Fitch Ratings has hired two public finance and bond insurance veterans for its infrastructure and project finance and public power groups, the agency announced last week.

Seth Lehman joined Fitch as a senior director in the global infrastructure and project finance group, while Christopher Jumper joined as a director in the public power group. Lehman started at Fitch in mid-October, and Jumper started yesterday.

Lehman comes to Fitch from Financial Guaranty Insurance Co., where he served as a director and senior underwriter in the eastern region of the public finance group. He focused on transportation and infrastructure revenue financings at FGIC, which he joined in 2000.

Prior to FGIC, Lehman spent 11 years at Standard & Poor's, working in a number of different sectors and assisting in the development of rating criteria for transportation credits. He has an MBA in finance from New York University, where he also earned a bachelors degree in statistics and economics.

"I look forward to getting back into the credit analysis for Fitch and being on the front line of the deals," Lehman said. "And also to continue my relationships with the issuers and the bankers in the transportation sector."

Lehman will primarily focus on airport and seaport credits at Fitch, but he will also help on other types of transportation credits, according to Cherian George, managing director and head of the Americas region for the global infrastructure and project group.

"He's somebody that's well known to people in the muni marketplace, including issuers in the airport and seaport space," George said. "He brings a strong reputation which is really of value to Fitch."

A participant in a number of charity and civic events in Rockland County, N.Y., Lehman also serves on the Rockland County Sewer District No. 1 board of commissioners.

Jumper comes to Fitch with 23 years of public finance experience, most recently as a managing director at MBIA Insurance Corp. in the global utilities group. He will primarily research and analyze public utilities issuers at Fitch.

Jumper received a bachelors of business administration in finance from Iona College and an MBA in accounting from Pace University.

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