Ronnie Baird, the author of the Baird Report, which accused the FSA of severe shortfalls over its handling of the Equitable Life debacle, is retiring from the regulator at the end of March.
His damning report accused the FSA of failing to spot the issues that needed to be addressed or, having spotted them, failing to follow them up.
Following the decision by the Equitable to close its doors to new business in December 2000, Baird was asked by the FSA to conduct an inquiry into the regulator's handling of the issue.
He reported back in Oct-ober 2001 that, although much of the damage had been done before the FSA assumed responsibility for life insurance regulation, it could have done better in dealing with the situation.
The report criticised the FSA for not considering that Equitable might lose the legal appeal or that it might have difficulty finding a buyer.
Baird, who is stepping down as FSA director quality assurance and internal audit, will be replaced by James Glass, who joins the regulator from British Energy.
Outgoing FSA chairman Howard Davies says: “I would like to give special thanks to Ronnie Baird who has played a central role in helping to set up the FSA as its charter director of quality assurance.”