Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA shakes up executive team as part of 'transformation' programme

FCA shakes up executive team as part of 'transformation' programme

The Financial Conduct Authority has made four appointments to its executive team as part of its "transformation" programme, spearheaded by its new chief executive.

Chief executive Nikhil Rathi announced this morning (February 25) that Stephanie Cohen will become the regulator’s chief operating officer and Jessica Rusu will join as the FCA’s first chief data, information and intelligence officer.

In addition, Sarah Pritchard will become executive director of markets and Emily Shepperd will take up the newly created role of executive director of authorisations.

It comes after the FCA merged its supervision departments to create a single division.

This saw Megan Butler step away from her role as executive director for supervision of investments, wholesale and specialist to instead become executive director of transformation.

The shakeup was first hinted at in the FCA's business plan published in April last year, and newly appointed Rathi has been vocal about transforming the City watchdog under his watch. 

Commenting on the appointments, Rathi said: “They bring with them a deep understanding of the consumers we seek to protect, the markets we oversee, and all have track records for operational excellence. 

“As we continue transforming the FCA - building a data-led regulator - their global experience and leadership, drawn from a variety of backgrounds, will be vital in ensuring we can act more quickly to reduce harm to consumers and ensure market integrity.”

The roles

As COO, Cohen will be responsible for the FCA’s operations and business performance, systems and infrastructure, and finances. 

She will also take the lead on operational changes to make the regulator “more efficient, dynamic, and technologically driven”. 

As a qualified accountant, Cohen brings two decades of experience in large financial services firms, including 14 years at BlackRock where she was the global COO for the active equity businesses and the Alpha Strategies division.

In a digital role, Rusu will lead the transformation of the regulator’s use of data, intelligence and information.

She will also improve the FCA’s relationship with big tech companies and fintechs.  

Before taking up her current role as chief data officer at Chetwood Financial, Rusu was senior director of finance & analytics at eBay in Europe.

Both Cohen and Rusu will take up their roles in June.

Also joining the regulator in June, Pritchard will look to shape the future of financial markets regulation.

She joins from the National Economic Crime Centre, where she is a director. 

Meanwhile, Shepperd will join next month to oversee the process behind firms and individuals applying to take on regulated financial services activity.

She was most recently director of customer services and change at Aegon.

In addition, the FCA has also appointed Clare Cole as director of market oversight.

Cole has been acting director since December and has worked at the FCA since 2003.

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