PwC snaps up Cole as new legal counsel

Elizabeth Fournier
THE FINANCIAL Services Authority’s outgoing head of enforcement Margaret Cole will join PwC later this year, becoming a member of the executive board of the accountancy firm.

The former corporate lawyer will be PwC’s new general counsel, the firm said yesterday, returning to practice eight years after joining the City regulator. Cole will replace current general counsel Owen Jonathan when he retires in December, having been a partner at PwC since 2000.

Newly re-elected senior partner Ian Powell said yesterday that Cole’s time at the heart of financial services regulation would be perfect experience for her new role, particularly given the “complexity of current and proposed legislation affecting PwC and our clients”.

Cole, whose departure from the City watchdog was made public last month, is the former managing director of enforcement and financial crime at the regulator and the first managing director of its conduct business unit – the entity that will become the new Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) when the FSA is split.

She had been widely expected to head up the FCA but has been markedly absent from plans for its future, with former Hong Kong regulatory boss Martin Wheatley heading the new body instead. Since the government announced plans to dismantle the watchdog it has seen a steady stream of high-profile departures, with chief executive Hector Sants the latest to say he will leave.