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ASIC appoints new chair, deputy chair

ASIC has appointed a new chair to replace James Shipton and a deputy chair.

Perth-based lawyer Joe Longo has been appointed chair and the ACCC's Sarah Court also joins the regulator as deputy chair.

"On behalf of the ASIC Commission and team I'd like to congratulate Joe Longo on his appointment as the next ASIC chair and Sarah Court as an additional deputy chair," outgoing chair Shipton said.

"Joe is known to many at the agency from his time as national director of enforcement from 1996-2000 and subsequent interactions as a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills. His wealth of domestic and international experience will serve ASIC well in the vital work it does in supporting the financial system and economy, especially as Australia recovers from the downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Shipton added that he will work with Longo and Court to facilitate a smooth transition.

Deputy chair Karen Chester had previously confirmed to Parliament that she hoped to be considered as the next ASIC chair. She will remain co-deputy chair, working alongside Court.

Court has been an ACCC commissioner since May 2008, reappointed for her third term in 2018.

ACCC chair Rod Sims commented on Court's appointment at ASIC, saying: "ASIC's gain is very much our loss."

Court steps into the deputy chair position left by Daniel Crennan, who resigned amid the regulators expenses scandal. He was found to have exceeded his salary cap and to have been incorrectly paid relocation and housing expenses.

Crennan repaid approximately $70,000 to the Commonwealth upon his departure.

Shipton was paid $855,364 in total remuneration, according to papers tabled in the Senate. The maximum cap on the total annual remuneration for the ASIC chair was set at $775,910, according to the Remuneration Tribunal (Remuneration and Allowances for Holders of Full-time Public Office) Determination 2019 made under subsections 7(3) and (4) of the Remuneration Tribunal Act 1973.

This means Shipton's pay may have overshot the cap by $79,454.

Shipton went on a leave of absence in October 2020 until the findings of a review into his salary were announced in January 2021, when he announced he would depart ASIC.

In a statement, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg thanked Shipton for his contribution.

"Mr Shipton has shown great commitment and dedication to ASIC during his three years as chair and I thank him for his service. I look forward to his continued assistance during the transition and wish him all the best in his future endeavours," Frydenberg said.

Read more: ASICJames Shipton