Financial Conduct Authority  

Hong Kong regulator boss to join FCA as chair

Hong Kong regulator boss to join FCA as chair
Incoming FCA chair Ashley Alder (Reuters/Bobby Yip/File Photo)

Ashley Alder, currently chief executive of Hong Kong’s regulator, has been appoint the new chair of the Financial Conduct Authority.

The FCA said Alder will take up his new role in January 2023. He will remain in the position for at least the next five years.

Alder takes over from Richard Lloyd, the City watchdog’s interim chair who was only appointed last month after Charles Randell’s four-year stint in the role came to an end.

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Randell announced he was stepping down in October. He held the post since April 2018, and led the regulator through the UK’s exit from the EU, the pandemic, as well as its transition to a new executive team under chief executive Nikhil Rathi in 2020.

Randell was tasked with a transformation of the regulatory body, following two big consumer scandals - the collapse of London Capital & Finance and the fall of Neil Woodford’s flagship equity fund.

The FCA is also battling unrest within its ranks. On May 4 and 5, FCA staff went on strike outside the regulator’s London and Edinburgh offices, with many more taking part remotely. FTAdviser understands around 240 FCA staff walked out.

Out of its 4,000 employees, some 600 are members of Unite according to the regulator.

Alder is currently chief executive of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, where he has worked since 2011.

He also chairs the board of the Madrid-based worldwide securities regulator, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions, and sits on two boards at Switzerland-based international body, the Financial Stability Board.

Having started out as a lawyer, Alder worked in the legal profession for some 20 years in Hong Kong, before flicking between private practice and roles at the Securities and Futures Commission.

On his appointment, Alder said: “I value the opportunity to contribute to a crucial phase in the FCA’s history as it helps chart the UK’s post-Brexit future as a global financial centre which continues to support innovation and competition through its own world-leading regulatory standards.”

Alder's appointment is the second time the FCA has poached the Hong Kong SFC's chief executive.

It's first chief executive, Martin Wheatley, was chief executive of the SFC between 2006 and 2010 before being hired by the FCA.

Alice Maynard and Liam Coleman have also been reappointed to the regulator’s board for second three-year terms.