Research Assistant-Local Government

S&P Global - Chicago, IL4.0

As a research assistant, you will work in conjunction with, and in support of, senior analysts in preparing all aspects of credit ratings for U.S. local governments. This includes research of economic information, compiling financial data, analyzing debt statements, and identifying trends in the data that could have an impact on credit quality. Additionally, this role will contribute to the development and management of models and databases and contribute to research and data management for sector-wide credit reports. This position requires strong organizational, analytical, and quantitative skills. Attention to detail is essential.

The Impact:
Your position as Research Assistant is critical to the process of providing a credit rating, as you will help to compile data and provide the first look and analysis of state’s economic and financial health, and have the opportunity to identify its major strengths and weaknesses. Your research and support is essential to the senior analysts who are completing the rating. Additionally, you will be expected to contribute to gather and help analyze data for trend analysis that will translate into published articles. Your position as a Research Assistant in the local government group will provide you with both a macro and micro view of what is happening nationally as it relates to the economy, debt, pensions and credit.

The Career Opportunity:
A clear career path exists for moving up within the organization, which many Research Assistants have successfully used, by excelling in their work and showing an aptitude for analysis. We strongly believe that each analyst should be utilized at his or her highest and best use, which means that even at a lower title level, your responsibility has room to grow and is only limited by your own ability.

The Team / The Business
The U.S. local government team has a strong collegial environment and friendly atmosphere; as a new analyst, you would be regularly assigned to work with senior analysts to improve your knowledge and understanding, and we would expect you to frequently ask questions of senior analysts, who are happy to oblige.

A lot of the work is completed independently, but every rating involves a team of analysts, so teamwork is extremely important! The pace is fairly rapid, since a rating from start to finish takes about two weeks, and at any time any analyst is probably juggling numerous ratings; so if the thought of working on one report by yourself for months sounds boring to you, you’d like this environment.

Your skills

Bachelor’s degree
A demonstrated interest in local governments and how they work
Strong work ethic and ability to work well both independently and as part a team
Strong ability to work with financial models and data, including cash flow and credit models preferred
Must have strong analytical and problem-solving skills
Excellent time management and ability to organize, meet deadlines, and multitask;
Strong computer skills, including Word and PowerPoint;
Advanced knowledge of and proficiency in Excel, including experience with visual basic/building macros, nested functions and pivot tables, and ability to manipulate extremely large data sets
Familiarity with Visual Basic or other programming languages a plus

Prepare financial models by researching, analyzing, and incorporating updated information in regards to specific rated government institutions
Monitor news information for rated government institutions as well as for the sector and market
Collect and manage large amounts of data for trend analysis
Assist analysts in financial data input, adjustment and data analysis
Ensure data integrity, data input completeness and accuracy
Assist senior analysts working on a wide variety of ad hoc projects including database support and market research
Collate material for management meetings, rating committee materials, reports and press releases.

Our Hiring Manager says:
"I’m looking for the kind of person who is isn’t afraid to investigate by digging into documents and crunching numbers, who likes to analyze data and identify trends and is eager to develop and improve processes. You’ll love this job because it involves evaluating the public sector without all the political messiness; we get to focus on the facts, analyze the numbers and state our opinion about what direction we think a government credit is headed in. If you care about public policy but don’t want to be in politics, or are fascinated by how governments finance projects and public services, but don’t want to be a banker, this is a great position for you; it’s a best combination of private and public sector!"

About S&P Global Ratings

S&P Global Ratings is the world’s leading provider of independent credit ratings. Our ratings are essential to driving growth, providing transparency and helping educate market participants so they can make decisions with confidence. We have more than 1 million credit ratings outstanding on government, corporate, financial sector and structured finance entities and securities. We offer an independent view of the market built on a unique combination of broad perspective and local insight. We provide our opinions and research about relative credit risk; market participants gain independent information to help support the growth of transparent, liquid debt markets worldwide.

S&P Global Ratings is a division of S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI), which provides essential intelligence for individuals, companies and governments to make decisions with confidence. For more information, visit

S&P Global is an equal opportunity employer committed to making all employment decisions without regard to race/ethnicity, gender, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, marital status (including domestic partnerships and civil unions), sexual orientation, military veteran status, unemployment status, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state or local law. Only electronic job submissions will be considered for employment.

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