John Olert, group managing director at Fitch Ratings, has been named chief credit officer. Olert has had a 15-year stint at the rating agency and previously headed or co-headed a variety of rating groups within Fitch, including U.S. corporates and U.S. financial institutions.
Most recently Olert has been responsible for the U.S. ABS and structured credit groups. The chief credit officer's responsibilities will include ratings and criteria oversight, quality assurance, market commentary and research. Olert will report to Paul Taylor, president of Fitch.
Replacing Olert's former role, Kevin Duignan was promoted to a new position created by Fitch as head of U.S. structured finance, which includes Olert's previous responsibilities (ABS and structured credit). Duignan will also have the RMBS and CMBS groups under that position as well.
The rating agency has also named Mary Griffin Metz to the role of chief compliance officer. During her 20 years with Fitch she has worked on a variety of rating teams, including co-heading U.S. CMBS and most recently had been the regional credit officer for the Americas.
The compliance group will be responsible for regulatory and professional conduct compliance, including the compliance audit function. Metz will report directly to Steve Joynt, CEO of Fitch, the rating agency's board of directors.
'Fitch is constantly enhancing its efforts to provide market participants with credit opinions developed with the highest possible level of transparency, rigor and integrity,' Joynt said. 'Today's appointments are another important step in that direction.'
"The appointment of high caliber contributors like John Olert and Mary Griffin Metz to lead our credit policy and compliance functions demonstrates Fitch's commitment to ensuring that our practices are best in class,' Taylor said.