NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Citigroup

(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

executive Douglas Peterson - set to replace Standard and Poor's President Deven Sharma in September - has experience handling delicate government relationships.

Peterson, currently chief operating officer of Citibank N.A, Citigroup's principal banking unit, helped

revamp the bank's Japan operations after the country shut down its private bank in 2004 for allegedly misleading clients about investments.

Doug Peterson

At that time Japan's Financial Services Agency was investigating Citigroup - one of the country's oldest foreign financial institutions - and Peterson was charged in repairing the frayed relationship with the government, according to published reports.

That experience will come in handy at S&P as the management shuffle comes as the rating agency faces scrutiny for its downgrade of U.S. debt earlier this month even as rival firms have maintained their Triple A rating. Critics including Warren Buffett have said the rating agency's downgrade was unwarranted.

The

Securities and Exchange Commission

is also reportedly scrutinizing the method S&P used to cut the U.S.'s credit rating and whether the firm properly protected the confidential decision.

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The ratings agency has said Sharma's resignation is unrelated to the downgrade and had been in the works for sometime.

Peterson had previously been chief auditor of Citigroup from 2001 to 2004 where he led the enterprise-wide integration of the Internal Audit teams after the merger of Citicorp and Travelers. In prior roles, he served as country manager in Costa Rica and Uruguay and as a corporate banker in Argentina and New York.

"Doug is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years of global experience in financial services, risk management and capital markets," Harold McGraw III, chairman, president and chief executive officer of The McGraw-Hill Companies said. "He is an outstanding global leader, has tremendous breadth across financial and capital markets and is a proven operating and strategic executive who has successfully built businesses in multiple markets, including Japan, Latin America and the United States."

Separately, shareholders in McGraw Hill are also pushing the company to break up further. McGraw Hill should break into four parts- S&P, the S&P index business, information & Media and education- according to a regulatory filing by Jana Partners late Monday.

--Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York

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