Today, the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer, announced the appointment of James Shipton as the new Chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). A Goldman Sachs veteran, Shipton is currently leading a research center at Harvard Law School where he is the Executive Director of the Program on International Financial Systems. While thanking outgoing Chair Greg Medcraft for his services, O’Dwyer stated;
“I look forward to Mr Shipton making a significant contribution to the important work of ASIC in promoting confidence in Australia’s financial system and protecting consumer interests as the incoming Chair.”
FinTech Australia, the advocacy group for financial innovation, quickly welcomed Shipton to the ASIC leadership role;
“Mr Shipton clearly brings extensive regulatory and financial market knowledge to the position. He also has detailed international experience, which will be a huge asset when it comes to promoting Australia’s interests in the global arena,” said Danielle Szetho, CEO of FinTech Australia. “We look forward to working with Mr Shipton to continue, and where possible expand, ASIC’s focus on bringing innovation to financial services in a manner that protects consumer interests and builds trust and confidence. ASIC initiatives such as the fintech regulatory sandbox and written guidance on new fintech policy and regulatory matters are crucial tools to grow our fintech industry. We also need ASIC to play a major role driving our new open banking framework.”
Szetho also paid tribute to the outgoing Chair and his accomplishments in supporting financial innovation in Australia;
“Under Mr Medcraft’s watch, ASIC drove important innovation initiatives, including establishing its own Innovation Hub and more recently taking an exciting leadership role for our extremely high-potential regulatory technology industry. Mr Medcraft will also leave an important legacy through the international co-operation agreements he and his senior staff signed with overseas regulators,” added Szetho. “We look forward to working with the incoming ASIC chair to harness the full potential of these agreements to create streamlined expansion pathways for our home-grown Australian fintechs, and to build on Australia’s leading international reputation as a forward-thinking and well regulated Fintech market.”
In recent years, Australia has worked to position itself as a leading hub for Fintech in the Asia Pacific region. Later this month, FinTech Australia will host its first week long festival dedicated to Fintech entitled Intersekt.
Peter Kell, the current Deputy Chair, will be the Acting Chair from the time Medcraft’s term ends on 12 November 2017 to when Shipton commences his term in February.