Ex-WestLB financial engineering head launches consultancy

Janet Tavakoli, former head of capital markets financial engineering at Westdeutsche Landesbank (WestLB) in London, has launched a derivatives consultancy - Tavakoli Structured Finance.

Following her departure from WestLB in July 2002, Tavakoli has recently returned to her native Chicago to launch the firm. The consultancy specialises in advising investors and other clients on complex over-the-counter transactions, including synthetic collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

Tavakoli told RiskNews that after leaving the German bank she initially had two consulting proposals. “Since then, I've garnered two additional large institutional clients: one is New York-based, and the other is based in Europe,” she said.

Her current consultancy work is focused on valuation and hedging of CDOs for audit, accounting, and Sarbanes-Oxley compliance for both mark-to-market, and non mark-to-market books. “Super-seniors and equity are especially problematic due to non-standardisation of structures, lack of transparent market pricing and the rash of recent CDO downgrades,” she said.

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