The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) announced this week the appointment of F. Christopher Calabia as its new Chief Executive Officer. Calabia will take over the apex position on October 1, replacing Bryan Stirewalt.
The DFSA regulates all the companies based in the special economic zone of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). It allows foreign financial services companies to operate in the country without having a UAE resident major stakeholder.
It has become one of the most sought-after licenses among financial services companies as it grants them access to the GCC region.
“The DFSA plays a crucial role as the independent financial regulator of the DIFC,” said DIFC Chairman, Fadel Al Ali. “As we stand at the cusp of great economic change, we are looking to further build on regulatory best practices and encourage the development of innovative new solutions for markets and investors.”
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An Experiences Financial Expert
Calabia is a veteran in the financial industry with almost three decades of experience.
He is joining Dubai’s financial markets regulator from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he is serving as a Senior Advisor of Supervisory and Regulatory Policy for over the past four years.
Furthermore, he has extensive banking experience, mostly in the public sector. He started his career in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, serving there as a Staff Director. He parted with the bank in mid-2017 as a Senior Vice President after spending 22 years there. In between his tenure at the New York bank, he was appointed as a Member of Secretariat at the Bank for International Settlements.
“Chris’s experience, driving innovation in complex environments while maintaining the stability and integrity of financial systems, will further strengthen the DIFC’s standing as a global financial hub. The Board of Directors and I look forward to working with Chris as he builds on the best practices set in place and enhances regulatory capacity at a time of rapid transformation in markets and technology,” Ali added.