05/21/2010

BTIG Lands Castro for Securitization Effort

New York brokerage firm BTIG has hired industry veteran Dan Castro to help build up its structured-product sales-and-trading business.

Landing Castro is something of a coup for BTIG, a longtime equity-market player that has been working for the past 18 months to gain a foothold in the securitization industry. Indeed, sources said his arrival gives the firm instant credibility among market makers and investors.

Castro is best known as the one-time head of asset-backed securities research at Merrill Lynch, though for the past five years he has worked on the buyside as a structured-product portfolio manager. He starts at BTIG on May 24 as a managing director charged with setting up a unit dubbed structured-finance analytics and strategy, reporting to global fixed-income co-head John Purcell.

In addition to analyzing bonds and writing research reports, Castro's team will work closely with BTIG's structured-product sales and trading operations to build relationships with other market players. Castro himself will play a key role advising institutional investors on trades and portfolio management.

He will begin staffing his new unit with three former colleagues who haven't yet been disclosed. They are expected to join BTIG shortly. Soon after, a quantitative analyst will join the team to develop trading methods.

Castro started as a structured-finance analyst at Citicorp in 1986. He then spent four years at Moody's before joining Merrill, where he worked for 14 years.

After leaving Merrill in 2004, Castro moved over to the buyside, first at GSC Group and then at Huxley Capital. He was a principal at New York-based Huxley from June 2008 until April - when he left with several job offers in hand.

Among other things, Castro oversaw Huxley's risk-management operation and helped run a fund that invests in bonds issued under the Federal Reserve's now-shuttered Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility. He is also a board member of the American Securitization Forum.

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