Merrill Lynch ABS trader Matt Swaski is no longer with the bank. A source close to the company said he has been gone for several weeks and was not aware if he had yet moved to a new firm. Calls to Merrill Lynch for comment were not returned by press time.
Investment advisory firm Angeles Investment Advisors hired Justin Han as a research analyst. Han will be primarily responsible for hedge fund research. He comes to Angeles from UBS' San Francisco office, where he was part of the housing finance group, providing quantitative analyses for the origination of MBS and whole loan mortgage revenue bonds.
The Tygris Commercial Finance Group named Lawrence G. Hund its chief financial officer. Hund will oversee all of Tygris' treasury, accounting, tax, planning and analysis, and financial operations. He will be a member of the Tygris executive committee and will report to Frederick Wolfert, chief executive officer of the firm. Before Tygris, Hund was vice president and chief financial officer of Bridge Finance Group. He was previously vice president of operations and chief financial officer at Harley- Davidson Financial Services and served in various senior leadership positions, including executive vice president and controller at Heller Financial. He began his career at Arthur Young & Co.
Deutsche Bank Securities hired Peter Hornick for its institutional client group (ICG) within the global markets division, as a managing director and head of credit sales for North America. Hornick is based in New York and oversees distressed debt, convertible bond, high grade, high yield and structured product sales groups. Hornick joins from Lehman Brothers and reports to Lou Jaffe, managing director and head of ICG debt sales for the Americas. Hornick joins the bank after six years at Lehman Brothers, where he was most recently global head of the CDO group, overseeing trading, sales and research. Before that, he was global head of levered credit sales. Before joining Lehman, Hornick was a derivatives trader at Merrill Lynch in New York and London.
Schulte Roth & Zabel International hired Nick Terras as a partner in its investment management group, which includes private investment fund lawyers Daniel Shapiro and Christopher Hilditch. Terras advises on the establishment and structuring of alternative investment funds (including hedge funds, private equity funds and funds of funds) and UCITS funds (including exchange-traded, derivatives-based funds), the structuring of investment products based on hedge fund strategies, related structured finance transactions, and corporate matters. His clients include leading investment funds, European and U.S. investment banks, and proprietary and structured products' trading platforms. Before joining Schulte Roth & Zabel, Terras was a partner in the London office of McDermott Will & Emery.
Deutsche Bank has hired five professionals, all former Lehman Brothers employees, for its financial institutions group, the bank said today. The additions include William Curley, a managing director at Lehman and founder of Cohane Rafferty Securities, and Anthony Viscardi, who worked at Lehman for 20 years. Both will be managing directors in Deutsche's FIG group, and they will be responsible for mortgage finance sector coverage. They are based in New York. At Lehman, Curley headed up the firm's mortgage banking advisory practice. He has more than 19 years of investment banking experience and founded Cohane Rafferty, a boutique investment bank that advised mergers and acquisitions in the mortgage banking industry. Lehman acquired Cohane Rafferty in 2002. Viscardi was a managing director in Lehman's financial institutions group, where he covered the nonbank finance sector. Deutsche also hired Matthew Monahan, who joins as a director and was a senior vice president in Lehman's structured asset solutions group, and Peter Salwin, who joins as a vice president working with the FIG team in both specialty and mortgage finance. At Lehman, Salwin worked in the firm's FIG group after joining as an analyst in 2000. Daniel Zimbaldi also joins Deutsche as a vice president, focusing on the mortgage finance sector, and Brendan Sheldon joins as an associate.
Smith Breeden Associates is now offering portfolio analysis and replacement manager services to plan sponsors with materially distressed MBS portfolios. Smith Breeden, a research-driven institutional global asset management firm, expects to work with plan sponsors in three distinct capacities: advisor on fundamental value and paydown mechanics; replacement manager for portfolios or structured vehicles; and manager of liquidation portfolios. Smith Breeden has already started to apply its proprietary modeling capabilities to the analysis of distressed MBS.
GMAC Financial Services expressed some doubt about its ResCap mortgage unit's future in preliminary 3Q08 results that showed that a substantial net loss at ResCap will probably be the main contributor to an even larger net loss for the firm as a whole. "Adverse market conditions have made it difficult for ResCap to maintain adequate capital and liquidity levels," GMAC said. "As a result, absent economic support from GMAC, substantial doubt exists regarding ResCap's ability to continue as a going concern." ResCap's projected $1.9 billion 3Q08 loss actually represents a relative improvement versus last year's $2.26 billion drop, but overall, GMAC's preliminary $2.5 billion 3Q08 loss this year is more than last year's $1.6 billion 3Q08 net loss for the mortgage firm as whole.
