S&P Hires Harding to Address Accounting Issues

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Byline: Piers Townsend

Standard & Poor's (S&P), the world's biggest credit ratings agency, has hired Sue Harding as European chief accountant as part of an ongoing initiative to address accounting practices in credit ratings.Harding was formerly head of global accounting strategy at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB). She was responsible for developing new equity research methodology that analysed global accounting developments and for advising institutional investors and CSFB analysts in implications for the valuation process.

Harding also chaired the European Accounting Committee of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association.

Between 1998 and 2001 she was research manager of the International Accounting Standards Committee in London and was previously a director in the global capital markets practise of PricewaterhouseCoopers in Europe.

At S&P she will be responsible for integrating European and international accounting and disclosure policies and issues into the agency's credit ratings analysis in Europe. Harding, who will be based in London, will advise investors and credit analysts on current and emerging accounting issues and their implications for ratings.

S&P said that Harding's appointment reflected the company's "intensified focus on addressing complex, ever-changing and, at times, non-transparent and aggressive financial reporting practises across the globe". …