Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today appointed Nikhil Rathi, the current chief executive of the London Stock Exchange, as the permanent boss of the Financial Conduct Authority.
Rathi will replace Christopher Woolard, who was serving as the FCA’s interim chief executive following former boss Andrew Bailey’s move to become governor of the Bank of England.
The FCA said Rathi will take up his new post in the autumn. He will be paid an annual salary of £455,000, and be required to have given up any interests in the London Stock Exchange by the time he joins.
Prior to joining the Exchange in 2014, Rathi was formerly a director at the Treasury managing the UK’s EU and international financial services interests.
FCA chair Charles Randell said: “Nikhil has been closely involved in guiding the FCA’s development… and brings both private sector management skills and experience of domestic and international regulatory policymaking.
“I would also like to thank Christopher Woolard for steering the FCA through its initial response to Covid-19 with great energy and skill. He has been an exemplary leader in this very difficult period.”
Rathi said he intends to make the FCA a “more diverse organisation” under his leadership, with focus on measures for vulnerable consumers, technological innovation and climate change.
Sunak said in a statement: “Nikhil is the outstanding candidate for the position of chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority, and I am delighted that he has agreed to take up the role.
“We have conducted a thorough, worldwide search for this crucial appointment and, through his wide-ranging experiences across financial services, I am confident that Nikhil will bring the ambitious vision and leadership this organisation demands.”
City titans welcome new FCA chief
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair of the City of London Corporation, welcomed Rathi’s appointment.
“Nikhil brings a wealth of experience to the role at a critical time from his previous positions at HM Treasury and London Stock Exchange,” she said. “He will be a great asset as the FCA looks to build on both Andrew Bailey’s legacy and the work by Christopher Woolard through the Covid-19 crisis so far.
“Together, we face the global challenges of stimulating a post-pandemic economic recovery, tackling climate change, and the rise of technology.
“Nikhil’s depth of experience of domestic and international regulatory policymaking will therefore be vitally important as we plot the path ahead, and support consumers and businesses across the UK. I look forward to working closely with him in the months and years to come.”
Andrew Jacobs, head of regulatory consulting at DWF, called Rathi a “solid choice” for the role.
“Rathi comes from a strong pedigree of high profile, systemically important leadership roles and is a solid choice to lead the next chapter of conduct regulation,” Jacobs added.
“Rathi is also a fine choice to keep diversity at the heart of the FCA and he has already pledged that this will be part of his manifesto, along with driving forward the modernisation of the FCA and keeping the UK at the forefront of financial services.”
Liz Field, chief executive of wealth management industry body Pimfa, added: “Nikhil Rathi is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced leader, as his successful stewardship of the London Stock Exchange as its chief executive for the past six years demonstrates.
“His knowledge of the wealth management and financial advice sector, as well as prior experience of working within government, leading on the UKs European Union and international financial services interests, will be particularly welcome at a time when we are renegotiating our relationship with Europe and striving to form new relationships with international partners.
“Mr Rathi becomes Chief Executive of the FCA at a time of significant change and he will have many competing priorities. We look forward to having a productive and constructive working relationship with him and wish him well in his new role.”