October 14, 2019 / 2:38 PM / a month ago

Hong Kong's securities regulator chief to step down next year

FILE PHOTO: Ashley Ian Alder, Chief Executive Officer of Securities and Futures Commission and Chairman of the Board of International Organization of Securities Commissions, attends the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, China January 15, 2018. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Ashley Alder, CEO of Hong Kong’s securities regulator, will step down in September next year at the end of a third three-year term in the post, a spokesman for the regulator said on Monday.

During his tenure, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) took a more active, interventionist role as part of its so-called “front loaded approach” to policing Hong Kong’s capital markets after a series of stock crashes and wild price swings threatened to undermine the market.

The SFC also imposed larger penalties for wrongdoing by the companies it regulates in recent years than it had done previously, in line with global trends.

In March this year, it banned UBS (UBSG.S) from leading initial public offerings in Hong Kong for a year and fined it and rivals including Morgan Stanley (MS.N) a combined $100 million for due diligence failures on a series of IPOs.

“Mr Alder has been at the helm of the SFC for eight years during which the organization has pursued a set of intensive policy and operational reforms to tackle market risks as well as setting itself as a tough, competent and effective market regulator,” the SFC spokesman said in an email.

“The changes which have been put in place are now embedded and institutionalized and Mr Alder believed it is the right time to hand over to new leadership.”

Alder is also the chair of the global securities regulators association, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).

Reporting by Alun John, editing by Deepa Babington

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