Financial Conduct Authority  

FCA makes trio of senior hires as part of transformation project

FCA makes trio of senior hires as part of transformation project

The Financial Conduct Authority has recruited three senior individuals to add to its leadership team as part of its transformation programme.

Mel Gunewardena will take up a senior advisor role at the FCA, Graeme Reynolds has been appointed director of competition and Simon Walls has been appointed as an interim wholesale director. 

Gunewardena is currently chief market intelligence officer at the commodities and futures trading commission based in Washington DC and a former managing director at Goldman Sachs. 

He was also previously senior managing director at Deutsche Bank AG and State Street Banks Global Market Divisions. 

Gunewardena will take on his new role in mid-May. 

Meanwhile, Reynolds is deputy chief economist and head of department for economic and financial analysis at the FCA. He has been in the role since 2017, having previously been a manager in the FCA’s competition division. 

Prior to that, he spent nearly 10 years at the competition commission, now the Competition and Markets Authority, as director of remedies, business and financial analysis, and as an economic adviser. 

Reynolds’ experience also includes five years as an economic consultant with Deloitte and Andersen. 

The FCA said he will bring his analytical skills by leading the regulator’s teams undertaking competition market studies, as well as those who investigate competition enforcement cases.  

He will begin his new role as director of competition with immediate effect. 

Likewise, Walls has been with the FCA, formerly known as the Financial Services Authority, since 2006 in a variety of wholesale roles, including seven years in asset management supervision.

He has been head of wholesale markets since 2016.

The City watchdog said Walls helped the FCA navigate the challenges of EU withdrawal, Libor, the implementation of Mifid II and the recent pandemic and Russian invasion of Ukraine. 

The FCA is currently recruiting two permanent wholesale directors to join the FCA’s supervision, policy and competition senior leadership team.  

Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the FCA, said: “I continue to be impressed and encouraged by the talent, both internal and external, putting themselves forward to lead our organisation. 

“I look forward to working closely with Mel when he joins and congratulate Graeme and Simon on their promotions. We anticipate having more senior appointments to announce soon.”

Last month, the FCA said it would recruit 80 new people to crack down on problem firms and police the market. 

At the time, Rathi said the FCA has increased efforts to stop firms with inadequate harm prevention controls from entering markets, having so far, recruited 95 people to improve the process for authorising firms

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