Chase Manhattan Corp.'s asset-backed group has hired Thomas Hourican, Standard & Poor's Corp.'s top asset-backed securities analyst.

The hiring of Mr. Hourican less than a week after William J. Haley was lured from Prudential Securities underscores Chase's resolve to rebuild its asset-backed group, which suffered defections after the merger with Chemical Banking Corp.

Mr. Hourican, 41, will become a managing director and head of asset- backed research at Chase. The bank said he would work closely with its investment-grade trading and sales unit, as well as its asset-backed originations group.

Michael Malter, managing director and head of Chase's global asset- backed originations group, said Mr. Hourican would aid the bank's efforts to build its status with large public issuers.

"When you look at the market as a whole, the biggest issuers want to see a commitment in research," said Mr. Malter. "This is going to help our profile on the research side" of the asset-backed securities market, "especially as we try to generate more penetration with the big public issuers."

Mr. Malter said Chase has placed greater emphasis on the public securities market since its March 31 merger with Chemical. Previously, Chemical and Chase had each focused on private placements of asset-backed securities and asset-backed commercial paper programs.

Two analysts who had been with Chemical will report to Mr. Hourican. Jon Lieber, who earlier worked with J.P. Morgan & Co., is the bank's market strategist. Jackie Pollack, a former Lehman Brothers analyst, is in charge of quantitative analytics.

Mr. Malter said the bank intends to hire a third person to give it a full range of research capabilities in this market. "This is really a new investment in our research effort," he said.

Mr. Hourican takes over from Lisa Anderson, who joined Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette as a senior vice president in quantitative research.

The bank wanted to replace Ms. Anderson with a senior executive well known in the industry, Mr. Malter said. Competitors say Mr. Hourican, who had headed S&P's asset-backed ratings group since 1989, fills that bill.

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