The board of supervisors (BoS) for the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the pan-European regulatory body, has nominated Verena Ross as its first executive director, subject to confirmation by the European Parliament.
The executive director will be entrusted with the day-to-day management of ESMA and once approved will complete the top tier of its management. According to the regulation establishing ESMA, the executive director will serve a term of five years, renewable once.
Ross, a German national, is currently director of the international division at UK regulator the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The division carries out the FSA's international work including the co-ordination of its European Union and international committee work and provides strategic technical advice on EU and international policy issues.
Ross is also a member of the FSA’s executive and the executive policy and risk committees. Prior to this role, Ross was the director of the FSA’s strategy and risk division and head of market infrastructure.
Ross has a track record in capital market policy and supervision issues: after studying in Hamburg, Taipei and London at the School of Oriental and African Studies, she started her career at the Bank of England as an economist covering the east Asian economies before becoming a banking supervisor. From 1998 to 2000 she ran the executive chairman’s office for Sir Howard Davies during the creation and early years of the FSA. She was also briefly seconded as an advisor to Hong Kong's regulator the Securities and Futures Commission in 2000.
After her nomination, Ross said, “The opportunity to participate in the shaping of this new authority, together with the chairman, Steven Maijoor, is both a great challenge and an important opportunity to serve Europe's citizens. Should my nomination be confirmed by the European Parliament, ensuring ESMA develops into a strong, independent and smoothly managed body will be crucial in my view for its reputation towards all its stakeholders.”
In January, the BoS of ESMA elected Maijoor as ESMA's first chairman and Carlos Tavares as vice-chairman. Maijoor's appointment was confirmed by the European Parliament in February; he will take office on 1 April 2011.