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KPMG chief is first FCA chairman

KPMG UK chairman John Griffith-Jones has been appointed the first chairman of the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Government announced the move this week, which will see chair designate Griffith-Jones join the FSA board on September 1 as a non-executive director and deputy chair, working up to three days a week.

He will work with FCA chief executive designate Martin Wheatley to oversee the creation of the new regulator, which will supervise the conduct of financial services firms under the new regulatory structure.

Lord Adair Turner will continue as FSA executive chairman until the transition to the Prudential Regulation Authority and the FCA is complete.

The FSA is due to be replaced by the PRA and the FCA in early 2013. Griffith-Jones will retire from KPMG in August.

Labour Shadow Treasury financial secretary Chris Leslie says: “It is going to be very important we have more diverse backgrounds at the FCA because the Government promised this would be a consumer champion body but we have yet to see evidence of that in the appointments it has made.”

Facts & Figures Financial Planners managing director Simon Webster says: “As chairman of KPMG, Griffith-Jones has existed almost exclusively in a rarefied atmosphere. It makes one wonder whether he would have the appropriate experience to deal with the everyman.”

John Griffith-Jones’ CV

Education: Eton College; Cambridge University, masters degree in economics
Career: 1975-1986: KPMG audit department. Clients included several listed companies. Griffith-Jones specialised in the shipping industry.
1987-2002: KPMG partner. Involved in mergers and acquisitions and also government adviser on privatisations and the private finance initiative, particularly in the rail and hospital sectors.
2002-06: KPMG UK chief executive October 2006-present: KPMG UK chairman and senior partner
October 2007-present: KPMG Europe joint chairman
October 2008-11: KPMG Europe, Middle East, Africa and India chairman

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