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Comment: How Jane Diplock could survive all this

Wednesday 28th April 2010

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One person for whom Commerce Minister Simon Power’s announcements tonight don’t look good is the embattled chair of the Securities Commission, Jane Diplock.  

Mocked by the media, where a consensus reigns that she’s done a bad job, Diplock has a job till September next year, except that Power just announced a new Financial Market Authority will be taking shape by January.

At first glance, it looks like an opportunity to ditch the patrician Australian who has, by all accounts, done a great job of chairing the international securities regulator association, but managed to be perceived – whether or not fairly – as too lax about enforcing the rules at home.

Diplock is both chair and chief executive of the Securities Commission, which everyone seems to agree is the problem.  Splitting the role was even recommended by a serious and laudatory examination of the commission by what certainly looked like a pair of credible international scrutineers.

Accordingly, a CEO candidate search has been under way for months.  Replacing a name for the new employer, the FMA, is the only change the job description will need.

Whoever gets the job, they will still need a board – the Securities Commissioners - who in turn will need a chair.

Jane Diplock is the chair till next September. Put money on it.

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