Standard & Poor's announced the appointment of Susan Barnes as Practice Leader and head of the Standard & Poor's residential mortgage structured finance group in North America, with responsibility for managing all of S&P's U.S. RMBS activities. Barnes succeeds Frank Raiter, who recently retired from S&P after 10 years in the RMBS group. Barnes, a managing director, previously served as analytical manager of the RMBS group. Prior to joining Standard & Poor's in 1993, Susan worked at Citicorp Securities Markets, Inc. Her background includes tenures with primary mortgage companies as well as secondary market participants. Barnes reports directly to Rosario Buendia, Global Practice Leader for ABS and RMBS ratings at S&P.

CDO researcher Arturo Cifuentes is no longer heading the CDO research strategy group at Wachovia Securities, sources confirmed. Reached at his home, Cifuentes had no comment about his status. A Wachovia spokesman confirmed that Cifuentes was no longer with the firm, and added that a replacement has not yet been named. Under Cifuentes, the CDO research group gained industry accolades for its reports, which sometimes proved controversial.

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