Adams was previously the executive director for regulatory strategy at Fidelity International, having started as European director of compliance in June 1996.
Prior to Fidelity, he worked at HSBC Holdings and became head of compliance for Midland Bank.
Adams also spent three years working in supervisory roles for the Investment Management Regulatory Organisation.
Adams will join the FSA on August 3.
FSA chief executive Hector Sants says: “I am delighted that Gareth Adams will be joining the FSA as a senior advisor. He will bring a wealth of experience of asset management following his very senior roles in the sector. His expertise will be of great benefit in advising FSA colleagues on this important area of the financial services.”