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Opinion

Global ABS conference: From La Croisette to Edgware Road

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Oh how the mighty are fallen. When one banker asked Euromoney whether we were attending the Global ABS conference in Kilburn he was using poetic licence – Kilburn is much further up Edgware Road. But we knew what he meant.

On the opening day of this year’s annual Global ABS conference at the Hilton Metropole, the temperature was surprisingly Mediterranean given the UK location. But for the first time in more than a decade, there was not a yacht in sight for the throngs of delegates – who numbered more than 2,000.

In 2008, the summit was held in Cannes, the first time it had not been in Barcelona, since early forays to Cork and Montreux, for more than a decade. The wild and ostentatious parties of the Barcelona days were toned down for 2009 but there was still a soirée or two to be enjoyed.

But otherwise it really was all change – not least from a sartorial standpoint. In the past the normal attire for this conference was business casual – with the accent on casual. Normally sober securitization geeks kicked back and relaxed at what was an annual celebration of the delights of esoteric finance.

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