American Securitization Forum Splits From SIFMA
The securitization advocacy group, the American Securitization Forum, is parting administrative ways with the global trade body, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). "The Forum will now function as a completely independent organization exclusively focused on serving its members and all facets of the securitization markets, as well as the critically important task of restarting the vital flow of credit to American consumers and businesses," read a statement from the ASF board today. In another statement, the ASF added, "we unanimously selected Tom Deutsch to be the Executive Director of the American Securitization Forum after a comprehensive search process." Deutsch served as the deputy executive director previously. Formed in 2002, the ASF is author of “Project RESTART,” an initiative in the secondary market geared toward restoring investor confidence in mortgage- and asset-backed securities. Recent actions within Project RESTART include a final release of residential MBS disclosure and reporting packages. The forum also created a loan-level tracker for bonds, called LINC. The ultimate goal being to increase transparency to an extent where investors are drawn back in to the market, but issuers are not overly stifled with regulation. Ralph Daloisio, Chairman of the ASF Board and a managing director for the French bank Natixis said, “The ASF is dedicated to restoring mortgage, consumer and small business credit to Main Street and our new organizational structure will help us exclusively focus on achieving that goal. Without question, the American economy requires a viable securitization market for maximum sustainable growth.” While the ASF maintains that its operations with SIFMA were always of an independent and strategic nature (emails from ASF staff often carried the sifma.org domain), the news will help the organization to develop its role as a central player in the US securitization markets. "Our new stand-alone structure will provide even more organizational focus on these fundamental goals,” said Deutsch. "I’m confident we’ll collectively succeed in reopening the securitization markets and getting the U.S. economy back on track.” Write to Jacob Gaffney.