages, which was needed. The FDIC also left the door open for future revisions when it stated that it might change the limitation on issuances as the market develops and may also reconsider the limits placed on the composition of cover pools. The final policy statement is a compromise. It reflects the FDIC's efforts to balance interest in the development of the covered bond market with regulatory concern that the issuances promote "liquidity for well-underwritten mortgages. This cautious approach is unlikely to do much for the market," MoFo said.
In other FDIC news, the agency granted Cerberus Capital Management lead ownership of GMAC's Utah bank for ten years, according to published reports. The decision allows GMAC, the financing arm of General Motors Corp., to raise funds at competitive rates at a time when its ability to access credit markets is constrained by higher borrowing costs and scarce availability of capital. When Cerberus and its co-investors bought a 51% GMAC stake in 2006 from General Motors, the FDIC had imposed a moratorium on the approval of banks owned by non-financial companies to allow Congress to debate the issue of mixing banking and commerce. However, the FDIC's decision was based on General Motor's restructuring, and GMAC and Cerberus agreed to satisfy one of several conditions by November, which include to sell GMAC Bank, to have the bank cease using FDIC insurance, or to register as a bank holding company.
The SENATE BANKING COMMITTEE has agreed to hold a hearing on the failure of IndyMac Bancorp, according to published reports. Senator Charles Schumer of New York requested the hearing in a July 13 letter to the panel's chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., citing the regulatory issues that IndyMac's failure raises. The bank was shutdown on July 11 by regulators. Additionally, the Associated Press reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking at IndyMac for possible fraud in connection with its mortgage loans. The newswire said the investigation is focused on the company as a whole and not on certain individuals.
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