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Hong Kong markets regulator Alder to take UK watchdog role

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HONG KONG — Ashley Alder, chief executive of Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), will step down to become chair of Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority, the SFC said on Friday.

Alder has led Hong Kong’s markets watchdog since 2011 and will leave the post at the end of September, taking up his new role in January 2023.

The SFC said it will begin recruiting for Alder’s replacement soon, without providing further details.

He previously said he would step down in 2020 before reversing this decision https://www.reuters.com/article/hongkong-regulator-ceo-idUSL4N2D02G2, pointing to the need for regulatory clarity after the COVID-19 pandemic roiled markets.

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During Alder’s tenure, the SFC and the Chinese authorities formed multiple cross-border market schemes such as the stock, fund and bond trading links.

Alder also chairs the International Organisation of Securities Commissions, which has helped raise Hong Kong’s profile as a global financial center.

Under his watch, the SFC took a more interventionist role 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 in the latter part of his tenure than it had done previously, in line with global trends.

“Ashley will be remembered for forging the SFC as a determined, effective and independent market regulator well respected by its local and international peers,” SFC chairman Tim Lui said in the statement.

(Reporting by Alun John and Selena Li; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sam Holmes)

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