Nikhil Rathi (pictured), chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has added four new members to the regulator’s executive team, amid an ongoing effort to restructure and transform the City regulator.
Former BlackRock executive Stephanie Cohen has been named chief operating officer at the FCA, while Sarah Pritchard – director of the National Economic Crime Centre – will become executive director, markets.
Ex-Aegon executive Emily Shepperd has been hired in the newly-created role of executive director, authorisations.
Jessica Rusu – formerly chief data officer at digital bank Chetwood Financial – will join the FCA as its first chief data, information and intelligence officer.
All four of these new hires will sit on the FCA’s executive committee, its most senior executive decision-making body.
Rathi has also appointed FCA veteran Clare Cole as director of market oversight.
“I am delighted to be welcoming Stephanie, Jessica, Sarah and Emily into the FCA to be part of our executive leadership team,” said Nikhil Rathi, chief executive of the FCA.
“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.
“I also congratulate Clare on her appointment as director of market oversight, a role she takes on at an important time for UK markets as the FCA takes forward the work of Lord Hill’s Listings Review.”
The new hires follow the FCA’s recent pledge to restructure the organisation in order to build a data-led regulator able to make fast and effective decisions.
In her role as chief operating officer, Cohen is expected to play a central role in the FCA’s transformation, and will take the lead on a number of operational changes to make the FCA more efficient, dynamic, and technologically driven.
She said: “I am truly delighted to be joining the FCA at this pivotal moment.
“Now more than ever, the FCA has a vital role to play in protecting the interests of consumers, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Rusu will lead the transformation of the FCA’s use of data, intelligence and information, while also supporting the FCA’s relationship with fintech companies and big tech firms.
“I am excited to join the FCA at this time of great transformation to leverage technology and data science to deliver innovation and excellence in regulation, to protect UK customers and help build a robust financial system,” said Rusu.
“I look forward to the FCA continuing to lead in global regulatory innovation.”
Pritchard will work alongside Sheldon Mills, executive director, consumers and competition, in leading the supervision, policy and competition division.
Shepperd will join the FCA in March to oversee authorisations, which is the gateway for firms and individuals applying to undertake regulated financial services activity.
The new hires come two months after the regulator pledged to restructure the organisation in the wake of the London Capital & Finance scandal.
Following the collapse of the mini-bond provider, Dame Elizabeth Gloster chaired an investigation into the FCA, concluding that the regulator has several blind spots particularly when it comes to data collation and inter-departmental communication.
In response to the Gloster review, the FCA pledged to implement nine key changes. These include improved communication channels, and a requirement that all supervision data is held in the same electronic system so that any red flags can be spotted immediately.