“Jules Kroll to Step Down as CEO of Namesake Credit-Rating Firm” (The Wall Street Journal, 9 Feb. 2017) discusses Jules Kroll’s decision to hand over the reins of Kroll Bond Rating Agency (KBRA), the credit-rating company he founded in 2010. Jules, who is stepping down as CEO now that KBRA is on firm financial footing, will remain chairman of KBRA but will hand over the everyday operations of the firm to co-founder and president Jim Nadler, who will become the firm’s CEO.
A pioneer of corporate investigations, Jules, chair and co-founder of K2 Intelligence, created credit-rating firm KBRA in the wake of the financial crisis of 2007, after the industry’s biggest credit-rating organizations drew fire from regulators and investors for their too-high ratings of subprime mortgage loans. The firm, one of only 10 recognized by the SEC as a national ratings organization, sought to restore trust in credit ratings by creating new standards for assessing risk and by offering accurate and transparent ratings.
KBRA, which has recently received approval from regulators for its ratings to be used by insurance companies and pension funds, has made a name for itself in the U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) and structured finance bond markets, with a 48% share of the CMBS market, according to trade publication Commercial Mortgage Alert. The company has 230 employees and expects to generate $100 million in revenue this year.
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