City watchdog beefs up exec team for post-Brexit leadership

The UK’s Financial Conduct Authority made several new hires to its executive team as part of efforts to navigate a landscape dominated by the pandemic and life after Brexit.

As part of its restructuring towards data-led regulation announced in December, the watchdog has created two new roles.

Jessica Rusu will join the FCA as its first chief data, information and intelligence officer, while Emily Shepperd will take up the new role of executive director of authorisations.

Meanwhile Stephanie Cohen will become the FCA’s new chief operating officer, after the organisation turned to LinkedIn on the hunt for someone to “drive forward new ways of working”. She replaces Georgina Philippou, who had been in that role since November 2015.

READ FCA boss taps LinkedIn in hunt for ‘change agent’ chief operating officer post-Brexit

Cohen was formerly global chief operating officer at BlackRock for its active equity businesses and alpha strategies division.

In the newly formed data chief role, the FCA said Rusu will evolve its relationship with major technology companies, fintechs and the wider data community. She was previously chief data officer at challenger bank Chetwood Financial, and a senior director of finance at eBay in Europe.

As its first executive director of authorisations, Shepperd will oversee all newly-authorised firms joining the FCA’s register. She was most recently director of customer services and change at pensions giant Aegon, and before that the chief operating officer for BNY Mellon in Emea.

Rounding out the executives, Sarah Pritchard has been appointed executive director of markets inside the FCA’s supervision, policy and competition division. She joins from the National Economic Crime Centre, where she was director.

FCA chief executive Nikhil Rathi said in a statement on the appointments: “They bring with them a deep understanding of the consumers we seek to protect, the markets we oversee, and all have track records for operational excellence.

“As we continue transforming the FCA — building a data-led regulator — their global experience and leadership, drawn from a variety of backgrounds, will be vital in ensuring we can act more quickly to reduce harm to consumers and ensure market integrity.”

Outside of the executive team, Clare Cole has been internally appointed as director of market oversight and will be leading the FCA’s response to Lord Jonathan Hill’s upcoming listings review.

To contact the author of this story with feedback or news, email Emily Nicolle

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