Bear Stearns Asset Management
BSAM won plaudits for its smarts and innovation. Its credit derivative product company, led by Ralph Cioffi, was the first to hit the Street and sent competitors racing to investigate copycat structures. "They have a very good strategy and they're smart," summed up one collateralized debt obligation desk head.
BlueMountain Capital Management
The fund's traders have been active in the fledgling loan credit-default swaps market this year, pushing for standardization and documentation. The trading effort led by Jeremy Barnum
, head of credit trading, it is regarded as the best on the Street at cash and credit-default swap basis trading. "They are far above anyone else," commented a CDS sales head.
Principals Tim Frost
, David Littlewood
and Robert Pierce Jones
are noted as the heavyweights behind this still-young fund. It has a reputation for strong trading experience and for not shying away from complex structured deals, and it was the first manager to take on a public leveraged super senior deal this year. "By far the best road-showing outfit we have seen," said one investor.
Head of collateralized debt obligations Dagmar Kent Kershaw and her team managed the first rated equity CDO tranche with Lehman Brothers this year. Credibility with traditional asset managers also adds to their cachet, alongside good management and structuring skills.
Fortis, led by head of European structured finance Cian O'Carroll
, is regarded as an up-and-comer and a creative collateralized debt obligation manager. The group, with Fortis Bank
, issued the first long/short synthetic CDO squared this year.