Simon Dingemans, who was previously CFO of GlaxoSmithKline, takes over as chair and Sir Jon Thompson, formerly chief executive of HMRC, is the new chief executive. They replace Sir Win Bischoff who has spent the last six years as chairman, and Stephen Haddrill who has led the FRC since its inception nine years ago.
Commenting on his new role, Dingemans said, “I am delighted to be joining the FRC at this critical juncture as we prepare to establish the ARGA with a clear mandate to be a very different and more effective regulator.
“The UK is rightly considered one of the world’s pre-eminent financial centres and the FRC and its successor, the ARGA, has a key role to play in setting and upholding high standards for audit, reporting, governance and stewardship in order to protect the interests of investors and other end-users of financial information.”
In recent years, the FRC has come in for increasing criticism over the way it regulated the accountancy and audit profession. It was accused of being in the pockets of the Big Four and slow to respond to corporate failures.
Following the collapse of Carillion and BHS, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) stepped in and commissioned Sir John Kingman to carry out a review of the regulator. Among his 83 recommendations, revealed last December, was the proposal for a new regulator to replace the FRC. As well as the new leadership, the ARGA, as it will be known, will have a new mandate and stronger powers to hold companies, their directors, advisers and shareholders to account. Crucially, it has the backing of government and the influential BEIS Committee.
Sir Jon said that he was committed to “building on the governance and stewardship standards the FRC has helped to champion, to ensure businesses reflect modern-day society, are diverse and inclusive, and are maximising the future pipeline of talent”.