Standard & Poor's Corp.

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Standard & Poor's Corporation
Founded 1941
Headquarters New York
Key People Douglas Peterson, President; Pat Milano, EVP
Products Ratings, risk evaluation, indices, research, data

Standard & Poor's Corp. (S&P) provides credit ratings, indices, investment research, risk evaluation and data for investors. The corporation analyzes issuers and debt obligations of corporations, states and municipalities, financial institutions, insurance companies and sovereign governments. It also provides insight into the credit risk of structured finance deals, providing an independent view of credit risk associated with debt-securitized instruments.

On Aug. 6, 2011, S&P issued the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating.[1] It proceeded on Aug. 8, 2011 to downgrade the credit ratings of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and several other U.S. government entities, reflecting their dependence on federal support.[2]

Standard & Poor's had in April of that year downgraded its outlook for the United States from stable to negative noting the U.S.'s continuing budget deficit, debt growth and it's failure to establish a long-term solution to both issues.[3]

  • Over $1.5 trillion in investment assets is directly tied to S&P indexes, and more than $5 trillion is benchmarked to S&P indices - more than all other index providers combined.
  • The total amount of outstanding debt rated by S&P globally is approximately U.S. $34 trillion, in 100 countries. In 2006, Standard & Poor's Ratings Services published more than 495,000 ratings, including new and revised ratings.
  • The S&P Global 1200 covers 31 markets and approximately 70 percent of global market capitalization.
  • Standard & Poor's Equity Research offers fundamental coverage on over 2,000 stocks.[4]

On August 23, 2011, Douglas Peterson stepped up as president of Standard & Poor's, replacing Deven Sharma.[5]

Products and Services

Standard & Poor's Indices

Standard & Poor's Index Services maintains a wide variety of investable and benchmark indices. Its family of indices includes the S&P 500, an index with $1.3 trillion invested and $4.8 trillion benchmarked, and the S&P Global 1200, a composite index composed of seven regional and country headline indices.

Working with organizations through licensing agreements or to create and license a broad array of indices, with the imprimatur of S&P's name, is a major business of Standard & Poor's.

As of November 2007, it listed[6]:

  • S&P global indices (15)
  • S&P U.S. indices (29)
  • S&P Canadian indices (16)
  • One S&P Latin American index, the S&P Latin America 40
  • S&P European indices (7)
  • S&P Asian indices (20)
  • S&P Japanese indices (5)
  • S&P Australian indices (14)
  • S&P emerging market indices (8)
  • S&P alternative indices, including real estate, hedge fund, commodity indexes and others (22)
  • S&P fixed income indices (23)
  • S&P strategy indices - Standard & Poor's also creates custom indices to take advantage of investment strategies that normally cannot be replicated using existing index calculation methodologies (13).

Credit Ratings

Standard & Poor’s provides credit ratings and credit risk analysis. They have credit ratings outstanding on approximately $34 trillion of debt in more than 100 countries.

Fund Services

Standard & Poor's Fund Management Ratings provide insight into the performance of the world's leading investment funds by examining how managers have achieved performance. Extensive fund research for clients and fund shortlists to help clients process fund selection are part of those services.

Equity Research

Standard & Poor's independent equity research covers approximately 2,000 stocks globally. Neither Standard & Poor's nor its parent company, The McGraw-Hill Companies, conducts any investment banking or securities underwriting activities.[7]

Risk Solutions

Standard & Poor's Risk Solutions address major components of an internal rating system, including tools and methodologies for the analysis of probability of default, loss given default, and exposure at default.[8]

Data Services

Standard & Poor's provides vital credit, company, index, funds, reference and pricing data to support your financial models and company and industry analysis. This includes company fundamental analysis, credit information, index performance data, reference data, and securities pricing.[9]


Standard & Poor's traces its origins to the publication, in 1860, of Henry Varnum Poor's History of Railroads and Canals in the United States, a precursor of modern stock reporting and analysis.

  • In 1906, the Standard Statistics Bureau was formed to provide previously unavailable financial information on U.S. companies.
  • In 1916, Standard Statistics began to assign debt ratings to corporate bonds, with sovereign debt ratings following shortly thereafter.
  • In 1940, municipal bond ratings were introduced.
  • In 1941, Poor's Publishing and Standard Statistics merged to form the Standard & Poor's Corp.
  • In 1966, The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. acquired Standard & Poor's.[10]

Key People


  1. S&P downgrades US credit rating. Associated Press/Yahoo! News.
  2. S&P Cuts U.S. Government Entities.
  3. Standard & Poor's changes US outlook to negative.
  4. Overviews. Standard & Poor's.
  5. Douglas Peterson to Become President of S&P. Bloomberg.
  6. "S&P Indices”.
  7. "Equity Research”. Standard & Poor's.
  8. "Risk Solutions”. Standard & Poor's.
  9. "Data Services”. Standard & Poor's.
  10. "History”. Standard & Poor's.