Press release

11 Feb 2021 London, GB

Christopher Woolard CBE joins EY’s UK Partnership

Chris will spearhead EY’s market leading EMEIA financial services regulation capabilities and chair EY’s Global Financial Services Regulatory Network

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Related topics Financial Services
  • Chris joins from the FCA, where he was the Interim CEO
  • Chris will spearhead EY’s market leading EMEIA financial services regulation capabilities and chair EY’s Global Financial Services Regulatory Network 

EY announces Chris Woolard will join the UK Partnership in April 2021 to lead its EMEIA financial services regulatory capabilities and chair the EY Global Financial Services Regulatory Network. Based in the UK market, Chris’ remit will be global in nature, working with senior policymakers and firms around the world through the EY network.

Chris joins EY from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), where he was the interim CEO between March and September 2020, leading UK regulation through the initial phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. During this period he was also a member of both the Prudential Regulation Committee and the Financial Policy Committee of the Bank of England. Prior to the CEO role, Chris was the Executive Director for Strategy and Competition at the FCA, a position he held since January 2013. 

Chris, who was awarded a CBE for services to financial regulation and financial technology innovation in the 2021 New Year’s Honours list, is a key hire for EY and demonstrates the ambitions of its regulatory consulting practice. As a recognised driver of change in financial regulation and innovation, Chris is credited with improving competition and consumer protection in the UK market. Chris is also recognised internationally, having established the now globally implemented regulatory sandbox concept, as the first chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Fintech Network, and as having significantly shaped numerous UK and global regulatory policies and standards. 

Anna Anthony, UK Financial Services Leader at EY, comments: “I am thrilled that Chris is joining EY. He brings a unique perspective and an unrivalled depth of knowledge and understanding of the financial services regulatory environment. Markets across Europe are now navigating the post Brexit world and starting to shape out their future, and as the UK in particular forges new relationships and looks to build out its green and digital capabilities, strong, innovative and progressive financial regulation will be a crucial component.”

Jan Bellens, Global Banking & Capital Markets Leader at EY, comments: “It is with great pleasure that we will be welcoming Chris to the firm and building on the strength of our market leading regulatory practice. His experience is unique and proven, and our clients around the world will benefit from his insight and perspective. I look forward to working together.”

Chris Woolard comments: “I am delighted to be joining EY at such a key point in time for financial services here in the UK and across the world. As the industry faces a series of global challenges including the effects of COVID-19, rapidly changing technology, and acting with environmental and social purpose, there will rightly be focus on how policy is formed and put into action, conduct and compliance is upheld, and how governance is maintained and improved upon. Navigating this landscape will be essential to a successful and sustainable market.” 

John Liver, who currently leads EY’s UK financial services regulatory compliance capabilities, has been an EY Partner since 2005 will be retiring in September 2021 to focus on new priorities. John has led EY’s financial services regulatory capabilities across EMEIA for 15 years, growing the team and advising UK financial services firms on major regulatory change, including through the 2008 financial crisis and Brexit. John was a founding member and co-chair of EY’s Global Financial Services Regulatory Network. 

Commenting on John’s retirement, Anna adds: “John has provided strong leadership through many of the biggest challenges of the past decades, not least the financial crisis and Brexit. We wish him well in his next endeavours and thank him for his dedicated contribution to our firm.”