The federal Treasurer has announced the replacements for ASIC chair James Shipton and former deputy chair Daniel Crennan.
Joe Longo, a senior adviser at law firm Herbert Smith Freehills with experience in legal advisory, regulatory enforcement and internal legal and commercial matters in global banking and financial regulation, has been named as the new chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).
Mr Longo was previously the national director of enforcement at ASIC, where he was responsible for the national co-ordination and direction of the regulator’s enforcement and litigation activities.
He worked for Deutsche Bank for 17 years, as general counsel for APAC and also as general counsel for the UK & EMEA.
Mr Longo will take over from outgoing chair James Shipton, who announced in January that he would step down as ASIC chair following the appointment of a successor.
While announcing the new appointees, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg noted Mr Longo's "long and distinguished career in corporate law, financial services, governance and regulation".
Speaking of the appointment of his successor, Mr Shipton said: “On behalf of the ASIC Commission and team I’d like to congratulate Joe Longo on his appointment as the next ASIC chair…
“Joe is known to many at the agency from his time as National Director of Enforcement from 1996-2000 and subsequent interactions as a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills.
"His wealth of domestic and international experience will serve ASIC well in the vital work it does in supporting the financial system and economy, especially as Australia recovers from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Treasury has also now appointed a new deputy chair, in the form of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) commissioner Sara Court.
Ms Court has been responsible for a range of work at the ACCC and is currently chair of the ACCC’s enforcement, compliance, consumer data right and legal committees and is a member of the merger review and competition exemptions committees.
She will take on the position of ASIC deputy chair alongside current deputy chair, Karen Chester.
When announcing the two new appointees, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said: "“I congratulate Mr Longo and Ms Court on their appointments. They are both highly qualified and experienced individuals with a deep understanding of both the private and public sectors. ASIC will benefit from their understanding of regulatory settings, insight into business and their strong leadership.”
Mr Shipton said ASIC was “pleased” to welcome Ms Court from the ACCC.
“[W]e know Sarah very well and appreciate the skill and experience she brings from our regulatory counterpart," he said.
Mr Shipton concluded: ‘We will work with Joe and Sarah over the coming weeks to manage a smooth transition to his leadership of the organisation.”
Noting Ms Court’s imminent departure, ACCC chair Rod Sims said: “This is a well-deserved reflection of the experience, expertise, and wisdom Sarah brings to the table.
“ASIC’s gain is very much our loss. Sarah was first appointed as an ACCC Commissioner in May 2008 and reappointed for an impressive third term in 2018.
“In her 13 years at the ACCC, Sarah has made an incredibly significant contribution to the agency and its work.”
“We pass on our congratulations to Sarah in her new role.”
Ms Court commented: “I will miss the ACCC, but I am very much looking forward to engaging with the opportunities at ASIC.”
Mr Frydenberg also thanked the outgoing chair of ASIC, Mr James Shipton, for his contribution and commitment to ASIC since his appointment in 2018.
“Mr Shipton has shown great commitment and dedication to ASIC during his three years as chair and I thank him for his service. I look forward to his continued assistance during the transition and wish him all the best in his future endeavours," the Treasurer said.
Mr Frydenberg also announced that once the new chair and deputy chair commence their roles, Treasury will outline the new statement of expectations for the regulator.
"The statement will make clear that the Government expects the Commission, as a whole, to operate as a strategic board and that all operational matters are the responsibility of the chair, who is the accountable authority. The statement will also make clear that the Government expects ASIC to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID pandemic," he said.
The Treasurer is also going to introduce legislation to establish the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority "by the middle of this year".
"The FRAA will provide an external framework for assessing the effectiveness and capability of both ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority," Treasury said.
The FRAA will consist of three independent statutory appointees together with the Treasury Secretary and reviews will be conducted once every two years and as directed by the Treasurer.
In its first year, the FRAA will reportedly 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", according to Treasury.
[Related: Thom review set out 8 improvements for ASIC]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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