The term 'Fitch Group' is included in the Corporate Finance edition of the Herold Financial Dictionary. Get yourself a copy now on Amazon - available as Kindle or Paperback.
The Fitch Group is the parent of four subsidiary companies. The original composite member of the group is Fitch Ratings. As the smallest of the Big Three agencies for credit ratings, Fitch has larger, more pervasive rivals in Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. The United States SEC Securities and Exchange Commission set out its list of the three nationally accepted statistical ratings organizations, or NRSRO’s, back in 1975.
The Fitch Group is headquartered jointly in New York City in the United States and in London, Great Britain. The company is majority held by the Hearst Corporation, which controls 80 percent of the group since it acquired an additional 30 percent interest in the worldwide ratings agency back on December 12th of 2014. This transaction equated to $1.965 billion. Hearst had controlled half of the group before this once acquired its original stake back in 2006. The balance 20 percent of the Fitch Group is held by French company FIMALAC, which still controls 50 percent of all board voting rights through 2020.
The company became founded on December 24th of 1914 by John Knowles Fitch in New York City when he named it the Fitch Publishing Company. Over 80 years later, the smallest of the big three credit ratings agencies merged with IBCA of London in December of 1997. Fitch Group expanded still more when it made two additional acquisitions in the year 2000 – Thomson Financial Bank Watch in December and Duff & Phelps Credit Rating Co. in April. Thanks to acquisitions such as these, the company has been able to finally position itself in the role of a tie breaker between the varying ratings of Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, which sometimes have unequal but similar-scaled ratings.
Today’s Fitch Group proves to be a worldwide leader of services in financial information that boasts impressive operations spanning over 30 different nations. The group is made up of four divisions including Fitch Ratings, Fitch Solutions, BMI Research, and Fitch Learning.
Fitch Ratings is the original core component of the company which evolved from the earliest incarnation of the company Fitch Publishing. It is a leader around the world in credit research and ratings. The division is committed to delivering more than only independent perspectives on its opinions of credit. Fitch Ratings also provides truly international points of view based on its credit market experience and local expertise. Over a century of industry-leading growth for investors who sought out the company’s professional and trusted opinion has been the result. The group provides comprehensive ratings on emerging markets, corporate finance, financial institutions, insurance, project and infrastructure finance, sovereign debt ratings, public finances, and structured financial product offerings.
Fitch Solutions turns out to be an industry leader in the provision of credit market data, risk services, and analytical tools for the worldwide financial industry. The company delivers its own market-centric content as well as acting as distributing agent for its sister group Fitch Ratings in a range of inventive platforms. It specializes in fundamental financial data, ratings & research, the proprietary Fitch Connect service, and analytics.
BMI Research is the group’s entirely independently based creator and distributor of both industry and nation analysis. This involves a unique holistic approach that combines analysis of industry, macroeconomic trends, and financial markets together. They concentrate their specialty on frontier and emerging markets in what they call Total Analysis. BMI maintains offices and operations in New York, South Africa, and Singapore. They deliver information on 200 international markets across 24 different industries. This includes specializations in country risk, industry reports, and the financial markets.
Fitch Learning is the group’s professional and training operation. They provide regulatory training, financial training classes, specifically tailored training, and qualifications in CISI, CQF, and CFA for their own employees and those of other corporations around the globe. This arm of the group has important centers in London, New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Dubai.