Alex Lam, who used to run Centre Solutions in Asia, has established a new firm called Capital Access Risk Engineering (CARE). The new company will be involved in the arranging and structuring of solutions for clients in the global insurance and capital markets who wish to transfer risks and raise capital. The firm will also offer advisory services to the same ends.
The move comes after Centre Solutions closed its Asian office in early December as its parent, Zurich Financial Services, decided to stop Centre writing credit enhancement policies.
At the new company, Lam will continue where Centre left off. CARE aims to offer credit enhancement and risk transfers for deals covering securitization, mortgage indemnity, commercial real estate, collateralised debt obligations, NPLs, distressed debt, M&A and other corporate finance situations. The firm will be based in Hong Kong but will be working regionally in Asia and Japan.
It is unclear at this stage who will be backing Lam in what is clearly a very balance sheet intensive business. But it is a business that looks increasingly to have found its niche in Asia's capital markets. According to experts in the field, the climate for structural innovations has never been better in Asia. A raft of new regulations across many countries has helped the securitization market to blossom, while issuers and investors seem more willing than ever to accept structuring in their transactions.
Lam is something of a veteran of Asia's structured finance industry, having worked over the past decade for monoline insurer CapMAC, Asian Securitization and Infrastructure Assurance and Centre Solutions.