Sensormatic Gets a Good Man


Tom Donahue, formerly Treasurer of Citigroup's Universal Card Services, announced his resignation last week, effective Sept. 10, ending nearly ten years of service, and playing a major role in the company's public and private securitization profile.

On Sept. 20, Donahue will be named corporate treasurer of Sensormatic Electronics Corp. According to a source familiar with the players involved, Donahue will likely lead the company into the ABS marketplace.

"I would imagine that, given Tom's expertise, that would seem likely," the source said, speculating that, assuming Sensormatic's significant liquidity, a $500 million dollar deal would not be surprising. "He's not going to do anything in the public market small."

In 1989, Donahue was one of the originators of UCS's primary product, the AT&T Universal Credit Card. Since 1995, Jacksonville, Fla.-based UCS has issued seven credit card-backed deals, pricing roughly $6 billion combined - the last four of which averaged $930 million a piece.

"We've done a lot of public securitizations in the past," said Donahue. However, in 1997, Universal began to deal solely in the private sector. Public or private, Donahue maintains, "liquidity is of the upmost importance. If you don't have liquidity, you're trapped."

Sensormatic, based in Boca Raton, Fla., is a major supplier of electronic security systems, with clients in the retail, industrial and commercial industries. Sensormatic's products range from high-level security devices to department store clothing inventory tags, some of which are distributed through leasing.

"Tom Donahue is a good addition for the guys at Sensormatic," said Paul Sveen, managing director at Lehman Brothers, and head of the domestic ABS sector. Sveen has done business with both Sensormatic and Universal Credit. "He certainly is one of the very well regarded issuers in the market," Sveen said, "and someone we wish well. We think he'll bring a lot to Sensormatic."