March 20, 2012 / 11:14 AM / in 6 years

UK FSA's Cole to join PwC in the autumn

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Margaret Cole, the UK Financial Services Authority’s top enforcement official, will join PwC after she steps down from the watchdog this month, the latest top regulator to be snapped up by a Big Four auditor.

Cole will begin working for PwC in the autumn and become a member of its UK executive board with responsibility for the Office of General Counsel from December when incumbent Owen Jonathan retires.

“The complexity of current and proposed legislation affecting PwC and our clients requires a General Counsel with extensive experience, expertise and judgement,” PwC’s chairman and senior partner Ian Powell said in a statement.

A welter of new regulation is being approved in Europe and the United States following the financial crisis, forcing institutions like banks to seek advice on rethinking their business models as they face tighter rules.

This has sparked a string of high-profile hirings by the Big Four auditors who all have professional services arms.

Many of the hirings in Europe have been from the FSA which is being scrapped in early 2013. Some top regulators have also chosen to move on as the focus switches from an unprecedented, intense period of policymaking to more mundane implementation.

FSA Chief Executive Hector Sants announced last week he would be stepping down in June even though he would become head of the new prudential authority at the Bank of England and become a deputy governor.

Among the other Big four auditors, KPMG hired Jon Pain, a former FSA senior official, in July last year.

Ernst & Young has set up a team of former regulators which includes Stefan Walter, formerly secretary general of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision; former senior FSA official Thomas Huertas; and Alvir Hoffmann and Hidekatsu Koishihara, former senior Brazilian and Japanese regulatory officials, respectively.

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