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New Zealand regulator appoints new CEO

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Samantha Barrass has been appointed CEO at New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA), effective in January.

Current Chief Rob Everett will depart at the end of October and General Counsel Liam Mason will be Acting CEO during the months prior to Ms Barrass’ arrival in Wellington from the UK.

Ms Barrass has worked in a range of regulatory and executive roles in Europe. She recently led the establishment of the UK’s Business Banking Resolution Service and has also held senior roles at the UK Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the London Investment Banking Association.

She held the role of CEO for five years at the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission until 2019 and formerly spent nine years at the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority after beginning her career as an economist at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

“It’s great to see a New Zealand citizen returning home to take on this important role,” FMA Chairman Mark Todd said. “She is a proven leader and has impressive, directly relevant, regulatory experience in the UK and Europe.

“Her experience as a consensus-building leader will stand the FMA in good stead as it continues its current activities and readies itself for a wider mandate in regulating banks and insurers, as well as climate change reporting.”

Ms Barrass says the FMA is at an important juncture in its journey to support and enhance the economy and financial health of New Zealand.

“I’m very excited to be returning home to lead the FMA in this next phase and working with all to safeguard and foster a financial sector that everyone has a stake in.”