In another rating agency casualty, DBRS said that it had closed its European offices and has cut jobs in its New York and Toronto branches as well. All of the cuts took place yesterday, a spokeswoman for the rating agency said. The closure of DBRS's European offices in Paris, London and Franfurt will affect all of the 43 staff members and another 27 are said to have been cut in New York and Toronto, though the spokeswoman could not confirm that number. The majority of layoffs in Toronto were in back office positions that supported the European offices. Coverage of European credit is expected to continue from the rating agency's North American based offices, a spokeswoman said, noting that the rating agency intends to return to Europe once market conditions improve. DBRS' expansion to Europe has not had much flight time off the ground. The first European office opened in London in 2005 with the creation of a financial institutions group and spread to Frankfurt last that year. In June 2006, the rating agency opened a structured finance office in Paris and hired Managing Director Catherine Gerst to run the new Paris office. Gerst joined from Moody's Investors Service and was charged with expanding the rating agency's structured finance rating activities in European structured finance markets. She also came on to develop the rating agency's structured finance ratings coverage in France, Spain and Italy. Gerst reported to Apea Koranteng, managing director, structured finance group, EMEA.

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