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April 26, 2019  

Morningstar Recruits Reinforce MBS Team

Morningstar has hired two key analytical professionals away from S&P, installing one of them as head of mortgage-bond ratings.

Stephen Buteau arrived April 22 with oversight of the agency’s mortgage-backed securities rating team in New York, reporting to chief executive Brian Grow. He replaces Kevin Dwyer, who resigned March 15 to join Ellington Management.

Morningstar also hired Daniel Hall to fill a newly created role as a senior vice president, installing him as part of a 17-person team under Buteau. He starts May 6.

Buteau worked at S&P since 2015 as an analytical manager in charge of a team handling mortgage-bond ratings, methodology and policy. Before that, he worked at bond insurers Assured Guaranty and FSA.

Hall worked at S&P since 2013, most recently as a team leader responsible for mortgage-bond ratings. He previously had been employed at the agency from 2005 to 2010, with later stops at Deutsche Bank and DLA Piper.

Morningstar typically hasn’t graded bonds whose underlying home loans fit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “qualified-mortgage” standards, but does intend to become more involved in the sector. Among deals backed by non-qualified loans, it has graded 10 of the 17 transactions that have priced this year, up from 11 offerings in all of 2018, according to Asset-Backed Alert’s ABS Database. The agency also has been a leader in the market for bonds backed by rental-home cashflows, and has gained assignments on risk-transfer deals tied to mortgage-insurance policies.