Because governments can have lousy credit, too, Fitch Ratings issues ratings for some 19,500 banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, corporations, and governments. It's one of the top three credit rating agencies in the world (alongside Moody's and Standard & Poor's). Maintaining dual headquarters in New York and London and about 50 offices worldwide, Fitch Ratings engages in the politically charged business of rating the debt of nations. It covers companies and governments in more than 150 nations. Fitch Ratings is a unit of Fitch Group, which is majority owned by The Hearst Corporation. Financial statistician John Knowles Fitch founded the company in 1913.