Shearman & Sterling's London head of securitisation Marke Raines has resigned following four years at the firm.
Raines joined Shearman in May 2000 from Allen & Overy to found the US firm's London securitisation group from scratch. Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Bank of Montreal are among his key clients.
Many in the market were surprised at the move, given Shearman's lack of a securitisation tradition globally and the total absence of any pedigree in London at the time.
It is understood that Raines, regarded as a brilliant technical lawyer, tendered his resignation last year, although his last day at Shearman is 31 March. He is believed to be considering various options, but declined to comment on his future plans.
Shearman, meanwhile, has accelerated its search for a replacement. The firm instructed headhunters Stanford some time ago in a bid to recruit a new securitisation rainmaker.
It is believed the firm is close to recruiting a partner with broad securitisation experience to help build a powerful structured finance practice. Shearman is also committed to offering securitisation to complement its project finance practice.