Claire G. Cohen has been named executive vice president by Fitch Investors Service, the rating agency announced Tuesday.

An announcement from the rating agency said the promotion came "in recognition of her role in the expansion" of Fitch's municipal ratings business.

H. Russell Fraser, the agency's chairman, said Ms. Cohen is "the most intellectually honest person I've met, which makes her a great leader for a rating agency."

Ms. Cohen, who joined Fitch in August of 1989, was promoted from the post of executive managing director. The change in title, she said Tuesday, will not affect her duties in the rating agency's governmental finance department.

But the promotion gives Ms. Cohen, the top municipal analyst at the agency, a status equal to that of the heads of the agency's other departments.

Before she joined Fitch, Ms. Cohen served as vice president and managing director in the states group at Moody's Investors Service. She began her career as an analyst with Dun & Bradstreet in 1956 upon graduating from Radcliffe College.

"Ms. Cohen has been a key factor in Fitch's expansion into the municipal bond market," Mr. Fraser was quoted as saying in the news release.

Ms. Cohen helped attract analysts to the fledgling municipal department at Fitch, which has been under new management since the spring of 1988. Among those who joined the department since Ms. Cohen's arrival was Colleen Woodell, a Moody's-trained analyst who started at Fitch in February of 1990.

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