Standard & Poor's Fixed Income Risk Management Services (FIRMS) launched a new valuation and risk strategies group.

Combining independent research and analytics assets from across the business, the new group was formed to provide investors with a cross-market approach to assessing a portfolio's value and risk.

The core competencies of the new valuation and risk strategies unit include independent securities evaluations. The firm’s securities evaluations offer independent, market-derived price evaluations on about three million hard-to-price fixed-income and structured finance securities daily. It also has valuation scenario services, launched in 2009 to address illiquid securities analysis with intrinsic valuation. This offers transparent assessments of structured finance portfolios under various assumptions and economic scenarios.

The new tool also incoporates market, credit and risk strategies. An independent research team that combines market and credit risk analysis for a better understanding of the relationship between asset price and risk,. This helps investors quantify how much they are being paid for the risks they are taking.

“There are many ways to measure risk, but if the recent financial crisis has taught us anything, it is that asset price is the great equalizer in the fixed income markets,” said Lou Eccleston, executive managing director, S&P FIRMS. “By combining our market-leading fixed income price evaluation and market research assets into a single unit, we are giving investors an innovative new perspective that will expand the vernacular used to describe credit and fixed income risk. Now, investors will have an independent and transparent assessment of how well they are being compensated by the market for the risk they are exposed to in their portfolios.”

FIRMS is an analytics and research unit separate from S&P’s ratings business. It offers solutions that assist investors in performing cross-market analysis on the financial instruments in their portfolios,

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