Paul Coughlin, the MD and head of S&P's corporate and government ratings division in Asia has been promoted to lead that division globally. He will relocate to New York. The move comes as the previous incumbent in that role, Ed Emmer moves over the run the firm's equity research business, one of the fastest growing areas of the S&P stable of businesses.

Coughlin is a familiar face to many in the debt markets. He began his career working in the Australian government as a staff member advising on economic policy to Prime Minister John Howard (who was then Treasurer). He then spent six years in merchant and investment banking.

In 1988, he moved into ratings with Australian Ratings, which was acquired by S&P in 1990. In 1995, S&P moved him to Hong Kong to establish its first office in the then colony. He subsequently worked on the creation of Taiwan Ratings, a JV between S&P and local partners.

Having established these businesses, he then returned to analytics - firstly running the regional infrastructure and public finance ratings teams and then adding corporate, sovereign and financial services to his remit. In 2003, he moved to Singapore to manage the wider corporates and government groups for all of Asia, after one of S&P's periodic reorganizations.

"Paul has a broad range of experience in the credit ratings business, including sovereigns, financial institutions, corporations and structured finance deal," says Vickie Tillman, head of credit market services at S&P in New York. "Having a deep and intimate understanding of fixed income markets he will ensure we anticipate and address changes in market and client needs. With the rapid growth experienced in many of our markets, whether in the US, Europe or Asia, a key role for Paul will be to help set strategic direction and ensure the quality and integrity of analytical products and services for both global and domestic markets."

Replacing Coughlin at the helm in Asia will be Michael Petit, who is currently an MD in the firm's Tokyo office, where he has been since 1999. Prior to joining S&P in 1987, he was credit analyst at a commercial bank in the US.