UNIQA Alternative Investments, a Vienna-based manager of $1.2 billion in collateralized debt obligations and asset-backed securities, is readying a CDO of CDOs as well as making plans to significantly grow its business. Marcus Klug, managing director, says the firm is looking to launch the CDO in September, with an eye to launch a CDO of ABS next year as well as make some new hires.
The $500 million CDO, called Stanton CDO I, will be comprised of mainly U.S. investment-grade CDOs, but will be allowed to invest up to 5% in European CDOs. Klug says he is investing in U.S. CDOs because there is more choice of collateral, whereas there are only about 20 European investment-grade CDOs. UNIQA has started marketing the deal's senior notes and plans to launch the deal in the first week of September.
UNIQA is also looking at a CDO of ABS as another part of its plans to grow its business. Klug says a CDO of ABS is not planned until next year and will invest in European collateral. A CDO of European ABS is interesting to UNIQA because there is still a good arbitrage opportunity in mezzanine notes. UNIQA has a $188 million U.S. CDO of ABS called Aspen.
Currently, UNIQA's CDO/ABS team is nine-strong, including seven portfolio managers. Klug says the firm is in the market to make two new hires next year. One hire will be an analyst to cover asset-backeds and the other will be a quantitative expert to handle risk management.