Lori Price promoted to director of SEC's Office of Credit Ratings

BY SourceMedia | MUNICIPAL | 08/12/22 01:14 PM EDT By Connor Hussey

After nearly thirty years at the Securities and Exchange Commission in various roles, Lori Price has been promoted to director of the Office of Credit Ratings. She'll begin the new role Aug. 14.

The OCR is responsible for oversight of nationally recognized statistical rating organizations and conducts exams, develops and administers rules and maintains standards. Price will be leading a team that works to ensure that NRSROs aren't swayed by conflicts of interest, while working to provide greater transparency and disclosures to investors.

She joined the OCR in August 2020 and was promoted in February 2022 to acting director, replacing Ahmed Abonamah who left the Commission to become chief financial officer for the City of Cleveland.

"It is a tremendous opportunity to lead an office that plays a central role in protecting users of credit ratings and ensuring the integrity of the rating process," Price said. "I am excited to continue working with the talented and dedicated staff in OCR and across the agency."

Price began her career with the SEC in 1987, spending thirteen years with the Commission before leaving in 2000 to work in private practice. She returned to the Commission's Office of the General Counsel after three years in the private sector.

She was eventually promoted to associate general counsel and led a team of advisors to work on rulemaking initiatives and interpretive matters.

"I am pleased that Lori, building upon her decades of service to the SEC, has agreed to serve as Director of the Office of Credit Ratings," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said. "The oversight of credit rating agencies is critical to the SEC's mission to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly and efficient markets and facilitate capital formation."

The OCR came into the news recently following the SEC's approval of Demotech, an insurance rating agency, as an NRSRO, the tenth organization to be so named in the U.S.. They will now fall under the jurisdiction of the OCR.

Her appointment doesn't come as a surprise, given her over six months as acting director, but some are still looking forward to further collaboration.

"We are happy to have the opportunity to continue to work with Lori as she officially takes the reins of the Office of Credit Ratings at a pivotal time," said Emily Brock, director of the federal liaison center at Government Finance Officers Association.

"Her experience is well suited for the position and I am sure that many in the muni community look forward to working with her and her office," said Susan Gaffney, executive director for the National Association of Municipal Advisors.

In general the bond market is volatile, and fixed income securities carry interest rate risk. (As interest rates rise, bond prices usually fall, and vice versa. This effect is usually more pronounced for longer-term securities.) Fixed income securities also carry inflation risk and credit and default risks for both issuers and counterparties. Unlike individual bonds, most bond funds do not have a maturity date, so avoiding losses caused by price volatility by holding them until maturity is not possible.

Lower-quality debt securities generally offer higher yields, but also involve greater risk of default or price changes due to potential changes in the credit quality of the issuer. Any fixed income security sold or redeemed prior to maturity may be subject to loss.

Before investing, consider the funds' investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. Contact Fidelity for a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus containing this information. Read it carefully.