Diane Lam, Financial Security Assurance
|Name: Diane Lam|
Institution: Financial Security Assurance
Date of hire: February 2005
Title: Director for Asia
Previous job before hire:
Head of structured finance ratings for Asia Pacific ex-Japan, Standard & Poor's, Hong Kong
Years in capital markets: 10
Favourite deal worked on: Securitisation of Cosco's overseas receivables (Cosco's second securitisation)
Lives in: Singapore
Heroes: Bill Gates, Winston Churchill
Diane Lam is a well known figure in the close-knit world of securitisation in Asia. For seven years she was head of structured finance ratings for Asia Pacific ex-Japan at Standard & Poor's (S&P) in Hong Kong.
When S&P decided to reorganise, Lam was snapped up by Financial Security Assurance Inc (FSA), which was looking for someone to consolidate and build the firm's presence in the region. FSA is a monoline rated triple-A by all three international rating agencies.
"It was a big move after so many years at S&P," says Lam, "FSA offered some exciting new challenges, not just in securitisation but across the whole array of structured finance and structured credit products."
As director for Asia, Lam also heads and oversees the activities of FSA's Singapore branch. She is responsible for a broad range of transactions originated in Asian countries, including asset backed and residential mortgage securities, collateralised debt obligations, public and infrastructure financings.
Lam is now focused on expanding FSA's penetration in the region.
"We like complexity, we understand risks and we like situations where we can bring value," she explains.
"In these markets in the region we see that there are plenty of opportunities for us, especially in the cross-border securitisation arena where we can offer economic execution and, increasingly, assist originators to tap new groups of investors."
Lam sees FSA's role as a facilitator to global investors and issuers alike as they expand their geographical horizons beyond the developed market in which they have operated for so long.
Hailing from Canada, Lam is enjoying her move from Hong Kong to Singapore.
"Although flying to north Asia and Japan is rather longer than from Hong Kong, Singapore is a lovely place — it is extremely clean, very safe and comfortable and everything works," she says.