The City watchdog’s chief operating officer Stephanie Cohen will step down later this year for personal reasons.
BlackRock veteran Stephanie Cohen joined the Financial Conduct Authority in 2021, but an internal email seen by City A.M. informed staff this morning that she would be moving on “later this year.”
Cohen was one of a series of senior hires made by FCA boss Nikhil Rathi as part of a ‘transformation’ project across the watchdog.
She will be replaced by Emily Shepperd, who also joined last year from Aegon. Previous to that she served as chief operating officer for EMEA for US behemoth BNY Mellon.
Cohen was quoted in the internal email saying she felt “privileged” to work for the organisation. Rathi said he “(understood) Steph’s reasons for stepping down and would like to acknowledge her important contribution to the FCA’s development during a period of significant change.”
Rathi has ruffled feathers since taking over the reins of the FCA, with a widespread program of reforms designed to build the regulator into a more “agile” operation.
It had suffered serious reputational damage after an inquiry into its handling of the collapse of London Capital & Finance found it had not “effectively supervised” the minibonds firm, in which more than 10,000 investors lost a collective £236m. The CEO at the time, and now Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey, was forced to apologise to those who lost money.
Rathi has also angered Unite the Union with proposals to redesign the pay structure at the regulator.
City A.M. understands Cohen’s departure is unrelated to the ongoing transformation work.