The Federal Government has announced former Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission member James Shipton to replace Greg Medcraft as ASIC chairman.
Mr Shipton has an impressive CV that many believe will make him a perfect fit for ASIC. He began as a Lawyer at Blake Dawson Waldron before having many roles in investment banking throughout Asia and Europe, including the role of director of Goldman Sachs’ Asian Executive Office. He was then a commission member of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission before taking up his role as executive director at Harvard Law School’s Program on International Financial Systems, where he has been for the past year.
Mr Shipton has flagged culture in financial institutions as a focal point for his upcoming five year tenure, stating that he feels as though financial institutions have been losing the trust of the broader community in recent times. His view has certainly been highlighted in Australia with the recent scrutiny of the big four banks.
‘Culture is one of the greatest challenges for all financial markets globally,' Mr Shipton said. ‘I have been a great advocate of culture reform in the financial institutions and in the financial markets for a long time.’
ASIC has been criticised by the Senate Economics References Committee in 2014 and by Karen Chester’s capability review in 2016. ASIC is seen as too responsive rather than proactive, which isn’t in the best interests of investors and consumers and causes our markets and financial institutions to lag behind the rest of the world. Mr Shipton will be expected to work to change ASIC’s internal culture and bring its regulatory approach up to speed. His appointment, which will commence in February 2018, has been welcomed by both sides of parliament, demonstrating the confidence in him to bring about the required changes.