Kroll Holds Its Own in Mortgage-Backed Securities (WSJ)

Fledgling ratings service fills gaps left by competitor fumbles.

In the past three years, corporate investigator Jules Kroll’s Kroll Bond Rating Agency has quickly risen to the top as a rater of commercial mortgage-backed securities. Thanks in part to the fact that Standard & Poor’s has been locked out of the commercial-mortgage market since backing out of a 2011 deal, Kroll’s company has established itself firmly and provided a counterweight to Moody’s, which dominates the market for such ratings.

Kroll tells the Wall Street Journal that his company issues more detailed reports earlier than his competitors. He has also been able to nab top analysts from other companies like S&P. Kroll has expanded to cover municipal bonds and residential mortgage-backed securities, but those businesses are not yet profitable, while Kroll expects a 25% profit margin on its work rating commercial mortgage-backed securities by the end of 2013.

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For earlier coverage of the start-up credit rating agencies, see Major Credit Raters Still Dominate and New Raters Enter the Fray.

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