We Have Been There Since Day One
United Capital Markets (UCM) is a pioneer in trading, modeling, and researching structured finance credit. UCM was the first dedicated dealer in the United States to solely focus on making two-way secondary markets in structured finance subordinate, mezzanine and distressed senior bonds.
In 1999, John Devaney, founded United Capital Markets to fill the vacuum of liquidity and modeling in the aftermath of the Long-Term Capital Management crisis.
Devaney’s decision to invest as principal, accelerated the learning curve in cashflow modeling, forecasting, surveillance systems, and building investor distribution capability. Over the next few years, UCM grew into one of the top broker dealers in the US in the hard-hit Home Equity, Franchise, Manufactured Housing, and Aircraft ABS sectors. By 2003, in just four years, the firm and its wholly owned affiliates, were carrying 100-150mm proceeds of inventory made possible by retained earnings.
A founding principle that has guided United Capital Markets since its’ inception is that a dealer should invest their own money before selling complex investments to others.
These distressed markets in 1998-2004 illuminated UCM’s bespoke and cutting-edge modeling capability which allowed the firm to cultivate new distribution with investors who were not impacted by sharp losses. In many cases, insurance companies that were forced to sell into downgrades were pleased that UCM could bid points over the nearest bid - providing important liquidity and higher execution prices. During this period, our models, bond research, speaking engagements, trade posts, primers, and other insights gave our buyer base confidence to commit funds into a new asset class that in hindsight outperformed – UCM created liquidity, distribution, and performance.
The Financial Crisis in 07/08 caught many investors, including UCM, off guard. After taking steep losses riding the shared risks owned by our customers, UCM bounced back in a meaningful way. UCM continued to speak at conferences to help heal the markets following the collapse of the banking system, caused in part by the structured finance products themselves.
Still Going Strong
From 2009 to 2015 UCM and our downstream customer base performed extremely well. UCM led markets in providing liquidity and valuable insights in the private label RMBS subordinate markets. As hundreds of ABS CDO’s liquidated their exposures to subprime and ALT-A RMBS credit bonds, UCM was a top dealer buying those exposures into our books from the liquidation agents.
UCM’s flows in this post ’08 period averaged 3-5 billion per year in mainly subprime credit working with our valued customer and dealer base. UCM’s written forecasts of cumulative loss, servicer behavior, forbearance recovery, legal settlement payments and mod performance proved to be correct and greatly helped our downstream customers and UCM heal following the financial crisis.
In periods of intense need for liquidity, UCM has been there in the credit sector buying bonds as principal and selling them to our network of customers and dealers.
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United Capital Markets
United Capital Markets, Inc. (UCM) is a leading market maker in subordinate and distressed structured finance bonds.
Our leadership position has been cemented over 23 years buying approximately 50 billion of complex CMBS, RMBS and ABS bonds as principal with hundreds of customers and dealers.
Our founder, CEO, and head trader, John Devaney, is considered an authority in measuring risk, finding opportunity and providing liquidity in structured finance bonds.
A Top Performing Dealer
UCM has a track record of entering certain distressed markets in need of liquidity and becoming a top three dealer. This involvement is unprecedented for a regional firm.
Our aim is to capture flows, market share and the respect of market participants.
To be a leading market maker, we need liquidity ourselves; and we earn this through thoughtful insights, primers, models and our transparent daily offering sheets.
Chief Executive Officer / Head Trader
United Capital Markets was founded in 1999 by native Floridian, John Devaney. Mr. Devaney spent several years prior gaining valuable experience as the head trader of a regional firm, trading both ABS and CMO securities, researching structure and collateral history as a necessity to risking capital. During a difficult period in the ABS market, Mr. Devaney saw that secondary liquidity and analysis were greatly needed, and capitalized on this opportunity in the market to establish UCM.
Beginning with limited capital, Mr. Devaney bid one bond at a time with the philosophy that every bond was one that the firm may own as a long-term investment. As many dealers stepped aside, investors soon came to recognize UCM as a knowledgeable and reliable source for much-needed liquidity and price analysis in subordinate ABS notes. UCM, led by Mr. Devaney with 22 years’ experience as a market maker in structured finance products, is a historic leader in trading billions of flow in RMBS, CMBS, CLO’s, CDO’s and Aircraft.
In 2020 during the COVID pandemic, Mr. Devaney observed the highly distressed CMBS market to be the disjointed arena where UCM’s involvement would reap rewards not only for UCM, but for its notable client base. Mr. Devaney’s extensive experience in highly illiquid markets and complex products proved again to not only serve UCM well, but to provide great value to its client base.
Mr. Devaney received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Colorado State University with a double major in Business Finance & English. He resides in Key Biscayne, Florida with his wife and three children.
Mr. Isaac Maya has 15 years of buy-side and sell-side experience in trading, investing, and analyzing deep credit RMBS/ABS/CMBS securities. Mr. Maya has a Masters in Financial Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, a Masters in Business Administration University of Arizona and a BS in Telecom Engineering from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. He holds a Series 63 and Series 7.
Before returning to United Capital Markets, Mr. Maya worked at Halcyon Asset-Backed Advisors (now Bardin Hill) as Senior ABS Trader for almost 10 years. During his tenure, Mr. Maya's sub-portfolio included Non-Agency RMBS credit and derivatives, off-the-run ABS/CDO/CMBS and High Yield Munis. During his time Mr. Maya established a vast network of street and broker contacts as well as negotiating complicated settlements with trustees and servicers.
In addition to his buyside experience, Mr. Maya has valuable sell side experience. Mr. Maya started his career in 2005 at United Capital Markets, a specialized distressed ABS broker dealer in Miami. As a RMBS/ABS desk analyst, Mr.Maya developed multiple tools to trade off the run ABS including Aircraft, Franchise, CDOs, MTA IOs and other esoteric sectors. Mr. Maya built comprehensive models for most pre 9/11 Aircraft Asset Backed deals as well as structuring a $145mm re-securitization of Aircraft ABS wrapped by a bond insurer.
Chief Compliance Officer
Ms. Catherine Bezzina is a seasoned professional with 20 years plus experience in regulatory compliance, operations, project development and management in the fixed income arena. She has accumulated years of solid experience in Broker/Dealer and Investment Advisor administration.
Ms. Bezzina started her financial service career as a computer programmer consultant in a mid-size regional broker dealer located in Fort Lauderdale, Fl. The impact she had on the firm was so extensive she not only was asked to join the firm as a senior officer but within a few years became a partner. The firm was eventually sold to a large bank after which, Ms. Bezzina went on to hold senior level positions at regional broker dealers.
Ms. Bezzina has run technology, sales, compliance and credit departments in her long-standing professional career. As part of her role at these firms she has served as lead contact of FINRA and SEC regulatory audits and inquiries including Anti Money Laundering. As required by the roles Ms. Bezzina assumed along her career path, she holds FINRA licenses: Series 7, 24, 63, 53 and SIE.
Ms. Bezzina received a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Saint John’s University with a major in Political Science. Her primary residence is in Pompano Beach, Florida. She maintains a second home in Manhattan, NY the state in which she was born and raised.
Michael D. Nelson, CPA
Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Michael Nelson is the Chief Financial Officer and Financial Operations Principal at United Capital Markets Inc. Michael oversees all accounting and operations. Mr. Nelson earned a BS degree in Accounting from Florida State University and received an MBA in Finance from University of Miami. He is an active licensed Certified Public Accountant, FINRA series holder of the Series 28 - Financial Operations Principal, Series 57 - Securities Trader, Series 7 - General Securities Representative, Series 63 - Uniform Securities State Law Agent, & Series 99 -Operations Professional.