Asset-and Mortgage-Backed Securities
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Goldman Sachs, New York
One manager of a very large West Coast book says "Tom is the MBS standard. Whatever I say cannot do justice to what he means to us." This buy-sider goes on to praise his knowledge "as a perfect balance between technicals and fundamentals." In addition, he says that Cornacchia "has the courage to stick with a trade." A hedge fund manager says that "Tom cuts through the 'traders rap' (that got e-mailed to us before the call phone lights up) and has the ability to bring the resources of his firm to us so that we can achieve our goals." Cornacchia won the Sales award in this category in 2002.
In respect to what Cornacchia does to help us make money, one investor says "he brings out the opportunities before it is just a matter of price. For example, there was a CMBS deal that Goldman Sachs was bringing that Tom wanted us involved in. Because we were early to the game, we were able to work with his firm in twisting the cashflow in a fashion that we thought would trade well in the secondary market. Because of this input, we bought a significant amount of bonds. He also creates a partnership between his desk and ours, where on many trades we share in the risk and reward with his firm."
Lehman Brothers, New York
A hedge fund manager says "Steve is very experienced" and has "high integrity." He continues that "Steve feels more like my advocate," as opposed to someone "who just pushes product," citing Mayer's familiarity with his trading style and inventory. Also of importance to this manager is Mayer's "honest opinion on Lehman's offerings."
One client of Mayer's says, "Steve in general has a very good understanding of the account and what we are trying to do. Just as importantly, he also ensures [Lehman's] trading desk learns the same." To give a specific example of Mayer's value to his firm, this investor says, "Steve was earlier than his competition in recommending low wala (weighted average loan amounts), Alt-A, and other prepay advantaged bonds as the refinance wave of 2002-2003 got under way. These trades worked out very well."
Deutsche Bank, New York
Lee, who specializes in swaps sales as well as MBS, is described as an "up and comer" by a total-rate-of-return manager. This manager points to what he terms Lee's "loyalty, trustworthiness and smarts." He does note that in a market dominated by "slick, marketer types," Lee is very direct. He also says that he continues to funnel business to him and his firm's various trading desks, "because he is very good."
Credit Suisse First Boston, New York
One manager of a bank's investment management arm describes Albano as "providing invaluable sales coverage in a year of extreme interest rate volatility," especially when liquidity and [accurate] information became scarce. He cites Albano's "placid demeanor and high degree of integrity," coupled with her coupling CSFB's research into original trade ideas, as key components of what he describes as an excellent business relationship between his firm and CSFB. In addition to recommending trades, she follows the trades through with excellent execution. An investor says that she uses her trader's and analysts well, giving her a keen insight into the relative value of pass-throughs versus structured securities. By way of example, he says Albano advocated moving out of agency pass-throughs into shorter duration ABS and private-label MBS in late June. When rates backed up and durations extended in late July, his firm avoided the sharp losses that the agency sectors experienced.