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Best Securitization Bank of the Year - Guggenheim

By Max Adams
19 Jun 2020

Since inception in 2014, Guggenheim’s structured finance franchise has demonstrated a strong commitment to broadening the reach of securitization and capital markets financing to new issuers and new asset classes. The team, led by industry veteran Cory Wishengrad, is stocked with senior structured finance talent hired from firms up and down Wall Street. In six years, Guggenheim Securities has brought an astounding 65 new issuers to market and introduced 19 new asset classes. That track record continued in 2019 and secured the firm’s spot as GlobalCapital’s Best Securitization Bank of the Year.

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The bank’s reputation as a thought leader in structured finance makes it the first port of call for new names considering tapping the capital markets for funding. With over 400 investment bankers in the US, the Guggenheim team can draw from a wide pool of talent and relationships to extend securitization solutions to clients.

“When we look at what we accomplished last year, it’s the innovation that stands out. While we are a full service boutique investment bank, our focus is on leading with intellectual capital, not just financial capital,” said Cory Wishengrad, Head of Fixed Income.

Over the course of 2019, Guggenheim shepherded 12 new issuers through the process of structuring and executing their first securitization financings, introducing four new asset classes to the market. These include the first two deals backed by proved, developed, producing oil and gas wells, the first music industry whole business securitization, the first paired insurance policy deal and the first ABS backed by annuity commissions.

 “Our franchise cuts across more industry sectors than any other because of the way we are integrated with our industry coverage partners,” said Wishengrad. “Because Guggenheim prioritizes its structured products business as core to the firm alongside its leading M&A and Restructuring practices, we have the opportunity to create financing solutions for clients spanning different segments of the economy, unlike other banks that concentrate more exclusively on mortgages or financial institutions in structured finance.”

Guggenheim’s clients would agree. In 2019, the firm continued to strengthen its relationship with publicly-listed gym franchisor Planet Fitness, who issued a fresh round of $550m of whole business securitization debt, for a total of $1.75bn sold by the issuer and sole-structured and sole-led by Guggenheim. The relationship is a prime example of the bank’s long-term commitment to providing thoughtful solutions, structuring expertise and deep knowledge of the capital markets to its clients.

“The Guggenheim team provided a level of insight, creativity, and service that has given us a better capital structure from which to strengthen our franchise and future,” said Dorvin Lively, President of Planet Fitness.

Another banner transaction last year was Guggenheim’s work for Blackstone-owned music rights licensing company SESAC. Guggenheim acted as sole structuring advisor and sole bookrunning manager on their inaugural $560m transaction, securitizing roughly 127,000 revenue generating music license assets. The book was nearly three times oversubscribed, drawing demand from 25 unique investors.

“SESAC illustrates how we are the best-positioned firm to develop these innovative financing solutions,” Wishengrad said. “By bringing together our media and structured products expertise, we recognized that SESAC—which is not the most obvious candidate for securitization—is essentially an infrastructure business, and proposed the securitization to Blackstone.  We led an involved process to structure the financing, including moving employees to new legal entities and recycling operating companies into special purpose entities. Despite its novelty and complexity, the deal received investment grade ratings from both Kroll and Morningstar and generated substantial investor demand, creating a highly compelling capital structure for SESAC.”

Wishengrad attributes part of the firm’s success in securitization to its focus not only on creating new structures which enable issuers to finance their businesses more efficiently, but also at the same time creating attractive investment products, which offer strong risk-adjusted relative value.  Market participants in the investor community agree. 

“As we consider different asset classes to include in our portfolio, Guggenheim Securities offers in-depth experience and innovative solutions to help us achieve our investment goals,” said David Ells, managing director and portfolio manager in Ares’ Alternative Credit group.  “Guggenheim consistently provides differentiated investment opportunities in sectors and industries that are often new to securitization, making them a good partner for our Alternative Credit business.”

Another important key element of the franchise is its people. While Wishengrad was co-head of the securitization platform at Barclays and prior to that the head of esoteric ABS at Lehman Brothers, he has recruited a deep roster of top securitization bankers at Guggenheim. Other executives include former sector heads from Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank, Lloyds, Citi, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan, among others.

Overall, the competition and quality of presentations among banks pitching for this year’s award was intense, and the quality of service and expertise across the Street made the decision difficult. But ultimately, Guggenheim’s commitment to innovation, client relationships and broadening the reach of the securitization market made it a standout in the industry, and GlobalCapital is pleased to name Guggenheim Best Securitization Bank of the Year for 2019.
By Max Adams
19 Jun 2020