Monday, March 4, 2013

Key ASF boardmembers resign over dispute

Key ASF board members resign over dispute with Tom Deutsch, the executive director. My favorite quote from the Bloomberg article was the "who spoke on condition of anonymity because the dispute isn't public"... mmmkay.

He had to know this was coming, and has already faced a prior defections from other board members who were concerned with things such as transparency, executive pay, and supervision over executive decisions. At some point you need to step aside when key members of your organization are quitting over a failure to communicate effectively with you. I'd be interested in others' thoughts, but from my outsider point of view, it seems like it might time for Deutsch to pull the golden parachute and float to safety.

Is the conference canceled?


crabsofsteel said...

interesting aside: from ASF's website, Mark Adelson (the Chief Credit Officer at S&P who initiated the downgrades on super-senior CMBS) warns about a housing bubble in 2005

crabsofsteel said...

Former ASF members to form new group; Tom Deutsch responds - UPDATE
Story About 20 former American Securitization Forum members are in advanced talks to form a new securitization trade and advocacy group that will be called the Structured Finance Industry Group, or SFI for short, according to a Wells Fargo spokesperson, two other people familiar with the matter and an industry lobbyist.

The new group's formation could be announced as early as this week, though the announcement may slide into next week given the complexities involved in getting 20 separate companies on the same page quickly, according to one of the people familiar. In any event, the SFI has already incorporated, according to the lobbyist. Debtwire ABS first reported that a new group was likely last week (see article, 4 March).

Meanwhile, ASF Executive Director Tom Deutsch said his trade association will continue on, regardless of the defections. “ASF continues to work diligently on the pressing advocacy matters facing the structured finance markets, including preparations for the wave of Dodd-Frank rule implementation on the horizon,” Deutsch said in an emailed statement Tuesday afternoon.

The SFI's founding members will be the same firms that resigned their ASF board seats and memberships on 1 March following a dispute with Deutsch, according to the first person familiar. According to the person, those companies include Bank of America, Deloitte Services, Discover Financial, Goldman Sachs, GM Financial, Moody's, Wells Fargo and PNC, all of whom have confirmed that their companies resigned their ASF board seats and memberships. Wells has further confirmed that it is involved in forming the new group.

The new group's members also include Amherst Securities, the Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft law firm, Credit Agricole, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, Fitch Ratings, Ernst & Young, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale and Wilmington Trust, according to the first person familiar. Spokespeople at the firms either did not immediately respond or declined to comment.

The new Structured Finance Industry Group is trying to get up and running quickly due to the large amount of advocacy the securitization industry requires, the first person said. Regulations in progress at the moment include the "Qualified Residential Mortgage" rule, changes to the SEC's Regulation AB and the "Franken Amendment" rating agency assignment proposal, not to mention eminent domain, the person said.

The SFI's formation may be announced with an executive director in place. Given the diverse interests of the group, it could take a while to settle on a person, the buysider said. Sifma Managing Director Chris Killian would be a good candidate for the job, the lobbyist said. Killian worked for the ASF while it was a part of Sifma, and has since worked in Sifma's MBS and Securitized Products division. A Sifma spokesperson did not immediately respond.

The former ASF board members are also reaching out to the ASF's member firms about joining the SFI, the first person said. It is likely that many of those existing ASF members will join the new group, the person said.

Indeed, the new group raises questions about the future of the ASF. But Deutsch wasn’t giving any ground. “With over 300 members, including issuers, investors, dealers, and many, many others, ASF represents the breadth and depth of the structured finance markets,” Deutsch said in his statement.

The ASF’s website remains up, touting a 16 May ASF Policy Summit in New York and other coming events.

Moreover, the ASF is rumored to still have some USD 10m in member funds, the buysider said.

A representative of the New York Grand Hyatt confirmed that the ASF Policy Summit is still scheduled for 16 May.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting...

crabsofsteel said...

The thing is, other than stuff like data standards and industry boondoggles, I don't see how these guys matter much. It's not like they actually stepped up to the plate and said, we are as a whole responsible for all the bad deals which were done using bad collateral and flawed ratings models. All they seem to want is to start it up all over again.

crabsofsteel said...

Don't know if you folks saw that MSC 2007-HQ13 A2 A3 and A1A will be shorting interest, and AM down will be getting nothing at all, for the next several months. It seems that Wells Fargo wants their advances back, after it was revealed that there was indeed damage from Sandy.