Resignation of Mr Peter Kell as a Deputy Chair of ASIC

Mr Peter Kell has announced his resignation as Deputy Chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), following seven years of service.

Since beginning his tenure in 2011, Mr Kell has been part of ASIC’s leadership team, first as a member and then from 2013 as Deputy Chair. His experience and understanding of corporate regulation has been appreciated by successive governments as well as members of ASIC.

Mr Kell’s time at ASIC followed a stint as Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. He has also been on the Australian Government Financial Literacy Board since its establishment, has made a significant contribution to improving financial literacy and ensured that the transition to the new Chair of ASIC was as smooth as possible, including serving as Acting Chair.

ASIC has six Commissioners, with new Commissioner Danielle Press starting this week. Mr Kell’s resignation will be effective from 6 December. Sean Hughes is due to commence as a Commissioner later this year.

The Coalition Government has undertaken significant reforms to ensure that ASIC has the resources and powers it needs to combat misconduct in the financial services industry and across all corporations for the protection of Australian consumers. This includes:

  • injecting a further $70.1 million into ASIC to boost its enforcement capabilities and address other regulatory priorities, in addition to $121.3 million in additional funding in 2016 to bolster ASIC’s investigative and surveillance capabilities;
  • the appointment of Daniel Crennan QC as a new Deputy Chair who has a key focus on enforcement action; and
  • announcing the strengthening of criminal and civil penalties by increasing terms of imprisonment and fines, increasing the maximum civil penalties that can be imposed by courts and allowing wrongdoers to be stripped of profits illegally obtained, or losses avoided, from contraventions of the law.

These reforms support ASIC’s new Chair James Shipton’s approach to increase ASIC’s strategic direction on proactive enforcement and increase onsite supervisory approaches.

The Coalition Government thanks Mr Kell for his contribution to ASIC and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

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