2. Rob Everett
CEO, Financial Markets Authority
Executive of the Financial Markets Authority, has overseen the strengthening of FMA’s powers since joining the agency in 2014.
Exercising wide powers that are getting wider under the current government, the FMA has also undertaken a review with the Reserve Bank on the NZ banking sector in the wake of the Australian scandal.
Key lightening rod issues like banking, airport charges, petrol prices and more have seen the FMA’s powers affecting kiwis in an array of ways.
From the UK and starting his legal career with Allen & Overy, Rob Everett is formerly a director of regulatory consultancy Promontory Financial Group and prior to that with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, he has significant international regulatory experience. Working in Merrill Lynch’s legal department for almost10 years gave him a solid grounding in transactional and debt markets experience in Europe and the United States before being appointed head of legal/compliance for the firm’s research division.
Although criticised in some quarters for his settlement of the Hanover case, returning $18 million to investors who had collectively lost $500 million through the group, it also displays an investor-focused approach and a pragmatic one as well. However, notwithstanding the pragmatism, Rob Everett’s role is a powerful one that will provide significant influence on the shape of business in New Zealand.
The introduction of the Commerce Amendment Bill will add further to the Comcom’s powers, permitting easier investigations of the abuse of market power in industries like retailing and petroleum sales.
The Commission’s desire to be able to undertake ‘market studies’ is much more likely under the current administration.
Strengthened powers of the FMA following the finance company debacle of 2009 and with changes like the Financial markets Conduct Act have provided significant powers to the agency and its chief.
Taking over from the former Securities Commission, the FMA’s role is now more significant and powerful with its chief commanding powers that supersede what his predecessors wielded with a generally good record of policing business.
A New Zealand Initiative survey rated the Comcom above the Reserve Bank.
As arbiter of takeovers and price regulator for everything from airports and electricity companies to retailers it has shown a firm hand but many have also criticised the regulatory power wielded by the Commission.