DALLAS -Standard & Poor's yesterday announced three executive appointments designed to improve oversight and quality assurance as part of a major overhaul in the securities rating process.

Under the new structure, Clifford Griep becomes executive managing director for rating risk management. Mark Adelson, formerly of Moody's Investors Service and founder of his own consulting firm, joins as managing director and chief credit officer. Neri Bukspan will carry the title of managing director and chief quality officer.

All three will report to Vickie Tillman, executive vice president for the rating service. Previously, Griep covered all three roles as chief credit and quality officer.

"We're really creating three positions where there was one before," said agency spokesman Chris Atkins.

The new structure is part of a 27-point process announced in February designed to address credibility concerns amid turbulent stock and bonds markets. Rating agencies have been harshly criticized for failing to identify risks built into the marketing of subprime mortgages.

"These appointments add strength and depth to S&P's rating leadership and capabilities, and demonstrate S&P's commitment to serving the broad and growing needs of the global credit markets," Tillman said.

In his new role, Griep will identify, assess, and mitigate potential internal and external risk exposures in Standard & Poor's rating business. Adelson will be responsible for leading criteria definition and governance, and for ensuring the independence, increased rigor, and standardization of criteria setting, the company said.

Bukspan, who was named the agency's chief accountant in 2002, will direct independent oversight of the quality and performance of Standard & Poor's rating processes.


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