Our story

The CountryRisk.io story began in December 2015. Driven by a desire to simplify country risk assessments and establish a groundbreaking, crowdsourced ratings and intelligence platform, founders Jenny and Bernhard decided to turn their passion project into a pioneering business.

Our values

Transparency: When it comes to the methodologies behind its models and processes, CountryRisk.io is an open book. It allows you to see exactly how you arrived at your final rating. There is no committee who would, or could, potentially override your results. 

Structured framework: We believe that a structured framework combining quantitative and qualitative factors is the best way to analyse sovereign and country risk. Qualitative factors add insights from practical experience, which can capture risk factors that quantitative data or statistical models cannot.

Constructive exchange: One perspective is interesting. But multiple perspectives are what tend to reveal the truth. That’s why we believe that a constructive exchange of multiple informed perspectives makes for superior country risk analyses.

Independence: CountryRisk.io is independent of any rating issuer or commercial credit rating agency. This means we are free of any conflict of interest from issuers or any institutions, and this preserves the integrity of our models and rating processes.

Jennifer Asuncion-Banziger - Co-founder

Jennifer Asuncion-Banziger

Jennifer has 20 years of country risk experience that includes working for the Asian Development Bank, secondments to the Department of Finance of the Philippines and other ASEAN central banks and ministries of finance and various private sector financial institutions.

Jennifer was educated in the US (Hofstra University) and UK (London School of Economics).

Bernhard Obenhuber - Co-founder

Bernhard Obenhuber

Bernhard brings 10 years of experience in investment strategy and research for the largest Swiss banks with a strong focus on emerging market fixed income and quantitative modelling.

Bernhard holds master degrees in economics and finance from the University of Innsbruck and is a CFA charterholder.

Moritz Kraemer - Chief economist

Moritz Kraemer

Moritz Kraemer joins CountryRisk.io as Advisor and Chief Economist. Moritz will play an integral role in reinforcing the robustness of CountryRisk.io’s sovereign risk models as well as engaging with its community members.

Moritz is very well known and respected for the thought leadership and the senior roles he held with S&P Global Ratings, which he joined in 2001. Before leaving S&P at the end of 2018, he was Global Chief Rating Officer, Sovereigns. He has interacted with senior investors and policymakers across the globe in over 100 countries. He has lived and worked in four continents and brings a broad international experience to ContryRisk.io.

Moritz is a frequent influential commentator on matters pertaining to country risk in Tier-1 print and TV-media as well as via prestigious think tanks. He teaches sovereign risk at Goethe-University Frankfurt and the Centre Internationale de Formation Européene in Nice.

Moritz has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Göttingen. He was educated in Economics, Latin American Studies and Literature in Frankfurt, Southampton and San Diego.

Axel Swoboda - CDO

Axel Swoboda

More than 15 years of experience in designing user interfaces and engaging applications.

Axel graduated as engineer in Multimedia Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Salzburg, Austria.

Patrick Kranzlmüller - CTO

Patrick Kranzlmüller

More than 15 years of experience in the backend development of web applications.

Patrick has a master in media and communication sciences from the University of Vienna, Austria.

Passionate about building stable, future-proof backend solutions and APIs based on clean, maintainable code.

Builder and co-founder of bookamat.com and zoa-gdpr.com

Our mission is simple.

We believe that sovereign ratings should be a public good, so we created CountryRisk.io to make that vision a reality--underpinned by our core values.

An alternative to the credit rating agencies

At the height of the European debt crisis, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published its Principles for Reducing Reliance on CRA Ratings. These Principles called for reducing mechanistic reliance on, and greater independence from, the Big Three credit rating agencies.

Our belief in this laudable goal was the spark that kindled our big idea: what if we combined the knowledge of sovereign risk analysts around the world to create a standard model that everyone could use, thereby creating a credible alternative to the Big Three?

Advisory Board

Hugo Banziger

Hugo Banziger

Hugo Banziger serves on the board of the International Committee of the Red Cross and chairs its audit committee.

Between 2014 and 2018, he was a Managing Partner at Lombard Odier, a Geneva-based private bank. At the same time, Hugo served as Chairman of the EUREX Group, Europe’s largest exchange for traded options and financial futures.

He also chaired the Advisory Panel to the Committee of European Banking Supervisors from 2007 to 2010, co-chaired the Enhanced Disclosure Task Force of the Financial Stability Board, and was a member of the EU High-Level Expert Group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector (Liikanen Group).

Between 2006 and 2012, Hugo was a member of Deutsche Bank’s Management Board, where he was Chief Risk Officer responsible for capital, liquidity, legal, compliance and security.

Hugo holds a PhD in Economic History from the University of Bern. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Swiss Armed Forces and has taught at the University of Chicago, the London School of Economics and the Lee Kwan Yew Institute for Public Policy in Singapore.

Élie Hériard Dubreuil

Élie Hériard Dubreuil

Élie Hériard Dubreuil is a veteran in the field of credit risk ratings, having started his career at Fitch Ratings in structured finance and credit risk modelling.

After a few years in investment banking, Élie spent over 12 years in various senior positions at S&P Global in rating and methodology for sovereigns, public finance and financial institutions, most notably as its global head of supranationals.

Élie co-managed the start-up Beyond Ratings, an innovative integrated rating agency based in Paris that was sold to the London Stock Exchange in 2019. In June 2020, he was appointed Executive Chairman of Qivalio, a French credit rating agency and independent research firm.

Élie has also taught risk management at SciencesPo and other universities. He holds non-executive board membership roles at Microdrones, Rémy Cointreau, Oeneo, Estimeo and Koosmik.

Alexandra Engel

Alexandra Engel

Alexandra Engel brings 15 years of international professional experience in banking and asset management to CountryRisk.io.

She has headed the Corporate Governance and Legal Division at Bankhaus Lampe since August 2018, where she oversees the Legal Department, Board Office, Product Governance and Internal Control System.

In the two years prior, Alexandra headed the Policy Centre at the Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE at Goethe University Frankfurt. There, she established networks with regulators and politicians in Germany and Brussels, and developed the Centre’s strategic objectives and processes.

Before joining SAFE, Alexandra spent nearly eight years at Deutsche Bank as Senior Legal Counsel. Aside from her expertise in EU banking regulation, she was primary legal advisor for the global implementation of the US Volcker Rule and influenced the discussion around the application of the rule in the US market, particularly in terms of its interplay with non-US law.

Alexandra entered the banking industry as Legal Counsel at Dresdner Kleinwort in Frankfurt. She received her doctorate in Law from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2005.

Nick Turner

Nick Turner

Nick Turner is a lawyer and works on all aspects of economic sanctions, anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-bribery and corruption compliance and investigations.

Based in Hong Kong at Steptoe & Johnson, Nick draws on his experience working in-house for multinational financial institutions and corporations. His practice focuses on designing and implementing compliance programs and advising on the application of regulations from the U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and other agencies to international business. Nick also has designed and delivered tailored trainings on economic sanctions and AML laws in the financial services, telecommunications and manufacturing sectors.

He is a frequent speaker at conferences and workshops throughout Asia, a certified AML specialist (CAMS), and the author of a widely read weekly briefing on economic sanctions developments. He is an Associate Fellow of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Latest updates