The Morrison Government has today appointed Mr Joseph Longo as the full‑time Chairperson and Ms Sarah Court as a full‑time Deputy Chairperson to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) for a five‑year period commencing on 1 June 2021.
ASIC is an independent statutory body that is responsible for regulating financial markets, securities, futures and corporations as well as being responsible for consumer protection in relation to superannuation, insurance and banking.
Mr Longo has had a long and distinguished career in corporate law, financial services, governance and regulation. Mr Longo is currently a senior advisor at Herbert Smith Freehills and prior to that worked as general counsel for Deutsche Bank in London and Hong Kong for 17 years, was the national director of enforcement at ASIC and a partner at Parker & Parker (now Herbert Smith Freehills).
Ms Court will bring extensive experience in regulation, compliance, consumer protection and civil litigation following her service since May 2008 as a commissioner of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, where she is currently responsible for enforcement matters. Prior to the ACCC she was a senior executive lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor. Ms Court will fill the role left vacant by deputy chairperson Mr Daniel Crennan QC.
Mr 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 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.”
In addition to the appointment of a new chair and deputy chair, the Morrison Government today announced that it will be issuing ASIC a new Statement of Expectations and introducing legislation to establish the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority (FRAA).
Statement of Expectations
The new Statement of Expectations will outline the Government’s priorities for and expectations of ASIC.
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.
The Statement of Expectations will be issued following the commencement of the new chair and new deputy chair.
Financial Regulator Assessment Authority
The FRAA will provide an external framework for assessing the effectiveness and capability of both ASIC and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
The FRAA will consist of three independent statutory appointees together with the Treasury Secretary. Reviews will be conducted once every two years and as directed by the Treasurer.
In its first year, the FRAA will 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.
Legislation to implement the FRAA will be introduced by the middle of this year which follows the recommendation of the Financial Services Royal Commission.