Lewtan Company History
Founded in 1986, Lewtan is the leading provider of technology solutions to the securitization industry. Lewtan Technologies was started with Stuart Lewtan acting on his vision of providing technology solutions to support the securitization process. He left Bank of Boston and founded Lewtan Technologies and began developing both custom and "off the shelf" software solutions for companies involved in securitization. The ABS System, which automates securitization administration, was one of the first solutions and remains a solid contributor to Lewtan’s growth.
Lewtan's early market position proved valuable. With its expertise in securitization transactions as well as knowledge of software development, Lewtan achieved a leading market position, acquiring customers such as AT&T Capital Corporation, Citicorp Global Finance, CIT, and Toyota Motor Credit.
As Lewtan developed its products and expanded its customer base, the company gained a reputation in the industry as the "securitization industry standard." The company also established strong relationships with other leading organizations within the industry including Standard & Poor's, Fitch IBCA, and Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Company. Lewtan's portfolio of solutions expanded over the years to include a range of software products as well as consulting services to support the needs of the various industry participants.
The industry flourished throughout the 80's and 90's as the volume of ABS transactions grew and a new problem arose. The industry lacked a consistent set of reporting standards. Furthermore, there was no infrastructure in place to maintain the data associated with these transactions.
This lack of infrastructure may have been a problem for the industry, but Lewtan recognized it as an opportunity. An idea came from customers who said, “your ABS System is already tracking over 100 billion dollars in investor reports each month, is there any way you can standardize that data so we can make apples to apples comparisons between deals?”. Lewtan set out to develop an infrastructure to serve as a backbone for the industry.
The team of developers at Lewtan had been watching the rapid expansion of the Internet and the advances being achieved in the underlying technology. It became obvious that the solution for the proposed technology infrastructure was to be achieved by harnessing this powerful new communications medium. The Internet represented the perfect information distribution channel to deliver the much-needed infrastructure to the industry. In 1997, Lewtan began building an entirely new, internet-based service: ABSNet (pronounced A-B-S-Net).
The concept behind ABSNet was to make it an Internet "channel" exclusively devoted to securitization information. All securitization professionals would be able to log onto the ABSNet web site, review standardized performance data on asset-backed securities, and manipulate the data in support of critical trading and other decisions. In addition, ABSNet would allow ABS professionals to retrieve news, research, and other information related to the securitization industry - all from a single source.
The launch of ABSNet in March of 1999 was a triumph for Lewtan. In the course of developing ABSNet, Lewtan formed a strategic alliance with Standard & Poor's, one of the largest rating agencies in the world. Lewtan formed additional business partnerships with Fitch, Moody’s and DBRS to provide research, press releases and industry commentary. Lewtan also began collaborating with two of the largest trade journals covering the ABS market: Asset-Backed Alert and Asset Sales Report. News from these publications was complemented by daily news updates from Reuters news service and PR Newswire. Several research shops like Nomura, Commerzbank and JP Morgan provide market commentary and industry research which is posted on ABSNet.
Over the years, more than 30,000 industry participants have registered on ABSNet. It is actively used by the sell-side, buy-side, issuing companies, as well as companies that generate revenues from asset-backed transactions (such as rating agencies, law firms, and audit firms). ABSNet has established itself as the Industry Standard for delivering structured finance performance data, news and research.
During 2003, Lewtan began assembling what is today the largest database of international securitization performance data in existence. With the domestic success of ABSNet in place, Europe was the next logical progression. The acceptance of ABSNet in Europe has been overwhelming. ABSNet has become the standard for ABS performance data in Europe.
In late 2002, a new product opportunity was uncovered. Lewtan began to leverage its ABSNet technology by offering ABS Discloser Web site hosting solutions to issuers and other market participants. Leading edge issuers were seeking to provide increased transparency to their investors with the goal of tightening the spreads of their paper in the secondary market in order to improve pricing in subsequent new issues. By redeploying its ABSNet technology and enhancing it with loan-level On Line Analytical Processing (OLAP) capabilities, Lewtan was able to address these transparency needs.
Lewtan’s combination of products has earned the International Securitization Report’s (ISR) 2003 Best Technology Provider award. This was the second consecutive year that this honor has been bestowed upon Lewtan. Lewtan's technological innovations have translated into a successful software company that currently employs nearly 100 people and continues to grow at a healthy rate. Lewtan showcases the qualities of a world-class organization: innovation, leadership, industry, and ingenuity. Through its people, its products, and its partnerships, Lewtan has proven its ability to innovate and stay on top of the securitization industry.
In December 2004, Lewtan Technologies, Inc. announced the sale of the company to DMG Information (www.dmginfo.com). DMG Information (DMGI), an international presence with significant operations in the US, UK, Australia, France, Germany, and India, is a subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT), one of the UK's leading international media groups. Lewtan continues to operate autonomously under the Business-to-Business Division of DMGI. With this new parent, Lewtan is well-positioned to expand its market presence in the fast growing ABS marketplace by providing even greater levels of service and product offerings to its customers across the globe.