MELBOURNE, Australia (– Standard & Poor’s has combined its fund ratings team with that of recently acquired ASSIRT as it organizing a rating group by sector for Australia.

The merging of the ratings teams follows S&P’s acquisition of ASSIRT from St. George Bank in February.

Analysts will be responsible for S&P’s fund credit ratings and for ASSIRT’s qualitative ratings on fund management with additional services being offered as client demands dictate.

Sector heads will be assigned among five areas of coverage: boutiques and small caps; multi-managers and multi-sectors; international equities; alternative assets and structured products; and fixed income and fund credit ratings and Australian equities.

“We have combined the best of the Standard & Poor’s and ASSIRT research teams, with analysts averaging 10 years of financial market experience,” said S&P Head of Fund Ratings Mark Hoven in a statement. “We are confident that organizing the team along sector lines will ensure high-quality and consistent client services delivery.”

In the coming weeks, officials plan to consult with dealer groups and fund managers to get feedback on an enhanced rating methodology.

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