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S&P's US downgrade has an Indian connection

world Updated: Aug 08, 2011 12:03 IST

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There is an Indian executive at the helm of affairs surrounding the historic downgrade of the US' creditworthiness, as ratings agency S&P's unprecedented move was taken under the leadership of Deven Sharma.

Standard & Poor's president, Sharma was at the forefront of S&P's decision to downgrade the US long term sovereign credit rating from the top notch 'AAA' level for the first time ever since a rating was assigned to the world's largest economy.

When the US administration took up cudgels against the ratings agency, terming its analysis flawed and questioning its credibility and integrity, Sharma again led from the front in defending S&P's move.

Defending S&P's action, Sharma said the angry reaction from the US was on expected lines and "the same you would get from any other country or company" being downgraded. Sharma was named president of Standard & Poor's in 2007 and also chairs the board of S&P's Indian subsidiary Crisil.

He holds a bachelor's degree from the Birla Institute of Technology in Mesra (Jharkhand, India), a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin and a doctoral degree in Business Management from Ohio State University. He did his schooling in Dhanbad district of Jharkhand.

Sharma is part of an expanding league of Indian origin persons heading global financial institutions.

Incidentally, another India born executive Vikram Pandit was at the helm of efforts to steer global banking giant Citigroup out of the financial crisis of 2008.

Recently, another Indian origin banker, Anshu Jain, was appointed co CEO of German banking major Deutsche Bank.

Sharma joined S&P in 2006 as executive vice president, investment services and global sales, and prior to that he was executive vice president, global strategy, at The McGraw-Hill companies for five years.

He joined The McGraw-Hill companies in January, 2002, from Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management consulting company, where he was a partner. Much of his experience includes work with global corporations in the US, Latin America, Europe and parts of Asia.

Before joining Booz Allen, Sharma worked with manufacturing companies Dresser Industries and Anderson Strathclyde.

Sharma is also a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's systemic resolution advisory committee and the council on foreign relations. He also serves on the international advisory board of the British American business council and the Asia society business council.