On December 6, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial market regulator, announced changes to its Executive Committee. Following an open competition based on a recently concluded recruitment exercise, the watchdog appointed Stephen Braviner Roman as General Counsel and made him a member of its Executive Committee. Braviner Roman, who is expected to join the FCA in February next year, comes from the Government Legal Department (GLD), where he served as Director-General of Litigation, Justice and Security. At the (GLD), his role involved overseeing legal advice given to the Home Office, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He is the GLD Board’s lead on diversity and inclusion. In the past, Braviner Roman led GLD in issuing legal advice on the UK’s departure from the European Union.

David Scott had been performing the role of General Council on an interim basis while the FCA engaged in its search for a potential candidate for the permanent appointment. Scott will continue working at the FCA part-time during the period of handing-over duties to Braviner Roman.

Meanwhile, Megan Butler, the Executive Director of Transformation at the FCA, announced that she will step down from her role in the spring. Butler joined the FCA in 2016 after she left the Bank of England as an Executive Director of Supervision of Investment, Wholesale and Specialist. Emily Sheppard will be in charge of the FCA’s Transformation Programme, as well as executing her current role as the Executive Director of Authorizations, a division where since March she launched changes based on FCA’s approach to the gateway. She has been in charge of leading a series of transformations and workstreams at the agency.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, commented about the Executive Committee changes and stated: “Stephen’s extensive experience of advising ministers on such a wide range of legal issues and managing over 1000 lawyers will be invaluable given the scale and variety of the FCA’s remit. I want to thank David for so ably leading the FCA’s legal function on a temporary basis. My colleagues and I have been, and will continue to be over the coming months, grateful for his wise advice.”

Additionally, Braviner Roman talked about the development and said: “I'm delighted to be joining the excellent team at the FCA. This is a crucial period for consumers, financial markets and the FCA, and I’m looking forward to starting.”

Plans to Tackle Investment Harm

The announced changes of the Executive Committee by the FCA come at a time when the watchdog remains committed to addressing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Early this year, the regulator urged consumers to do their research and assess the risks when dealing with crypto assets. The agency issued a consumer warning about the risks of investing in crypto coins. The FCA listed five main risks and concerns associated with high-return investments based on cryptocurrencies, including consumer protection, price volatility, product complexity, charges and fees and marketing materials. Besides that, the regulator recently wrote a letter to the CEOs of equity crowdfunding platforms to warn them that consumers are still making inappropriate high-risk investments despite the current marketing restrictions.

The investor marketing restrictions have been in place for many years with similar rules introduced for peer-to-peer lending platforms in 2019. However, the FCA stated that it will monitor companies’ activities on an ongoing basis and hold senior managers to account for their companies’ actions going forward. The regulator urged crowdfunding firms to promote investment opportunities appropriately so that consumers can understand the risks such speculative and high-risk investments pose. One of the major risks that the watchdog identified was that too many consumers are still investing in inappropriate high-risks investments, which do not meet their needs as a result of technological advancements and have made investing more accessible to the general public.

On December 6, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the UK’s financial market regulator, announced changes to its Executive Committee. Following an open competition based on a recently concluded recruitment exercise, the watchdog appointed Stephen Braviner Roman as General Counsel and made him a member of its Executive Committee. Braviner Roman, who is expected to join the FCA in February next year, comes from the Government Legal Department (GLD), where he served as Director-General of Litigation, Justice and Security. At the (GLD), his role involved overseeing legal advice given to the Home Office, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Justice and Department for Culture, Media and Sport. He is the GLD Board’s lead on diversity and inclusion. In the past, Braviner Roman led GLD in issuing legal advice on the UK’s departure from the European Union.

David Scott had been performing the role of General Council on an interim basis while the FCA engaged in its search for a potential candidate for the permanent appointment. Scott will continue working at the FCA part-time during the period of handing-over duties to Braviner Roman.

Meanwhile, Megan Butler, the Executive Director of Transformation at the FCA, announced that she will step down from her role in the spring. Butler joined the FCA in 2016 after she left the Bank of England as an Executive Director of Supervision of Investment, Wholesale and Specialist. Emily Sheppard will be in charge of the FCA’s Transformation Programme, as well as executing her current role as the Executive Director of Authorizations, a division where since March she launched changes based on FCA’s approach to the gateway. She has been in charge of leading a series of transformations and workstreams at the agency.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, commented about the Executive Committee changes and stated: “Stephen’s extensive experience of advising ministers on such a wide range of legal issues and managing over 1000 lawyers will be invaluable given the scale and variety of the FCA’s remit. I want to thank David for so ably leading the FCA’s legal function on a temporary basis. My colleagues and I have been, and will continue to be over the coming months, grateful for his wise advice.”

Additionally, Braviner Roman talked about the development and said: “I'm delighted to be joining the excellent team at the FCA. This is a crucial period for consumers, financial markets and the FCA, and I’m looking forward to starting.”

Plans to Tackle Investment Harm

The announced changes of the Executive Committee by the FCA come at a time when the watchdog remains committed to addressing the risks associated with cryptocurrencies. Early this year, the regulator urged consumers to do their research and assess the risks when dealing with crypto assets. The agency issued a consumer warning about the risks of investing in crypto coins. The FCA listed five main risks and concerns associated with high-return investments based on cryptocurrencies, including consumer protection, price volatility, product complexity, charges and fees and marketing materials. Besides that, the regulator recently wrote a letter to the CEOs of equity crowdfunding platforms to warn them that consumers are still making inappropriate high-risk investments despite the current marketing restrictions.

The investor marketing restrictions have been in place for many years with similar rules introduced for peer-to-peer lending platforms in 2019. However, the FCA stated that it will monitor companies’ activities on an ongoing basis and hold senior managers to account for their companies’ actions going forward. The regulator urged crowdfunding firms to promote investment opportunities appropriately so that consumers can understand the risks such speculative and high-risk investments pose. One of the major risks that the watchdog identified was that too many consumers are still investing in inappropriate high-risks investments, which do not meet their needs as a result of technological advancements and have made investing more accessible to the general public.