Last week, Chicago-based data, research and analytics firm – Morningstar, Inc. – hired Nomura’s head of CMBS research to lead the structured finance initiatives of its credit ratings group.
Morningstar’s New Hire
Morningstar Credit Ratings recently hired Lea Overby as a managing director in its structured finance research group. In Overby’s new role, she will lead Morningstar Credit Ratings’ structured finance research initiatives and focus on building Morningstar’s presence with investors, issuers and arrangers in the structured finance business.
Prior to joining Morningstar, Overby spent the last six years as Executive Director of Commercial Mortgage Backed Securities and Asset Backed Securities research at Nomura Securities International. Before her stint at Nomura, Overby spent five years at BNY Mellon as a Vice President and Senior Credit Analyst where she oversaw a $3.0 bln CMBS portfolio. Overby started her Wall Street career as an associate and CMBS analyst at Banc of America where she worked for 5 years.
Overby is scheduled to start at Morningstar on August 1st and she will report directly to Vickie Tillman, the President of Morningstar Ratings, LLC.
Morningstar’s hiring of Overby is not surprising given the firm’s strategic desire to expand its business to become a full-service nationally recognized statistical rating organization (NRSRO).
Currently, Morningstar Credit Ratings only provides coverage in structured finance—commercial mortgages, residential mortgages and asset-backed securities. However, in December 2014, the firm initially applied to the SEC to expand its business into rating securities issued by corporates and financial institutions. Morningstar submitted its most recent updated application in March of this year.
Consequently, Overby’s hiring (and her reporting directly to Tillman) could be part of a plan to prepare Morningstar to expand its business to offer ratings of corporates and financial institutions. Of course, the exact timing of such a move is dependent on when the SEC approves Morningstar’s long delayed applications to enter these businesses.