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New CEO for the FMA

The Financial Markets Authority has announced the appointment of an experienced international regulator to take over from Rob Everett who leaves at the end of October.

Monday, September 13th 2021, 11:57AM 8 Comments

by Matthew Martin

Samantha Barrass will join the FMA in January.

Financial Markets Authority (FMA) chairman Mark Todd says Samantha Barrass will take over from Everett in January next year and FMA general counsel Liam Mason will be acting chief executive in the months before her arrival.

Todd says Barrass has a strong New Zealand connection and brings deep international regulatory experience and leadership skills to the role.

“Ms Barrass has had a very successful career to date, operating in a number of complex and challenging environments.

"Her knowledge and experience of the insurance and banking industries will be particularly relevant for the increased role the FMA is to play in those areas,” Todd says.

Barrass has worked in a range of regulatory and executive roles in the UK and Europe and between 2014 and 2019 was the chief executive of the financial regulator in Gibraltar providing conduct and prudential regulatory oversight.

Earlier in her career, she worked for nine years in several roles at the Financial Services Authority in the UK (now the Financial Conduct Authority).

Most recently, Barrass led the establishment of the UK’s Business Banking Resolution Service, an innovative service designed to resolve disputes between banks and their business customers.

She has also held senior roles at the UK Solicitors Regulatory Authority and the London Investment Banking Association.

After graduating in economics from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch and completing post-graduate study at Victoria University of Wellington, Barrass began her career as an economist at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

She then moved to the UK to attend the London School of Economics, where she was awarded an MSc.

“We are delighted to have secured Ms Barrass for this role,” Todd says.

“She is a proven leader and has impressive, directly relevant, regulatory experience in the UK and Europe.

“She successfully led the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission through a period of evolution and expansion.

“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."

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

"It’s a privilege to have the opportunity to build on the great work done by Rob Everett and the team," she says.

"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.”

Barrass will be based in Wellington. She has three children who will remain in the UK to complete their university education.

Tags: FMA recruitment Rob Everett Samantha Barrass

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Comments from our readers

On 13 September 2021 at 1:46 pm Brian W Brown said:
Was wondering why Samantha Barrass felt she had to refer to our country as Aotearoa New Zealand when there is no country called that officially, then realised that the FMA is a government department and as such sadly doesnt need a reason or especially a mandate from the citizens of New Zealand to change anything now a days.Mind you i didnt think that climate change reporting would have been such a big part of the FMA's operation
either.Was thinking the world has gone mad but perhaps its just me ???
On 14 September 2021 at 7:11 am Andrea R said:
Ka rawe to the FMA. Why not celebrate that the FMA is forward looking. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves how far we’ve come with te reo but we have a long way to go with some attitudes. As for climate change of course it is real and will impact us all.
On 14 September 2021 at 12:38 pm k glynn said:
Of course.all names are inventions but Brian Brown has a point. Why do we all, myself included, continue to use a name invented by Dutchman Abel Tasman who spent less than a week in Aotearoa.

Brian Brown is right and we should all consider simply using Aotearoa. As esteemed historian Rawiri Taonui has shown Aotearoa finds itself in oral histories.
On 14 September 2021 at 1:55 pm valkyrie6 said:
Its actually OK to say no , to Te Reo
On 14 September 2021 at 2:54 pm Amused said:
I have no problem with Government Departments like the FMA embracing te reo Maori & climate change etc.

What I do have a problem with is when time and resources for the above are then diverting the FMA from the job that it is supposed to be doing for New Zealand consumers i.e. policing the financial services industry.

As of this moment we have still scores of adviser business websites around the country who are not complaint with their new disclosure requirements mandated by law from the 15th March this year. These advisers and their businesses are now breaking the law and yet the FMA doesn’t seem to give a monkey’s. WTF??

We also have insurance companies offering financial incentives to advisers to place business with them. One of these insurance companies actually has this incentive plastered all over the QPR website currently. Incentives by providers to entice advisers to place business with them have been ruled unlawful now by the regulators so why is the FMA not addressing this?

Like most Government Departments the FMA talks a lot and provides copious amounts of reports and emails saying how it is helping New Zealanders. In reality though it’s just a lot of window dressing and hot air trying to justify the big government salaries been paid to all the back office bureaucrats working from their glass towers in Wellington.

Regulation of the financial services industry was supposed to benefit consumers. It was not done to cement jobs for bureaucrats who aren’t even doing their jobs.
On 14 September 2021 at 5:42 pm Matron said:
@Amused, well yes, Barrass should be in for a nice ride.
On 15 September 2021 at 9:34 am Brian W Brown said:
In reply to K Glynn,sorry for creating the impression that i was in favour of changing the name of New Zealand to the other trendy one being foisted upon us as nothing could be further from the truth as i suspect you already knew. Alexander Hamilton was attributed to the saying often quoted "If you dont stand for something you will fall for anything "which pretty much sums up an ever increasing number of dumbed down New Zealanders K Glynn.
On 17 September 2021 at 6:36 am k glynn said:
Thank you for clarifying Brian.

I respect your right to have an opinion but it is disappointing that you refer to those with more progressive views as dumbed down.

Alexander Hamilton was quite progressive and stood for change - that is the point and those using a more progressive name are showing they stand for a more inclusive society.

As mentioned of course you have the right to a different view.

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