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Government announces new ASIC chair

  • April 30 2021
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Government announces new ASIC chair

By Cameron Micallef
April 30 2021

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced a shake-up of ASIC as the government looks to rebuild the corporate watchdog.

Government announces new ASIC chair

Government announces new ASIC chair

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  • April 30 2021
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has announced a shake-up of ASIC as the government looks to rebuild the corporate watchdog.

Government announces new ASIC chair

In a statement made on Thursday, the Treasurer said financial services lawyer and former top regulator Joseph Longo will be joining the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) along with new deputy chair Sarah Court.

Mr Longo will join the regulator from law firm Herbert Smith Freehills in Perth, where he worked as a financial services lawyer. Before that, Mr Longo spent 17 years at Deutsche Bank, serving as general counsel in Hong Kong and London.

As part of the shake-up, current Australian Competition and Consumer Commission commissioner Sarah Court will join ASIC as deputy chairman, replacing Daniel Crennan and becoming second in charge of the corporate watchdog. 

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In addition to the appointment of a new chair and deputy chair, the Morrison government announced that it will be issuing ASIC a new Statement of Expectations and introducing legislation to establish the Financial Regulator Assessment Authority (FRAA).

As part of the statement, the government expects ASIC to support Australia’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, they have not provided further details as to how the watchdog is expected to do this.

Mr Frydenberg welcomed Mr Longo and Ms Court, saying the regulator will benefit from their combined experience across both private and public sectors.

“I congratulate Mr Longo and Ms Court on their appointments,” Mr Frydenberg said. “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.”

The announcement follows Mr Shipton’s temporary return to the regulator as chair after taking forced leave while the government set an investigation into motion to decipher whether using regulator funds to pay for personal tax services was appropriate.

Mr Shipton, who was appointed as chair in 2017, announced in October last year that he would step aside from the role pending a formal review after Auditor-General Grant Hehir revealed that ASIC paid KPMG $118,557 for the provision of tax services for the then-incoming Mr Shipton.

Mr Frydenberg in January announced that Mr Shipton would be permanently stood down, but would return to the regulator as chair until a suitable replacement had been found, despite the independent review’s findings, led by Dr Vivenne Thom, clearing Mr Shipton of any wrongdoing.

Both Mr Frydenberg and Mr Shipton in January agreed “that in the best interests of ASIC”, a new chair should be appointed, despite being cleared of any wrongdoing.

The Treasurer thanked Mr Shipton for his services to ASIC.

“Mr Shipton has shown great commitment and dedication to ASIC during his three years as chair and I thank him for his service,” he said. “I look forward to his continued assistance during the transition and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Government announces new ASIC chair
Government announces new ASIC chair
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About the author

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Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

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