Treasury Announces New Chair, Deputy Chair for ASIC

The Treasury also said will introduce legislation by mid-year to establish the FRAA, a new body to oversee the performance of ASIC and APRA.

Australia’s Treasury has announced the appointment of veteran investment bank lawyer, Joe Longo, as the new chair of ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

An additional deputy chair for ASIC has also been announced, namely, Sarah Court, a commissioner at the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).

Both will start their roles on 1 June 2021.

Longo previously held senior legal positions at Deutsche Bank for 17 years before joining law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in 2017. He will replace current chair James Shipton, who was cleared of wrongdoing after ASIC paid more than AUD 118,000 for him to receive personal tax advice in 2018.

Court will replace former deputy chair Daniel Crennan, who was also cleared of wrongdoing after he received accommodation payments from ASIC in early 2019.

In a statement, Shipton welcomed the appointments, saying Longo’s wealth of domestic and international experience will serve ASIC, particularly as Australia recovers from the downturn caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘We will work with Joe [Longo] and Sarah [Court] over the coming weeks to manage a smooth transition to his leadership of the organisation.’

ACCC chair Rod Sims commented on Court’s appointment, saying: “ASIC’s gain is very much our loss.”

The Treasury also announced that it will be introducing legislation by mid-year to establish the FRAA (Financial Regulator Assessment Authority), a new body to oversee the performance of ASIC and APRA (Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority).

It also plans to issue a new Statement of Expectations in June, which will guide ASIC in its new focus on supporting Australia’s economic recovery.

The FRAA will consist of three independent statutory appointees together with the Treasury Secretary. Reviews will be conducted once every two years and as directed by the Treasurer.

“In its first year, the FRAA will be tasked with assessing the effectiveness and capability of ASIC so as to assist the incoming chair in ensuring ASIC is operating effectively and consistent with the Government’s Statement of Expectations,” the Treasury said.

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