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DNA Training & Consulting’s Oussama Nasr was retained to serve as expert witness in connection with a lawsuit filed in London’s Commercial Court by a European regional bank against a large UK-based investment bank, revolving around the alleged mis-selling of CDO-squared and related investments. Our mandate required us to provide a number of valuations for the investment’s inner- and outer-CDOs and for complex credit-linked notes containing non-standard trigger and settlement terms; to write a series of court reports for submission prior to trial and to respond to the similar reports from defendant’s expert witness; and to attend court for 3 days for cross-examination by defendant’s barristers.
This engagement fit perfectly Mr. Nasr’s background and skills as it enabled him to combine his university background in mathematics with his initial career as a securities lawyer and his subsequent career in securitization and as a trainer/consultant. Mr. Nasr is already on retainer on two other litigation matters involving fixed income markets and structured products.

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A premier commercial and investment bank in the Gulf hired us to design and deliver an intensive workshop on Structured and Project Finance, to include auto loan securitizations; future flow transactions backed by credit cards and worker remittances; infrastructure, petrochemical and power financings for projects; and inventory monetizations, each from the local, regional and international perspectives. Additional topics that were analyzed included the use of Islamic tranches in project finance, a review of key accounting, legal and regulatory issues in securitization, and an extensive examination of rating agency criteria. Several cases based on transactions from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries were written specifically for this workshop. Attending the workshop were product specialists and corporate bankers, in addition to several members of risk management, legal, credit policy and financial control.

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A 3-day workshop on Structured Credit Derivatives, delivered in June 2002 to the Italian branch of a leading French bank, included a comprehensive evaluation of all Italian and French public cash and synthetic transactions completed to date, based on a thorough review of each transaction's offering circular, rating agency pre-sale reports, and interviews with transactors that played critical roles in some of the deals. The workshop also featured a discussion of regulatory capital guidelines implemented in the two countries only six weeks prior to the date of the workshop; examination of legal disputes stemming from the Enron and Argentina defaults; and a detailed review of the latest draft of the Credit Derivatives Definitions.

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Two of our principals were retained by a client to develop on-line training materials on treasury products, FX options, equity derivatives, credit derivatives and market risk management. These interactive materials were made available for in-house staff for downloading from their desk terminals, and are also offered to customers attending conferences sponsored by the client.

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A workshop on Asset Securitization delivered to a Turkish bank included not only an examination of successful transactions form that country but also ones that had triggered an early amortization following the Turkish devaluation of February 2001, and those that had defaulted in Mexico, Argentina and Indonesia. The workshop also contained a full update on the accounting changes that were being proposed only a few days earlier under both US GAAP and International Accounting Standards.

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A major Kuwaiti institution retained one of our principals for two workshops covering alternative asset class analysis and management. The first focused on real estate finance and investment, with specific reference to the institution's current and potential future real estate exposures. The second focused on two emerging asset class allocations for the institution: hedge funds and private equity/venture capital.

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A major Saudi bank retained one of our principals for a two-part course to refine the skills of their existing Private Wealth Management (PWM) professionals. The first workshop reviewed key aspects of the investment management process, including the definition of client goals and constraints, the development of suitable strategic asset allocations, and the analysis of expected asset class returns, volatilities, and correlations. The second workshop put this foundation to work in portfolio construction. In both workshops, the use of hypothetical, yet realistic, “client profiles” permitted an action-oriented emphasis designed to improve client prospecting and selling skills. This workshop sequence has since been repeated for a major Kuwaiti investment house and for the PWM unit of a bank in the UAE.