McCann corners Ireland’s asset-covered bonds market

McCann FitzGerald has carved out a niche for itself in the Irish finance market, so far winning all mandates to advise on the country’s new asset-covered bonds.

The firm got in on the act early when partner Roy Parker worked with the Irish Bankers Association to help draft the 2001 legislation that covers the securities, the Asset Covered Securities Act.

Since the bonds were introduced, the firm has advised Depfa Bank, the first ever bond, which was issued in 2003, and has continued advising the bank on further issues. The bonds also saw McCann FitzGerald win its first major piece of work for West LB, which issued a €2bn (£1.3bn) bond in 2003.

The firm has been instructed by longstanding client Bank of Ireland on its plans to launch a €10bn (£6.6bn) asset-covered securities programme. Bank of Ireland is set to raise the money over the next four or five years by issuing bonds secured on Irish and British mortgages.

The first part of the programme is expected to raise €2bn (£1.3bn) for the bank. It will be the first mortgage-backed bond to be engineered by an institution under the new legislation. The Depfa and West LB bonds have been issued on pools of public credit rather than mortgage assets.

Parker and fellow partners Fergus Gillen and Hugh Beattie have been advising on the bond issues.