Corporate watchdog ASIC is set to be restructured following a
strategic review by an independent consulting group.
Completed in May this year, the ASIC Strategic Review drew on
the opinions of 1250 stakeholders in a bid to streamline ASIC's
structure going forward. Input was sought from business, consumers
and ASIC staff.
On releasing the findings, ASIC Chairman Mr Tony D'Aloisio
"The review will result in us being closer to the market,
we will be more accessible and flexible, and we will be able to
take emerging trends into account more quickly."
This perhaps echoes calls from business for ASIC to be more
reflexive to changing markets. As ASIC's recent prohibition on
short-selling shows, being in touch with the marketplace is vital
for ASIC in successfully putting its regulatory function into
Business the beneficiary
ASIC suggests that business will be the main beneficiary of the
Strategic Review. As a result of the review, ASIC says that it will
be better placed to:
understand the markets which it regulates;
articulate the reasons for its involvement in the market;
be more forward-looking in assessing systemic market risk;
develop a clear priority areas for regulation moving
In furthering these ambitions, ASIC has indicated that greater
attention will be paid to regulation of retail investors, insider
trading, disclosure and artificial market manipulation.
Investment in people
To deliver its vision, ASIC will make a greater investment in
people, training and development. Putting this into practice, it
plans to build the skills of its existing staff and recruit
laterally from the 'big end of town'.
ASIC will also restructure its operations to provide greater
transparency and accountability. Some initiatives include:
the appointment of an experienced External Advisory Panel drawn
from various sectors of the economy;
the abolition of its current directorate system, replacing it
with 17 discrete stakeholder teams dedicated to sector-specific
additional resources directed towards supervision of brokers
and intermediaries; and
a reduction from 54 senior positions to 41 with increases in
remuneration levels for new positions.
Bridging the gap
While the impact of these changes remains to be seen, the
restructure sends a clear message to the marketplace that ASIC
intends to be more accessible, proactive and responsive to the
market's changing needs.
With a streamlined structure and a market-focused awareness,
this restructure may go some way to bridging the divide between the
corporate watchdog and the businesses it regulates.
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