New Zealand’s regulatory prowess strengthens with appointment of ex-Deloitte chairman

New Zealand’s financial markets regulatory structure has evolved rapidly over the last two years.

Gone are the days when a retail FX company could simply place its name on a register and conduct business across the world with very little consequence, as the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) came into existance under the steerage of inaugural CEO Sean Hughes in order to reform the criteria for firms operating in New Zealand.

Whereas previously, very few of the firms on the Financial Services Provider register actually had any presence at all in New Zealand, companies in all sectors of financial services must now have fully established operations in New Zealand, with a specific number of key personnel including compliance officers and are subject to rulings which aim to protect the public.

Indeed, the New Zealand FMA has successfully curtailed a number of high value schemes which sought to bilk investors recently, a notable example being the regulator’s collaboration with the New Zealand Serious Fraud Office in November last year, when fraudster David Ross was sentenced to 10 years and 10 months in prison for executing the biggest ever ponzi scheme in New Zealand history. He has lost about $115 million NZD from investors in the span of approximately12 years. His company Ross Asset Management went sour last year after informing customers continuously during that period that it was making false investments through a made-up broker named Bevis Marks.

Mr. Hughes made significant progress, however he stepped down at the end of last year, handing over the responsibility to legal and compliance expert  Rob Everett in November 2013. Today heralds a further senior appointment at the FMA, with New Zealand Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith having announced that Murray Jack will serve as the new chair of the FMA.

“I am very pleased that Mr Jack has agreed to take on this crucial role,” Mr Goldsmith says.

“With extensive experience in both senior management and governance roles in the financial sector, Mr Jack has good credentials to chair the FMA.

Mr Jack is former chair of the board of Deloitte New Zealand and previously held the role of chief executive there. He has also been a FMA board member since its establishment in 2011 and has chaired the FMA’s Audit and Risk Committee.

“As chair of the FMA board, Mr Jack assumes a significant strategic role in ensuring that the FMA delivers on its objective to promote fair, efficient and transparent financial markets.

“He will guide the FMA in the implementation of the second phase of the Financial Markets Conduct Act regulations and other recent financial market law reforms and in its development as an effective markets regulator,” says Mr Goldsmith.

The FMA was established by the government in 2011 to grow public confidence in New Zealand’s financial markets and to support the growth of New Zealand’s capital markets.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank out-going chair Simon Allen for his contribution and commitment over the past three years and his willingness to extend his role beyond the initial term. Simon has led the FMA very well, and has been instrumental in shaping the vision for the FMA since its inception, and helped build it into a strong, credible regulator,” says Mr Goldsmith.

The Governor General appointed Murray Jack to chair the FMA board from 1 December 2014 until 30 April 2019.

Click here for the official announcement by the New Zealand FMA.

Read Also: