S&P president leaves after US downgrade

STANDARD and Poor’s president Deven Sharma yesterday announced that he would leave the ratings agency.

In a move described as having “nothing to do with the reaction to the US credit downgrading”, Sharma will stand down next month to pursue other opportunities.

The president of four years has always had a rebellious streak, and has faced accusations of inconsistencies in S&P’s ratings.

It was under Sharma’s watch that S&P gave top ratings to numerous mortgage-backed securities, which the US Justice Department said last week it will investigate as part of a probe into the company’s role in the financial crisis.

Douglas Peterson, who is currently chief operating officer at Citibank, will replace Sharma from 12 September.

Peterson has been with Citi for 25 years, working in Japan, Costa Rica and Uruguay and as a corporate banker in New York and Argentina.

He holds an MBA from the Wharton business school.