SocGen closure makes securitization not so secure

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Société Générale has confirmed the closure of its Australian securitization department in Sydney. It's not a good sign if you're a securitization pro.

"The Securitization Department in Australia (only) was closed down on 23 January 2008. No other business lines in Australia were affected. The majority of the securitization team have been redeployed to other areas of the bank," SocGen communications manager Sally Trenchard-Smith told us.

"The department was closed due to the financial crisis triggered by the US sub-prime market. The securitization team was made up of 17 people," she added.

Recruiters note they have lots of structured finance experts on their books right now, and no jobs to put them into.

Mary Grant, principal consultant in Hudson's banking and finance division, says she is also aware that Citigroup and Commonwealth Bank have downsized their teams.

"I don't think anyone is going to be trying to get roles in securitization now. I would say it's highly unlikely there will be many jobs in debt issuance this year, certainly in the mortgage-backed area," she says.

Sandra Rowlingson, a senior consultant at Bluefin Resources, reports: "At the moment, there's not a lot happening in that space because of the sub-prime issue. I've got a lot of structured finance people on my books looking for jobs."

She continues: "Particularly in the area of securitization, there is absolutely no recruitment and a lot of people have got rid of their teams or have basically put them on hold into fund administration functions."

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