Trapeza Funding, a joint venture between Cincinnati-based Financial Stocks and Philadelphia-based Resource America, is originating its first ever collateralized debt obligation in a $300 million trust-preferred deal set to close November 19, according to a CDO market official. Neither money manager has issued a CDO before, says this market official. But, because both buy-side firms specialize in investing in small financial institutions and banks, they are said to have the required bank relationships to manage the trust-preferred assets that back the deal. Trust-preferred securities are issued by trusts that are wholly owned subsidiaries of banks. From a regulatory perspective, they allow banks to raise tier one capital. Credit Suise First Boston is the underwriter for the deal, which marks its entrance into the trust-preferred securities CDO market. Chris Ricciardi, head of structured credit products at CSFB, did not return calls. Philip Schultz, senior v.p. at Financial Stocks, did not return calls. Steven Kessler, cfo at Resource America, says that the deal marks "an opportunity to work with our bank partners" as small-size banks get a cost efficient source of funding in pooling together these trust preferred securities via a CDO.
The triple-A rated floating notes were priced at six-month LIBOR plus 78 basis points. The double-A tranches were priced at 120 basis points over LIBOR. The triple-B rated notes were sold at LIBOR plus 265 basis points.