Arrangements for managing the U.K. government's shareholding in banks subscribing to its recapitalization fund were announced last week. The government's investments will be managed on a commercial basis by a new arm's-length company, U.K. Financial Investments (UKFI), which is wholly owned by the government. Its overarching objectives will be to protect and create value for the taxpayer as shareholder, with due regard to financial stability and acting in a way that promotes competition. UKFI will work to ensure that management incentives for banks in which it has shareholdings are based on maximizing long-term value and restricting the potential for rewarding failure. It will also oversee the conditions of the recapitalization fund, including maintaining, over the next three years, the availability and active marketing of competitively priced lending to homeowners and small businesses at 2007 levels. Membership of the UKFI board will include a private sector chair, three non-executive private sector members, a chief executive and two senior government officials from the HM Treasury, and a shareholder executive. Sir Philip Hampton has agreed to become the UKFI's first chair and John Kingman will become chief executive. Both will take upthese positions shortly.
Standard & Poor's has assigned 'AAA' ratings for two French issuance programs: the >8 billion ($10.14 billion) HSBC Covered Bonds France and Credit Agricole's >35 billion program. In both cases, the debut issues, which had originally been planned for September and already received a preliminary 'AAA', had to be postponed. Under both programs, structured covered bonds are to be issued with a set-up similar to that of outstanding paper from already active issuers. The stream of new covered bond issuers also continues to grow in the U.K., Dresdner Kleinwort analysts said. Following recent new entrants Clydesdale Bank and Chelsea Building Society, Leeds Building Society has also launched its £1.25 billion ($1.94 billion) covered bond debut issue, which received a 'AAA' from Fitch Ratings. Overall, the Leeds issuance program has >7 billion in volume.
European commercial paper (ECP) issuance has continued to decline with the ABCP sector particularly hard hit, said Deutsche Bank analysts. Total issuance volumes are down 15% to $694 billion equivalent for the month, as market confidence remains fragile. ECP issuance is dominated by banks and public sector entities (45% and 35% of issuance respectively), with ABCP comprising a paltry 8%, down from a peak of 34% in July 2007. Sixty percent of issuance is concentrated in paper of duration of one week or less.
The recently nationalized U.K. buy-to-let mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley reported an increase in arrears, according to market reports. While B&B's branches and deposits were acquired by Spain's Santander, its £42 billion ($65.4 billion) mortgage loan book was taken over by U.K. taxpayers. Moody's Investors Service said that in 3Q08 mortgage loans that were three months in arrears at B&B's mortgage securitization vehicle Aire Valley Master Trust represented 2.3% of the loan portfolio. The figure compares with 0.8% a year ago and 1.45% in the previous quarter.
Fitch Solutions has collaborated with independent analytics provider NumeriX. NumeriX will be launching a new data adapter that supports Fitch Solutions' consensus pricing data for corporate, sovereign, loan and ABS credit derivatives (CDS), as well as CDS indices information. Because of this, NumeriX users will be able to leverage more credit data as they structure complex derivatives.
Deerfield Capital Corp. has withdrawn its asset management subsidiary, Deerfield Capital Management (DCM), from Fitch Ratings' CDO Asset Manager (CAM) rating program. The CDO manager's decision to leave the Fitch CAM rating program was a result of the company's near-term outlook for new issuance in the CLO market - a market that is the principal user of the CAM rating system - as well as its decision that the program does not justify the added expense of maintaining the rating. Deerfield continues to monitor the prospects for new CLO issuance and might contract with Fitch to be re-rated if market conditions warrant.
Mission Capital Advisors is now accepting bids for a portfolio of performing, sub-performing and nonperforming commercial mortgage loans that are secured by a variety of commercial real estate holdings in Florida, and carry a balance of more than $62 million. On behalf of an unidentified seller, the firm is first going to solicit indicative bids from prospective bidders for the purchase of an individual asset, any combination of assets, or the entire portfolio. The portfolio, according to a release, is divided into 16 single asset pools. This allows buyers to target specific assets by performance, collateral type or geography, based on their individual acquisition criteria. The real estate collateral consists of offices, retail space, luxury homes (ocean and golf), townhouses and developed residential lots, as well as oceanfront development land. Mission Capital Advisors is initially soliciting indicative bids by Nov. 19 with all final bids due on Dec. 9. The sale must be completed before Dec. 15, and investors will be required to finalize loan sale agreements before the final bid date.
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