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FSA maintains industry focus with new appointment Back  
The appointment of Hector Sants as the new CEO of the UK’s Financial Services Authority (FSA) indicates the regulatory body’s on-going commitment to hiring staff with extensive industry experience. Should we expect a similar ethos at the Financial Regulator?
Hector Sants’ appointment as CEO of the UK financial services regulatory body, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is further evidence of how the regulator values industry experience. Sants joined the authority back in May 2004 as managing director for wholesale and institutional markets. Prior to this, he was CEO of Credit Suisse First Boston EMEA, where he gained extensive experience of the wholesale markets both in the UK and internationally.

Sants’ predecessor also had extensive industry experience. John Tiner joined the FSA in April 2001 as managing director of the consumer, investment and insurance directorate, following a broad-ranging career at Arthur Andersen which included a spell as head of the firm’s world-wide financial services industry practice.
Hector Sants, the new CEO of the Financial Services Authority

Another executive board member of the FSA who also has extensive industry experience is Thomas Huertas, acting managing director of wholesale and institutional markets in July 2007, who joined the FSA from his position as managing director of Citigroup Global Transaction Services.
However, industry involvement is somewhat different at the FSA’s Irish counter-part, the Financial Regulator. Although the board of directors of the Regulator has an industry flavour, notably through the presence of non-executive directors Alan Ashe, former managing director of Standard Life Assurance Co, John Dunne, former director general of IBEC, and Alan Gray, the managing partner of the Indecon Economic Consulting Group, the executive committee of the Regulator has a strong civil service focus.

Like his predecessor, Liam O’Reilly, the current CEO of the Financial Regulator, Patrick Neary, also began his career in the Central Bank. Neary joined the bank back in 1971 where he held the roles of head of securities and exchanges supervision and deputy head of banking supervision, before joining the Financial Regulator as head of prudential supervision in 2003.

Neary’s replacement as prudential director, Con Horan, is also a public sector ‘lifer’, having commenced his career in the Central Bank in 1979, where he worked in various supervision and management positions and was head of the retail investment and insurance department. Consumer director Mary O’Dea also started her career in the Central Bank, as an economist, and she has held a number of positions, including head of the Regulatory Enforcement and Development Department, at the bank.

So while the FSA has been very successful at attracting senior industry practitioners into the public sector, it thus appears that the Financial Regulator has been less so. Could it be because of the money?

CEO Patrick Neary received a total renumeration package of €237,262 in 2006, which while impressive, is still below industry averages for such a senior position.

Neary’s counterpart at the FSA on the other hand, is extremely well rewarded. In 2006, John Tiner’s total package came to a whopping ?850,605 (?572,619), while as managing director of wholesale and institutional markets, Sants earned a cool ?661,482 (?445, 303) last year. While this is probably considerably less than what both made in the private sector, it still far exceeds the ?264,413 (?178,000) earned by Prime Minister Tony Blair in 2005.

However, attracting experienced professionals from the private to the public sector will never be all about just money. When Sants joined the FSA in 2004, he said that he did so out of a sense of duty.

‘As a Christian, I feel strongly that in the latter part of one’s career, it is important to give back to the community,’ he wrote at the time.

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