ABS East day one: Breaking records, breaking tradition
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ABS East 2023

ABS East day one: Breaking records, breaking tradition


More people are this year's ABS East than ever before as financiers get creative

The US structured finance market has descended on the Fontainebleu like never before this week — and GlobalCapital’s ever-intrepid reporters have uncovered the numbers to prove it.

Our sources tell us that just shy of 5,000 people are onsite on Monday, more people than have attended an ABS East conference ever before — even if you take numbers from across all three days of past conferences. What’s more, over 5,700 people have registered for IMN and FINN’s annual Miami gathering, around 200 higher than ever before, suggesting attendance will grow further on Tuesday.

All this in the midst of what is hardly a stellar year for securitization, with CMBS, RMBS and CLO markets, in particular, enduring slow years issuance-wise. Only ABS can boast a year-to-date run-rate comparable to last year.

Sure, this isn’t the fault of securitization itself; credit market conditions are tough more broadly. But what can explain the bumper turn-out? (Not all of you can be here to take a pic with IMN’s inflatable flamingo or to play GlobalCapital’s mini golf game, surely?)

It probably speaks to the asset-backed securities’ industry’s ability to get creative.

On one hand, issuers are turning to private markets more than ever before, with banks and investment firms willing and able to come up with bespoke financing structures. As one CMBS veteran said, “deals are getting more and more esoteric”.

On the other, asset managers themselves are broadening their scope given the pullback of commercial banks. Private credit, the subject of Monday morning’s panels, goes way beyond the LBO financings that grab the headlines — and asset-backed deals are an important part of this. Conversations and negotiations that would previously have happened in the meeting rooms of commercial banks across the country are now happening at conferences like this one between borrowers and private lenders.

Moreover, with new issue volumes down, some institutional investors are being more active in their hunt for portfolios to purchase from mortgage and loan originators, said one RMBS issuer. What better place than ABS East?

Before we go, the update you’ve all been waiting for: the leader board at the GlobalCapital putting comp. After Kevin Toohey at JPM made the morning running with 25 consecutive shots, DBRS Morningstar has had strong showings from both Stephanie Mah and Larry White. Yet at the end of day one, it’s Tyler Isola of the State of Michigan Treasury who’s in the lead, after a stunning 29 consecutive putts.

Prizes on offer both for whoever holes the most putts by the end of Tuesday, but also a prize draw for every participant. So get down to stand 13 if you’ve not already!

See you on the dance floor...

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