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Energy regulator McCarthy switches to be FSA chairman

The Treasury has appointed Callum McCarthy, currently the chairman of energy regulator Ofgem, as the next FSA chairman, replacing Howard Davies.

Chancellor Gordon Brown ended speculation over who would replace Davies, who announced last December that he would be leaving the FSA in September this year to become director of the London School of Economics.

McCarthy joins the FSA in September but will begin sitting in on board meetings in May. He has gained a solid reputation for favouring competition over top-down regulation but has shown a willingness to intervene in the market when necessary.

He has run Ofgem, which regulates the gas and electricity markets, since it was founded in 1999 and he was director general of its predecessor Ofgas.

He has nearly 20 years of financial services experience with investment banks Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and BWZ and then with Barclays, running first its Japanese and then North American operations.

He was previously a civil servant at the Department of Trade and Industry and worked for Roy Hattersley and Norman Tebbit in his time there.

Brown says: “Callum McCarthy brings to the FSA an unrivalled combination of experience of the public sector, experience as a senior practitioner in the financial services industry and chairman of a highly successful regulator.”

One former civil servant who worked under McCarthy at the DTI says: “He is quite a nice guy but he takes no prisoners. The intellectual level of debate will have to be as good for him as it has had to be for Howard Davies.”

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