Moody's Investors Service team managing director and co-head of the term asset-backed securities team Kumar Kanthan has decided to relinquish his position for personal reasons. Kanthan will be working part time for the rating agency as a senior vice president in the asset finance group, focusing on the group's programs such as its enhanced publication efforts and initiatives related to enhancing methodologies and analytical tools. After transitioning his current responsibilities, Kanthan will "fulfill his desire to carve out some more time to pursue his personal interests outside of work," according to an internal memo.
Kanthan joined Moody's as a senior analyst on the ABS team in October 1996. Throughout his stay at the rating agency, he has focused on analyzing retail prime and subprime auto loans and leases, wholesale auto dealer floor-plan loans, and RMBS deals backed by Jumbo A-quality mortgage pools. For a number of years, Kanthan was the team leader for the auto ABS sector and was mostly responsible for overseeing the team's analytics and for training new hires. He was promoted to a team managing director position in April 2005. He became co-head of the ABS team focusing on autos, equipment leases, and small business and franchise loans.
Before joining Moody's, Kumar had been an associate in the ABS group at Credit Suisse First Boston where he specialized in structuring and executing home-equity transactions. Before that, he worked for several years as a systems consultant with Andersen Consulting.
As a result of Kanthan's decision to step down, Mark DiRienz has joined Jay Eisbruck and Linda Stesney as a team managing director and co-head of the term ABS team. In this position, DiRienz will still report to Michael Kanef.
DiRienz, who was most recently a team managing director in the RMBS group, joined Moody's as an ABS senior analyst in 1996 and has served in several analytic and sales capacities across structured finance.
Moody's has also promoted Navneet Agarwal and Debash Chatterjee as team leaders in the RMBS group. In their new posts, Agarwal and Chatterjee will chair committees, be involved in committee chair meetings setting ratings policy, have added responsibility for market outreach (such as coordinating future investor briefings), and have expanded roles in publishing Moody's reports. They will also assume responsibility for various strategic initiatives and special projects. They will continue to report to Warren Kornfeld and David Teicher, co-heads of the RMBS group.
Agarwal joined the Moody's RMBS team in September 2003 as an associate analyst. He was promoted to analyst in 2004, to assistant vice president-analyst in 2005, and to vice president-senior analyst in 2006. Recently, he has focused on the development and application of Moody's Mortgage Metrics for subprime lending. In addition to his rating responsibilities for subprime and warehouse mortgage deals, he also helped refine the firm's cash-flow modeling and assumptions for both subprime and Alt-A mortgages. Meanwhile, Chatterjee joined Moody's RMBS team in September 2003 as an associate analyst. He was promoted to analyst in 2004, to assistant vice president-analyst in 2005, and to vice president-senior analyst in 2006. He has been the lead analyst for various prime and subprime issuers. Chatterjee also developed Moody's approach to analyzing mortgage-backed single-seller ABCP programs, 40-year residential mortgages, mortgage-related esoteric transactions and mortgage resecuritization deals.
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