What You Say?!?

September 21, 2004 9:40 am

Well, now that it's finally public, I can reveal what has been occupying so much of my time for the past two months: the company I work for just closed a deal to acquire another company! For a firm as small as ours in such a niche market, this is quite an accomplishment, though very tiring for those involved in pricing, negotiating, coordinating, and managing the acquisition.

The thing that amazes me about this deal, as with the Erie deal we closed last Nov, is that the principles I learned in b-school are actually being used in real business transactions. It's kind of sad that this amazes me, but I always hear stories about how a college degree is just fluff, that the classroom doesn't teach real life, that our studies are all for GPA and starting salaries rather than any meaningful or practical application. I have to say, this job is proving all that wrong. Maybe it's the Wharton curriculum, or maybe I'm just extremely lucky, but I've worked through 2 asset securitizations and 1 M&A now, and the stuff they teach you in class - yeah, that stuff is used in real life to push real dollars, millions of dollars, in fact. It makes me glad I stuck with a finance concentration and survived.

Of course, the deal closing is just the beginning. That just means we got the pricing squared away and the money has exchanged hands. Now comes the integration part, so don't be surprised if I'm back two months later attempting to catch up on my own life!

Our Reuters news blurb is below:

Dynex Capital, Inc. Announces Agreements to Sell Tax Receivable Portfolio and Securitized Finance Receivables

2004 Sep 15 5:38 PM

Dynex Capital, Inc. announced that it entered into a definitive agreement to sell its delinquent property tax receivable portfolio located in Cuyahoga County, Ohio to Plymouth Park Tax Services, LLC. The total proceeds to the Company from the sale is approximately $20 million. As a result of the transaction, XSPAND, Inc., a Morristown, New Jersey-based servicer of delinquent tax assets across 21 states and a subsidiary of Plymouth Financial Company, Inc., will assume the servicing of the portfolio. The Company also announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its interest in its MERIT Series 13 securitization transaction. As a result of this sale, the Company expects to report a one-time gain of at least $15 million, and expects to de-recognize approximately $218 million in net securitized finance receivables from its balance sheet, and approximately $226 million in associated non-recourse securitization financing when it records the transaction. The sale is expected to close on or about October 28, 2004, and the assets being sold by the Company in the transaction consist of loans secured by manufactured housing.

September 21, 2004 7:50 am

And the catch-up continues! This past Labor Day weekend, I had the honor of attending the wedding of an old friend. I met her through Chinese School back in Michigan, in like 7th grade or something. There was about a dozen of us that grew relatively close and over the years as we've gone our separate ways, every now and then we still manage to meet up.

At any rate, this was actually the first wedding I'd ever attended that wasn't family related. I must say, it was pretty kick-ass, as she and her husband held the ceremony and banquet at the University Museum of Natural Science in Ann Arbor. It was every 8-year-old's dream come true: married with the dinosaurs! Of course, the couple chose this location because that's where they first met, but I still think it satisfied some deeply embedded childhood desire ;) A few highlights:

By dinosaurs, I mean dinsaurs. The banquet tables were placed among the various fossil displays. Pretty sweet if you ask me!

The wedding cakes were laid out in the front of the Mastodon. Which stands for "nipple tooth." How do I know this? Each table had a placard with a different dinosaur on it and some background about that particular species. An entertaining and informative evening!

The ceremony itself took place in the museum rotunda, which turned out to be a perfect setting:

I really liked the ceremony, as it contained many symbolic components. Rather than follow some preset notion of a wedding, the couple chose rituals that had personal meaning to them, which made the ceremony all the more beautiful. To start off, there were stones placed in the four directions in Celtic tradition and a hand binding ritual (notice the pretty red bridesmaid dresses!):

A sand ceremony, where each person has a bottle of sand, each with a different color. They then pour the sand into a single bottle, where the colors mix and mingle but still retain their individual properties. A very powerful and important metaphor in my opinion:

A Chinese tea ceremony:

A Jewish wine ceremony (later, at the end of the ceremony, they broke the wine bottle in Jewish tradition as well):

Reading self-authored vows to each other:

And finally, the bride and groom kiss!

The happy couple not looking at Vic's camera (to be fair, the professional photographer was trying to get this shot too):

Cutting the cake:

First dance, to the classic "Fools Rush In":

Last but not least, the old Chinese School gang, congregrated from the far flung corners of the country:

Higher res versions of these and other pictures can be found here.

It was wonderful to see everyone again and it was a great celebration for the couple. I'm truly happy for her and wish her all the best for the future!

September 12, 2004 3:30 pm

Triumphant return! Things have been ultra busy and I need to play catch up, so now I shall post about the Toronto Comic Convention that Vic and I attended during the Aug 27 weekend! We first heard about this Con last year, and we had so much fun that we decided to make it an annual trip. A few highlights from the Con this year:

  • Seeing David Mack again and spending $90 at his table, paid in cash. He was so thankful, he threw in four artbooks and two prints for free. We bought the entire collection of Kabuki trades, a magnificent series I definitely recommend. He's not only the creator, writer, and artist, but one of those rare people who is equally talented in all those roles. He's had several projects aside from Kabuki, though I believe it remains his best work.

  • Aspen Studios, founded by Michael Turner, was there. Mr. Turner signed Vic's original WitchBlade Issue #1 which was pretty kick-ass (the signed copy is here).

  • Meeting the esteemed Brian Azzarello, creator and writer of 100 Bullets, a fantastic book with elements of noir, crime mystery, and deep seeded conspiracy. He's one of the best storytellers I've ever read, especially when it comes to dialogue. We asked him what his future projects will be, and he mentioned a wild west type story, which I think would be pretty awesome.
More details about the stuffage we acquired can be found here.

But of course, a Con is not a Con without cosplay! A pictorial journey:

Arriving at the Toronto Convention Center:

The entire cast of FF1 (notice the SWORDCHUCKS!):

More FF cosplay:

And even more FF cosplay!:

Go-Go! I was surprised there weren't more Kill Bill characters, but this one was pretty cool:

Classic Star Wars:

Mmmmm, sexy:


Dork and...uber-Dork! (I like the Lothlorien leaf clasps on the cloaks, though!):

The Xenosaga chicks were pretty hawt:

Did I mention FF cosplay?:

The rest of the images, along with higher res versions of the ones shown here, can be found at this link. I also have pictures from last year too!

See archived entries for August 2004.
See archived entries for July 2004.
See archived entries for June 2004.
See archived entries for May 2004.

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