Fund ratings house S&P has hired three new analysts to cater for its new ratings process and is looking at expanding the team further from mid next year.

Lee Comper and Ben Sheehan joined the research agency formerly known as Assirt earlier this month with a third yet-to-be named analyst coming on board before year end. Comper joins S&P from a US-based hedge fund and Sheehan was most recently a research analyst with Navigator Australia. The additional recruits will boost S&P’s fund ratings team to 12 plus director Mark Hoven. “We’re expanding the team to cater for the increased coverage,” Hoven said. “We also have a commitment to rate at a faster pace.” S&P, which announced its official name change and first ratings report under the new system last week, is targeting sector report turnaround times of 12 months instead of the industry standard of 18 months. “Additional hires will be based on the work and the profitability of the business but there’s a good change we will see the team grow by the middle of next year,” Hoven said. S&P’s new rating process is now 100 per cent qualitative, according to Hoven, with a majority weighting on process and team and a minority weighting on business management. The Assirt ratings previously had a 20 per cent qualitative weighting to past performance, which S&P has dropped altogether. Hoven said the new process was a blend of the best of S&P’s global approach and the former Assirt approach. “It’s an alignment with what we do globally but customised to a local market,” he said.

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