The new hire will ‘bring much needed pragmatism to the FCA board from his experience of running a major regulator’, says law firm partner

HM Treasury has revealed that regulation maestro Ashely Alder will become the FCA’s new chair for the next five years, effective from January 2023.

Alder currently serves as Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) top boss – a role he has held since 2011.

He also chairs the board of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and sits on the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) plenary in addition to its steering committee.

Alder began his career as a lawyer in London in 1984 and practiced in Hong Kong for more than 20 years. He served as executive director of the SFC’s Corporate Finance Division from 2001 to 2004, before later returning to private practice as head of Asia at law firm Herbert Smith LLP.

FCA interim chair Richard Lloyd, who took up the role on 1 June 2022 after Charles Randell OBE decided to step down, said, “we are looking forward to working with Ashley as he takes over the leadership of the FCA’s board next year”.

He continued: “As the FCA continues to strengthen its vital work to protect consumers and our financial markets, his deep experience of leading a major international regulator will help us deliver our ambitious strategy for the future.”

Once Alder joins in the new year, Lloyd will resume his role as the FCA’s senior independent director.

Outside view

Simon Morris, financial services partner at law firm CMS, said “this is an excellent appointment”.

“The FCA has finally got a chair who knows what regulation looks like from the inside track.

“Ashley Alder will bring much needed pragmatism to the FCA board from his experience of running a major regulator.

“His chairmanship of IOSCO presages well for the FCA’s work in strengthening its international footprint.”

As part of the FCA’s leadership re-shuffle, amid strikes and calls for union representation, HM Treasury has also reappointed Dr Alice Maynard and Liam Coleman – who respectively chair the regulator’s audit and people committees – to the board for their second three-year terms.

In addition to their current roles, Coleman serves as a chairman of the Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, while Maynard is a non-executive director of the board of HMRC and is a member of the Government Commercial Office Remuneration Committee.