S&P's clean-up artist exits
Aug 29 (Reuters) - Mark Adelson, a former Standard & Poor's chief credit officer who was brought in to tighten risk standards in 2008, has left the ratings agency months after he was demoted, the company confirmed Wednesday.
Mark Adelson was named S&P's chief credit officer in May 2008 as part of the company's campaign to improve its rating methods and its reputation as the financial crisis exposed flaws in the work of major ratings agencies. He had been a public critic of the agencies and some of the complex structured finance instruments to which they awarded top triple-A grades.
But by late 2011 Adelson had been caught up in some of the finger-pointing at S&P for its downgrade of U.S. government debt from triple-A.
In December, Adelman lost his position and was named a senior research fellow after a restructuring. At the time, S&P said he had been "instrumental in strengthening the firm's criteria process" and would lead critical new research projects.
An S&P spokeswoman confirmed the departure but declined further comment. Adelson did not immediately return calls or e-mails.
Adelson's LinkedIn page said he held a research position at S&P through August 2012. As chief credit officer, he "supervised the overhaul of the company's rating criteria in the wake of the financial crisis," according to the page.
When the securitization markets began to seize up in 2007 because of some of their worst excesses, Adelson left Nomura Securities where he had been head of structured finance research and had written skeptically of some of the most complex and highly leveraged instruments. He operated a consulting firm for less than a year before being hired by Standard & Poor's.
S&P is a unit of McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.
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