Dubai’s DFSA Appoints New Chief Executive

Ian Johnston will take over from Paul Koster, who completes his term at the financial services regulator.

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) board has appointed Ian Johnston as its next CEO, succeeding Paul M Koster from 15 June 2012, it said in a statement today. Koster will complete his three and a half year term with the DFSA.

Johnston has been the DFSA’s deputy CEO since 2009 and managing director since 2006, when he joined the company. Prior to this, he worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

He is also a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, the global standard-setting body for insurance regulation.

The DFSA, which regulates firms operating in the Dubai Financial Centre (DIFC), has enforced stringent rules in the recent past as governance gains forefront in Dubai.

“The laws have changed and now we have an oversight of both the [external] auditors and the firms in the DIFC,” Koster said at a recent conference. All the firms are now expected to have compliance officers, risk assessment manuals and strictly adhere to the guidelines issued by the regulator.

He also said that violators were subject to strict punishments, in line with international standards