FMA appoints executive director, transformation and operational delivery

FMA appoints executive director, transformation and operational delivery | Insurance Business New Zealand

FMA appoints executive director, transformation and operational delivery

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has appointed Sharon Thompson (pictured above) as executive director – transformation and operational delivery, part of its newly formed enterprise leadership team. She will commence her role in late February and will be based in Auckland.

Thompson joins the FMA from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD), where she was deputy commissioner for the customer and compliance services (individuals) group. She oversaw the IRD’s large, customer-facing teams as they underwent a multi-year business transformation programme, which included the adoption of digital technology and structural and cultural changes.

Thompson has extensive, senior leadership experience in both the New Zealand public sector and financial services industry, having held senior roles at ASB Bank and Westpac prior to joining the IRD. She has a master’s degree in management from Massey University.

According to the FMA, Thompson will provide strategic direction to the regulator’s operations and capability functions, including technical operations, project management, data engineering, IT security and architecture, customer relationship management, knowledge management, business improvement, people and capability, finance, business support and transformation.

“Sharon is an exceptional appointment for the FMA as she has strong experience leading enterprise level organisations in both the public and private sector, through operational transformation,” said Samantha Barrass, FMA chief executive. “Sharon’s focus on driving improved customer outcomes and employee engagement will ensure the FMA is well supported in its key enabling functions. Sharon will ensure the FMA is well placed to deliver to the expanding needs of both our people and stakeholders.”

The FMA also announced the impending departure of John Botica (director of market engagement, and director of regulation and operations) in June. According to the FMA, Botica expressed his intention to retire in late 2022, but he also intended to help support the FMA transition into its new structure. Botica first joined the FMA in 2013 and has held several leadership roles during his tenure, in particular leading the FMA’s focus on market engagement.

“The board and I want to acknowledge John’s significant contribution to the FMA,” Barrass said. “His experience and knowledge was instrumental in our successful implementation of the new financial advice regime. He is well-known and highly regarded in the industry. We wish him well and congratulate him on a fantastic career in financial services.”