Deutsche Bank Securities Corp., the U.S. investment banking unit of Germany's Deutsche Bank, has hired a team from Daiwa Securities America, Inc. to launch a mortgage- and asset-backed securities department, the German bank said Wednesday.

The new unit will be part of Deutsche Bank's fixed income division and will be headed by Howard B. Hill, who joins Deutsche bank from Daiwa Securities.

Mr. Hill previously worked at UBS Securities as head of the Swiss bank's mortgage finance unit.

He has also worked at Prudential Bache Securities Corp., where he set up a financial strategies group.

He joins Deutsche Bank with five other members of a team hired from Daiwa, including Edward F. Peterson, who will head analytic systems development and production, and Gerard E. Sneider, head of commercial multifamily securitization.

Also joining the department's sales team are John M. Fogarty, Sean K. Bailey, and Elias Katz.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank has nearly $26 billion of assets in North America.

The bank last year launched a concerted drive to build up its corporate and investment banking operations in the United States.

As part of the move, Deutsche Bank gave up its grandfathered, or retroactive, investment banking powers and restructured its capital markets operations under a Section 20 unit.

Like other foreign banks, Deutsche Bank is moving into asset securitization as part of a broader push by U.S. and foreign banks into packaging and selling off loans in the market.

Double Benefit Seen

Asset securitization is particularly attractive to banks because of the fee income it brings in and because it permits banks to get loans off their books, thereby reducing the need for them to tie down capital against potential problems.

With its AAA rating from major credit rating agencies, Deutsche is especially well placed to originate and sell assets.

John J. Meehan, managing director and head of fixed income at Deutsche Bank Securities, said the bank's move into originating and trading securitized assets is part of a "logical step" in Deutsche Bank's efforts to expand "our global securities capability further into North America."

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