FMA overhauls enterprise leadership team structure

Changes to take effect early next year, amid regulator's expanding mandate

FMA overhauls enterprise leadership team structure

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has made changes to its executive leadership team as part of its preparations for its expanding mandate and to help create a fairer financial sector.

The FMA said its new enterprise leadership will consist of six executive level roles reporting directly to the chief executive. The current executive committee will be dissolved in early 2023, and the new structure will take effect at the same time.

  • The executive director, strategy and design will lead the strategy and direction setting for the FMA, ensuring a clear view of the systems, priorities and regulatory design is developed with, and communicated across the whole organisation
  • The executive director, regulatory delivery will be in charge of directing, planning and delivering the FMA’s core regulatory functions across licensing, influencing and supervision of regulated individuals and firms
  • The executive director, response and enforcement will oversee the strategy and appropriate response to actions and behaviour of market participants that pose risk or harm, including the investigation and enforcement of misconduct cases
  • The executive director, evaluation and oversight and general counsel will be responsible for a broad range of audit, risk, legal and governance matters along with evaluating the effectiveness of regulatory interventions and activity
  • The executive director, transformation and operational delivery will be responsible for the group including finance, operations, and people and capability, that provides internal support to enable the whole of the FMA
  • The executive director, Te Ao Māori will help the FMA embed Te Ao Māori into its activities and ensure it fulfils its role as a kaitiaki of financial services in Aotearoa. More work is needed to scope this function before a permanent appointment is sought for this role, the regulator said

Samantha Barrass, FMA chief executive, acknowledged the positive participation from the current FMA executive committee in the recent consultation process.

“I want to ensure the FMA is best positioned to accelerate our growth and transformation plans as we prepare for a larger role focused on outcomes for consumers of financial services in Aotearoa,” Barrass said. “We are evolving and growing to deliver our existing responsibilities, alongside the increase of our legislative mandate. To reflect these changes, we are introducing a simpler organisational design where senior leaders work at the right strategic level, supporting stronger collaboration across high-performing, functional teams.”

Barrass also named the occupants of several of the roles.

“I am delighted to confirm that Liam Mason has been appointed to the role of executive director, evaluation and oversight – Mr Mason will continue as general counsel,” Barrass said. “Paul Gregory has been appointed to the role of executive director, response and enforcement, and Clare Bolingford has been appointed to the role of executive director, regulatory delivery.”

The FMA said it will soon conduct an external recruitment process for the roles of executive director, strategy and design, and executive director, transformation and operational delivery.

“I want to acknowledge the enormous contribution from remaining members of the FMA’s current leadership team,” Barrass said. “Sarah Feehan, who has successfully led the people and capability function for five years, will take up a similar senior leadership people role reporting to the new executive director, transformation and operational delivery.”

James Greig, currently director of supervision, will continue supporting his current team in the transition to the FMA’s new structure. The FMA said it is deciding on a future senior leadership role that can make the best use of his knowledge and extensive experience.

After six years, chief operating officer Brad Edley will leave the FMA, effective Sept. 23. John Botica will take over the functions of the COO to support the FMA during the transition to the new structure. In the interim, From Sept. 26, Botica’s title will be director of regulation and operations.

“All these individuals are held in the highest regard and respect by our staff and the FMA board and have each played a significant part in our success, over many years of service to the agency,” Barrass said. “As we aim to grow into a world-class conduct regulator, helping more New Zealanders than ever believe the financial services sector is working well for them, I recognise we need to build on the strengths that have helped the FMA get to where we are today.”

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