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Morningstar Sets Up Practice to Evaluate Mortgage Servicer Performance

""Morningstar, Inc."":http://www.morningstar.com, a Pennsylvania-based provider of independent investment research, announced Monday that its ""Realpoint"":http://www.realpoint.com unit has launched an operational risk assessment practice to evaluate the performance of mortgage servicing firms.

Morningstar says the new practice, which is part of Realpoint's credit ratings business, will complement the company's convention of providing transparency and insight to investors in structured finance transactions.

""The addition of operational risk assessment capabilities adds another important component to Realpoint's[IMAGE] [COLUMN_BREAK]

analytical scope,"" said Robert Dobilas, CEO of Realpoint. ""We can now enhance our transaction-level ratings and analysis of mortgage-backed securities with a comprehensive assessment of the operational risk of the parties to the securitization process.""

Michael Gutierrez, formerly managing director and head of servicer evaluations for Standard & Poor's, recently joined Morningstar to lead the new business.

""Realpoint's well-known focus on investor concerns and its highly developed analytical infrastructure will allow us to take operational risk analytics to an entirely new level,"" Gutierrez said.

He continued, ""It is increasingly apparent that mortgage servicing, as well as origination, and the ancillary service providers involved in both businesses, play a crucial role in the performance of structured transactions.""

The operational risk assessment unit will be based in Realpoint's New York City offices. Realpoint is a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) focused on assisting institutional investment firms with identifying credit risk in the structured finance market. The company's services include new-issue ratings and analysis, surveillance, data, and technology solutions.

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.

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