A mix of market players and bureaucrats forms the establishment board of the new Financial Markets Authority announced by Minister of Commerce Simon Power this afternoon.
Chairing the board is Simon Botherway, founder of Brook Asset Management and already a member of the Securities Commission.
Mr Botherway was calling for higher standards for the financial sector seven years ago when it was still quite unfashionable to do so, and was a moving force in the New Zealand Society of Investment Professionals at the time.
Also on the board is high profile shareholder advocates Bruce Sheppard, whose taste for publicity and theatre is not likely to be curbed by his role. Mr Shepppard will probably play a similar role on this board as high-profile economist Gareth Morgan did on the Tax Working Group: a maverick who will probably loudly go his own way.
NZX chairman Andrew Harmos is another board member: Mr Harmos may be there because NZX CEO Mark Weldon has already served on almost every business related body the government has set up, and it is time for someone else to have a go. There is also a whisper around the traps that Mr Weldon’s views may not be as welcome as they once were with the government.
Also with an NZX connection is Scott St John, who is an NZX accredited adviser, but, more famously, is chief executive of First NZ Capital and chairman of the Securities Industry Association.
Former Commerce Commission chairwoman Paula Rebstock is also on the board. This may squelch suggestions she is front-runner to head the new FMA when it gets going. Ms Rebstock stood down from the Commerce Commission last year, although she has kept busy in the government sector and she chairs Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s Welfare Working Group.
Other names are less well known but are nonetheless effective for that. Chapman Tripp partner Frank McLaughlin served as part of the taskforce on financial advisers under the last government and is regarded as one of the country’s’ top financial market legal minds.
Shelley Cave is another member of the Securities Commission and is also a partner at commercial law firm Simpson Grierson specialising in securities law and related corporate governance issues.
Registrar of companies Neville Harris is also on the board, as is Westpac’s general manager of regulatory affairs, customer advocacy and general counsel Mariette van Ryn.
Wed, 26 May 2010