ESMA appoints Verena Ross as next Chair

Karthik Subramanian

The European Securities and Markets Regulator (ESMA) has appointed Verena Ross as the next Chair which was confirmed by the council of the European Union and announced by ESMA on Friday.

She will be taking up the position from 1st November 2021. She had worked as the Executive Director at ESMA from 2011 to 2021 before she left in May and she also has experience working with the financial watchdog in Britain and so is not new to ESMA or the kind of activities that it undertakes. Since her departure in May, there has been a lot of speculation and confusion on who would be the next chair with Carmine Di Noia, commissioner of the Italian watchdog CONSOB, also being one of the shortlisted candidates for the top job. But ultimately the Council seems to have preferred Miss Verena.

Verena Ross, incoming Chair, said, “I am honored to have been entrusted with this role as ESMA enters its second decade. I am looking forward to working with the Board members, ESMA staff, and our stakeholders in responding to the challenges and opportunities faced by the European Union and its capital markets. I believe that ESMA has an important role to play in ensuring that European markets support the financial needs of its companies and citizens.”

She replaces Steven Maijoor and has been appointed for 5 years which is renewable once. Anneli Tuominen, Vice-Chair, who has been acting as the interim Chair since April 2021 would step down on October 31, 2021, to facilitate the smooth takeover by Miss Verene from November 1. She comes in at a crucial time for ESMA as it is expected to step up and take control of the markets that may have been affected by the Brexit. It is also reported that the ESMA would continue to build its capital markets strongly following the Brexit as it can no longer piggyback on the London markets. The derivatives clearing is still being handled in London for the EU customers and it would need to consider whether that needs to be shifted to some other city within the EU. This could be a big challenge and it would need to be handled within the next couple of years as the financial ecosystem continues to undergo shifting and changes

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