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Issuers and investors hit Miami in droves for ABS East

By Graham Bippart
16 Sep 2015

The heat was very much on in Miami, where IMN registered more than 4,000 attendees for its 21st annual ABS East conference, held at the Fontainebleau in Miami Beach this week.

The spectre of a possible interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve on Thursday — the first in 11 years — did not keep investors, bankers and issuers from coming in droves.

IMN had registered about 4,100 attendees on the first day of the event, including 2,150 issuers and investors, according to the organiser. Those registration figures represent a headcount increase of 400 from last year’s numbers, and a jump of 600 from 2013.

CLO market participants continue to be a surging cohort of the attendance base here. Nearly 450 registered attendees are focused on the CLO market — the biggest slice by asset class by nearly 100, overtaking MBS and consumer loan ABS focussed professionals. 

IMN has also added another 10 sponsors to the event, this year, bringing the total to 120 — including seven lead sponsors to last year’s four. Missing from that list this year is big hitter JP Morgan, who seems to be throwing its name into the sponsor’s list on a once-every-other year basis. But Citi, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo all threw in for top branding this year.

Panels in the city where the heat is on…

Marketplace lending and single-family rental securitizations were, of course, also big on the list of themes this year. Last year’s conference had a track dedicated to the sector. This year, three sessions are dedicated to peer-to-peer, as IMN plans to launch its first marketplace lending focussed conference this October in New York.  

Peer-to-peer market participants Funding Circle, Circleback, Orchard Platform, Petra Partners all featured on panels on marketplace lending. Lending Club sent seven delegates to the event and SoFi sent five. OnDeck, Prosper, Kabbage and Upstart all sent delegates to Miami Beach, as well.

Unsurprisingly, regulation and the residential mortgage market were prominently featured themes at this year’s conference: four of the seven keynote speakers came from US regulatory agencies. Robert Fishman and Edward Demarco of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and James Lockhart III and Armando Falcon from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight all spoke at this year’s event. 

Other keynote speakers included David Applegate, chief executive of Common Securitization Solutions, spoke on a panel alongside Fishman, Renee Schultz, senior vice president of Fannie Mae and Mark Hanson, senior vice president at Freddie Mac, on the topic of the government sponsored enterprise’s joint effort to create a single mortgage-backed security shelf to finance single family mortgage loans (see related story).

Brand new to the ABS East agenda was Wednesday’s panel on Women in Securitization (see related story). Patricia Evans of Wilmington Trust moderated a discussion with big hitters from MetLife, Citi, Volvo and Katten Muchin Rosenman. 

…and, of course, parties

No less a focus for attendees than panels and panellists, of course, was the parties.

Corelogic was once again throwing its bash on a boat, just outside in the Fontainebleau marina aboard the Biscayne Lady on Thursday, while Credit Suisse lived it up at LIV, the Fontainebleau’s own famous nightclub — once named one of the top 10 in the world by Reuters.

RBC hosted at Vita, Morgan Stanley at Soho Beach House, and BNY Mellon at Delano, all on Thursday.

Read our daily coverage here

By Graham Bippart
16 Sep 2015