The new ratings game


Moody's takes the lead in big names, but Amber still leads the pack in number of funds rated

By Barry Cohen

Last September, Sorin Capital Management, at the time a $335 million hedge fund that invests in commercial mortgage and asset-backed securities, took an unusual step: It was the first hedge fund to sign up for an "operational rating" from Moody's Investors Service. Today Sorin, which got the top rating of "excellent" from Moody's, manages $1 billion in assets - growth that was no doubt aided by the rating agency's stamp of approval.

"A rating potentially