Former Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner Antony Townsend is to become chair of an expanded Determinations Panel at The Pensions Regulator (TPR).
The regulator's panel is responsible for making formal decisions relating to cases where TPR seeks to use certain powers. It operates separately from other parts of the organisation, including the case teams, and is not involved in investigating cases.
Townsend, who joined the panel in September 2018, will become chair on 7 April next year, succeeding Andrew Long, who has held the post for eight years.
The regulator said one of the panel's other current members, Catharine Seddon, will also be stepping down in spring 2021 on completion of her second four-year term. It added that one of the panel's current members, Pauline Wallace, has been reappointed for a second four-year term.
To replace Long and Seddon, TPR has appointed a total of four new members to the panel - meaning that from April next year there will be ten members of the committee, up from eight currently.
The appointments are Shrinivas Honap, Anne Fletcher, Megan Forbes and Stephen Mount. The regulator said all will join on 1 January 2021 and were appointed following a "full and open processes".
Commenting on the appointments, TPR chairman Mark Boyle said: "I am delighted that Antony has been appointed to chair the Determinations Panel, and in doing so will bring a real depth of regulatory skills, knowledge and experience to this important role.
"I am also very pleased that Shrinivas, Anne, Megan and Stephen will be joining as we strive to ensure the panel has the skills and diversity to match TPR's ambitious long-term strategy to build on its clear, quick and tough approach."
Townsend added: "The current exceptional economic climate poses challenges for members of pension schemes, for the schemes themselves, and for the employers which support them. It is more important than ever that TPR continues to use its extensive powers wisely and fairly, and it is the role of the Determinations Panel to ensure that it does so. I look forward to contributing to that work."
Long noted: "It is really pleasing that there have been such strong new appointments to the panel to take it through the exciting next stage of TPR's development. There was a very strong field of candidates demonstrating the keen public interest in the work of TPR and the panel".
Antony was appointed as the Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner in May 2014 and stepped down in October 2020. He is currently the acting chair of the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care, where he also chairs its scrutiny committee. He is also chair of the strategic advisory board of the Bar Tribunals and Adjudication Service and a trustee of South Warwickshire Citizens Advice.
He was formerly chair of the UK and Ireland regulatory board of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a member of its global regulatory board. He was also chair of the regulatory board of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and was the first chief executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority from its establishment in 2006 until January 2014. In addition to this, he was also the General Dental Council's chief executive from 2001-2006. In the 1990s, Antony held a number of senior roles at the General Medical Council, including director of standards and education, and head of conduct. His earlier career was with the Home Office, where he worked primarily on criminal justice issues.
Megan is currently chair of Ofgem Enforcement Decision Panel. Before this role, she was the deputy chief executive and director of operations at the General Pharmaceutical Council and prior to that she was at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Forbes' responsibilities at the FCA have included leading the IT, finance, HR, communications and legal teams that support the FCA's enforcement division. Prior to working for the FCA, she was legal and enforcement partner at Ofgem, the regulator of the gas and electricity markets, where she led a major transformation of Ofgem's approach to enforcement.
Shrinivas is a chartered accountant by profession and has held positions with Vodafone, Capita, KPMG, and Egg during his executive career. He currently holds the following non-executive roles: chair at DVSA, non-executive and chair of audit at UKAEA, the Office of Legal Complaints, the Office of the Public Guardian, the Rural Payments Agency and LLRW. He also serves as a lay member for the speakers committee on IPSA and has previously served as non-executive in the NHS. Honap has particular interests in large transformation programmes, risk management, finance & developing technology.
Fletcher, a lawyer, has spent most of her career in regulated industries, including as group general counsel for BT Group, compliance director for Royal Mail and interim director of regulatory compliance for Visa Europe. She has extensive UK and international legal, compliance, risk and governance experience. Anne is a panel member for the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and has been since October 2017. She is also a member of the CMA's specialist utility panel and the independent member of the audit & risk committee for the Office of the Public Guardian. Anne is also a former trustee for Royal Mail Senior Executive Pension Plan and former vice-chair of BT Benevolent Fund.
Mount is currently a member of the regulatory decisions committee of the FCA, chair of the audit committee at Gama Aviation and of the finance and performance committee at a major NHS Foundation Trust, and acts internationally as an expert witness on financial reporting, corporate governance and auditing matters. He was formerly a member of the Audit Quality Review Committee (AQRC) at the Financial Reporting Council and was, until retirement in 2016, a senior audit and advisory partner with PwC.
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