Dominion Bond Rating Service (DBRS) made two key announcements last week: the formation of its European-based quantitative analytics team and the opening of its structured finance office in Paris. The European-based quantitative analytics team, based in London, will be led by Kai Gilkes, managing director, global quantitative analytics. Meanwhile, Managing Director Catherine Gerst will run the new Paris office. These announcements follow the recent formation of DBRS' EMEA structured finance team.

"DBRS's move to the region addresses strong market demand for a valid alternative and more competition in the rating business," the rating agency said in a release. "In addition, the lack of standardization and liquidity in the region's structured finance markets offers an additional opportunity to create value." Gilkes reports to Huston Loke, assistant group managing director for global structured finance at DBRS. In Gilkes' new position, he will be responsible for the development of structured finance quantitative analytics and lead a cross-group quantitative team. Prior to DBRS, Gilkes had global responsibility for structured finance quantitative analytics at Standard & Poor's.

Joining Gilkes are a number of other key appointments, including Norbert Jobst, senior vice president, quantitative analytics; Victoria Johnstone, senior vice president, quantitative analytics; and Elisa Malavasi, vice president, quantitative analytics. All three report to Gilkes.

Gerst, who was previously with Moody's Investors Service establishing and expanding structured finance rating activities in many European structured finance markets, will now be responsible for developing structured finance ratings coverage in France, Spain and Italy.

Among other hiring news, DBRS also announced the hiring of Adele Archer as senior vice president, operating assets. Based in London, Archer will be responsible for rating transactions, developing and adapting rating methodologies and expanding ratings coverage for European securitizations involving operating assets. Both Gerst and Archer report to Apea Koranteng, managing director, structured finance group, EMEA.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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