Credit ratings specialist Fitch has appointed ex-Fidelity executive Evan Hale as its new head of Fitch Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. He replaces Andrea Mueller, who left the firm in May 2008, and will report to Bernard De Lattre, group managing director at Fitch Ratings, who is based in Paris.
Prior to this appointment, Hale was managing director for Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and China at Fidelity International.
In his new role, he will be focusing on restoring faith in the ratings business in the domestic Asian markets, of which Fitch is present in 11. His specific remit is to strengthen brand perception and focus on business growth in the region, says the firm.
The ratings agencies are coming under increasing scrutiny from the regulatory community and the financial markets at large, following last year’s much publicised failures with regards to the ratings of securitised products. US, European and Asian regulators have all been discussing the need for greater regulation of the industry with regards to policing ratings agencies’ practices, over the course of the last few months. The subject is also up for discussion at next month’s G20 summit, at which point it is likely that regulations to increase transparency will be tabled.