Urban Angehrn Takes Over as FINMA CEO

Urban Angehrn has moved into the CEO role at the Swiss financial services regulator FINMA (Financial Markets Supervisory Authority). Angern replaced Mark Branson who took over the leadership of German finance regulator BaFin. The transition was initially revealed this past summer.

Angehrn issued the following statement:

“I am very happy to be joining a well-run, established authority, which has gained both national and international recognition. Since it was established almost thirteen years ago, FINMA has achieved a lot and laid the foundations for safeguarding financial stability, client protection, and integrity in the financial centre. Building on this, I now intend – together with the leadership team and the employees – to develop FINMA further, in particular by looking closely at the topic of change in the sector and actively accompanying this with an open mind as a supervisory authority.”

Marlene Amstad, Chair of FINMA’s Board of Directors, said that Switzerland faces major opportunities and challenges, particularly in relation to digitalisation and sustainability within the financial services sector.

“Besides his long and broad experience in the traditional focus areas of supervision, not least risk management, Urban Angehrn also has considerable experience in both of these areas. I am very much looking forward to driving progress in these areas of future relevance together with him and the whole of the FINMA leadership team. I would like to thank Jan Blöchliger most sincerely for his excellent work as CEO ad interim. Thanks are also due to the other interim managers and the entire Executive Board for making progress with key supervisory matters and proceedings during this transitional period.”

Switzerland has emerged as a center of innovation for the blockchain sector yet its small size and competing jurisdictions has created challenges for the European country. Long an important banking center, the ongoing globalization of financial services cuts both ways. Angehrn must tackle a need for innovation in financial services while balancing the demands of prudential regulation and investor protection.

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