Fitch Ratings has assigned a structured finance collateralized debt obligation asset manager rating of CAM2 to Vertical Capital. Vertical is an independent fixed income asset management company that specializes in structured financial securities with assets under management of more than $4 billion.
Fitch's grading scale is on a one to five rating with one being the highest rating. In company and management experience, Vertical received a 2.75; staffing was rated 2.25; procedures and control garnered a 2.75; portfolio management was rated 2.50; CDO administration was 2.50; technology was 2.25 and CDO performance was graded the highest at 1.50. Vertical received an overall grade of 2.25.
"Their performance is above average from firms that we've rated," explained Vince Matsui, an analyst at Fitch. "The reasons that they're not higher than they are is because they are still small and are relatively newer managers. There is bound to be some haircutting when you don't have a longer track record." Fitch started applying ratings to asset managers in November 2001 and since that time, 50 managers have been rated with 27 previous ones allowing the ratings to be made public. Vertical is in the process of creating several additional CDO funds. Officials at Vertical could not be reached for comment.