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Harvard legal academic named next ASIC chair

Harvard legal academic named next ASIC chair

ASIC chair, Harvard legal academic, James Shipton, handshake,

Harvard Law School academic James Shipton has been named as the next chair of the corporate regulator.

Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer announced earlier this week that Mr Shipton will replace ASIC chair Greg Medcraft in February 2018 for a five-year term.

Mr Shipton is currently the executive director of studies in international finance systems at Harvard Law School.

He has previously worked as executive director of the intermediaries supervision and licensing division at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission, as well as managing director and head of government and regulatory affairs for Asia-Pacific at Goldman Sachs.

Mr Shipton has also worked as a banking lawyer, and completed his articles at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst).

The ABC reported that Mr Shipton accepted the role days after Credit Suisse Australia chairman John O’Sullivan, who was the leading candidate, pulled out.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen spoke out against Mr O’Sullivan’s appointment last month, arguing in a statement that his personal ties to the NSW Liberal Party would threaten ASIC’s independence.

However, Ms O’Dwyer denied that Mr Shipton was the government’s second choice.

“[Shipton] is absolutely the government’s choice,” she said.

“He is someone with experience in regulation directly. As a regulator he has been at the coal face. He is someone who has worked in the financial markets, in investment banking but also as a lawyer as well, and he is someone who is seen as a world expert.”

Mr Shipton is the son of former federal Coalition MP for Higgins Roger Shipton.

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