Emory Dawson has joined some of his former ACA Financial Guaranty Corp. cohorts in trying to launch a government-financed and municipality-owned bond insurer.

Dawson, who was most recently head of municipal underwriting at ACA, has joined HRF Associates LLC as a senior vice president, the consulting firm said yesterday.

HRF has proposed a mutually owned bond insurer, capitalized with a $25 billion loan from the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program.

The mutual insurer, Monitor Assurance Corp., would be owned by participating cities and states.

Dawson becomes the fourth member of the team pushing for this idea. Two of the others - H. Russell Fraser and Robert M. Smith - founded ACA, which is now in run-off. The third, Thomas W. Hoens, was a member of ACA's initial management team.

"As we move forward on Monitor Assurance and bringing a new issuer-owned and operated financial guarantor, a guy like Emory is going to be very important in that effort," Hoens said. "He's got terrific credit skills and he's well-respected in the industry."

Hoens said the team made a presentation to the National Conferences of Insurance Legislators at its summer meeting, and next week will meet some lawmakers in Washington.

He said the company still sees good prospects for obtaining the seed money from TARP.

The Denver-based outfit is one of several endeavors to fill the gap left by the vaporization of most of the bond insurers last year. A privately owned insurer, Municipal Infrastructure and Assurance Corp., is awaiting ratings.

The National League of Cities is also proposing a mutually owned bond insurer, supported by largesse from the federal government.

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