Kate Kennedy
Kroll Bond Rating Agency

As Kroll Bond Rating Agency’s US operations continue to grow, it has expanded into the European market, as Kate Kennedy explains

What motivations were behind KBRA’s expansion to Europe?

KBRA currently has 275 employees and offices across the US, located in New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. In addition, KBRA has published over 8,000 ratings totalling $750 billion. Given this growth and success in the US, we are expanding into Europe to provide the global capital markets with the same timely, accurate and transparent credit analysis that we’ve been providing over the past seven years.

What services will the European office provide?

The European group will begin focusing on residential mortgage-backed securities, asset-backed securities, infrastructure/project finance, as well as banks and financial institutions. The office currently has six employees including the head of our European operation, a compliance officer and then analysts focusing on the aforementioned asset classes. In addition to the six employees, we plan to grow the office rapidly, as the business dictates.

KBRA also provides market participants with thorough rating reports and topical research, free of charge.

What opportunities will the European office bring?

The European office will provide us with the opportunity to grow our business, which we’ve achieved so far by hiring experienced rating analysts who can focus on more complex and challenging asset classes and ratings. It will also afford us the opportunity of becoming a thought leader by providing the European market with insightful research.

As well as Europe, KBRA looks to expand into other geographies such as Asia and Latin America over the next few years.

Who will benefit from the European offering?

The market as a whole will benefit from KBRA entering Europe, but investors will benefit most. Since KBRA’s launch in 2010, we have been focused on providing investors with the most detailed, thorough analysis to assist them in making informed investment decisions.

We look forward to providing investors in Europe with the same type of analysis and responsiveness that has helped us differentiate ourselves from the other rating agencies in the US.

What made you select Dublin for the new office location?

KBRA was very excited to open its first international office in such a vibrant city as Dublin. The city’s growth over the last few years has been amazing and we look forward to adding to that growth.

There is a great talent base in Dublin from which we will draw as we continue our strategy of hiring the best analysts and providing them whatever resources they need to provide best-in-class credit work and research. KBRA is also active in aviation from both an asset-backed security and corporate perspective, and Dublin is a large hub for this sector.

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