Fitch Ratings has added three new members to its growing ABS group,  Les Scharfstein, David Petu and Kevin Corrigan. "Each brings a wealth of securitization experience and industry-wide recognition to our already well-seasoned team," said Kevin Duignan, head of Fitch's ABS group.

In the past year, the rating agency has added more than 15 new hires to its ABS team. Reflecting the growth of the market, Fitch's is expanding its presence in the industry, most signficantly in the auto and ABCP sectors. "The addition of Les, David and Kevin further demonstrates our commitement to a high quality analytical team and confirms why investors  have come to recognize Fitch as the rating agency of choice in the structured finance market," Duignan noted.

Scharfstein, who was formerly a vice president in American Express' corporate treasury division will be joining Fitch as a director. While at American Express, he was key in developing Amex's securitization strategy. The new hire will be joining the rating agency's consumer ABS group, which is headed by Claire Mezzanotte, managing director, where he will focus on consumer assets, specifically credit cards.

Petu was previously a senior analyst at GMAC Financial Services in Detroit. He will be joining the rating agency as an associate director. While at GMAC, he was involved in numerous securitization transactions as well as whole loan sale activities on prime, subprime, lease and floorplan auto collateral. Petu would be joining Fitch's auto and commercial ABS group headed by John Bella, managing director, where he would focus in auto related deals.

Meanwhile, Corrigan was formerly at Goldman Sachs and will joining Fitch as an associate director. While at the firm, he worked in the interest rate product group and previously in the ABCP origniation and investor marketing group. The new hire will be part of Fitch's ABCP group, which is headed by Mike Dean, managing director, where he will focus on ratings and research for existing and new programs as well as expanding the use of Fitch's VECTOR CP as an analytical tool.


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