The personnel shakeup at Moody's Investors Service is seemingly over, as last week the rating agency promoted Michael Kanef to new group managing director of U.S. asset finance ratings. Kanef takes over for Andy Silver, who announced his resignation to accept a lecturing position at Rutgers University. Silver's departure, effective in mid-July, marks the second high-ranking managing director to leave the rating agency in June, following Ed Bankole's resignation the previous month.

The made-over asset finance group now consists of Pramila Gupta and Jay Siegel, who jointly run RMBS; Jay Eisbruck, Linda Stesney and Milton Chacon, who head term ABS; and Claire Robinson, who oversees ABCP. All now report to Kanef. As part of last week's announcement, Stesney, who had headed Moody's' Latin American securitization group, was promoted to team managing director. Her replacement in the LatAm group has yet to be named.

"I am very happy to have been named group managing director," said Kanef. "I am confident that the current staff and team managing directors will continue to provide top-flight service to the industry."

Kanef has been with Moody's since 1997, when he was hired as a senior analyst in the term ABS group. He was named team MD in 2000, also assuming responsibilities for the ABCP group.

"For the past several years, the asset finance group has continued to expand Moody's share of the growing residential mortgage market and maintained its leadership position in the ABS term and ABCP markets," said co-chief operating officer and former asset-finance group head Brian Clarkson, in an internal announcement. "I am confident that Michael's promotion will help position us for continued success in this market, which is a major component of Moody's overall business success."

Silver's departure comes less than six months after he assumed the responsibilities of Clarkson, who was promoted to his new position in January. Silver joined Moody's in 1988 as a senior analyst in the RMBS group, moving over to the ABS group in 1991. In 2002, he was named group managing director of asset finance.

"Andy has been my friend and trusted colleague for over 13 years and I will miss his advice and candor. During his more than 15-year tenure at Moody's, he has helped the company through many transitions and has been an integral part of its ongoing success," Clarkson added in a separate memo.

For some, the moves were reminiscent of 2000, when Maureen Cohen, Christina Cotton and Eileen Murphy - all managing directors - all left Moody's for positions at sell-side institutions. Cohen took a position at Credit Suisse First Boston, Murphy jumped to the then-Chase Securities (subsequently moving to Barclays Capital) while Cotton accepted a position at Merrill Lynch. Also in 2000, Rod Dubitsky left Moody's to work at Credit Suisse First Boston.

Copyright 2004 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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