Western & Southern Life Insurance Co. et al. v. Bank of New York Mellon
In the first case against a trustee of residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) to go to trial, an Ohio judge found in favor of the defendant, trustee Bank of New York Mellon. Analysis Group supported affiliate Charles H. Grice in the matter, who testified as BNY Mellon's rebuttal re-underwriting expert. Western & Southern Life Insurance Co. and several other insurance companies had invested in RMBSs in the years leading up to the financial crisis. These investments included 31 RMBS trusts sponsored by Countrywide Financial Corp., for which BNY Mellon acted as trustee. The trusts were governed by Pooling and Service Agreements. After the housing market collapsed during the financial crisis, the investors brought suit against BNY Mellon, alleging that BNY Mellon had breached its contractual and fiduciary duties and seeking approximately $100 million in damages.
Analysis Group affiliate Charles H. Grice was retained on behalf of BNY Mellon and testified as its rebuttal re-underwriting expert during the trial. Mr. Grice was supported by an Analysis Group team that included Managing Principal Andrew Wong; Vice Presidents Kristen Comeaux, Rebeccah Filsoof, Niall MacMenamin, and Samir Warty; and Managers Mark Berberian, Anne LaRue, Smit Shrestha, and Todor Stoyanov. In his testimony, Mr. Grice identified numerous errors made by the plaintiff's re-underwriting expert, including misreading documents in the loan files, re-underwriting loans based on an incorrect set of guidelines, and failing to consider key Countrywide systems. In his decision, Judge Steven E. Martin of the Court of Common Pleas in Hamilton Country, Ohio found Mr. Grice's testimony to be "credible and persuasive," while noting that he did not find the plaintiff's re-underwriting expert's testimony to be "factually supported, probative, or persuasive."