And so, as the sun finally sinks in the west, we bid farewell to the chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Greg Medcraft.
Well, not quite yet, but Outsider noted that one of the more colourful characters to chair the corporate regulator last month gave what amounted to a valedictory address to what must have been a rapt audience – the West Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – describing his “career at ASIC”.
Now, notwithstanding the fact that Outsider and most dictionaries define a “career” as “an occupation undertaken for a significant period of a person’s life and with opportunities for progress”, it has to be acknowledged that Medcraft did make an impression. He will undoubtedly be remembered by the members of the various Parliamentary Committees entertained by his various interjections and insights. Just as he will likely be remembered by those manning the executive lounges at various international air terminals.
He will also likely be remembered by the many in the financial services industry who find themselves paying the price of the industry funding of ASIC and also by those in the superannuation industry who are wondering why the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal needed to become part of a one stop shop.
Outsider hesitates to consider how the ASIC chair might be remembered by financial planners.
Of course, Medcraft had a much longer career at Societe Generale than he had at ASIC, including in New York as global head of securitisation in what turned out to be the lead-up to the sub-prime crisis but that must pale into insignificance with what he achieved in his six years at the helm of the regulator.