Carlson Tong Ka-shing to take over at SFC

Carlson Tong will take over as watchdog chairman when Eddie Fong retires next month

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 September, 2012, 3:33am

Carlson Tong Ka-shing, KPMG's former chairman for China and the Asia-Pacific, is set to be appointed the next chairman of the Securities and Futures Commission.

Tong, a retired accountant who chaired the stock exchange's listing committee from 2006 to 2008, was the most suitable candidate to replace Eddy Fong Ching, a government official, told the South China Morning Post. Fong is due to retire on October 19.

"The SFC chairman needs to be someone who is independent as the regulator's work involves many investigations," he said. "It also needs someone who understands listings."

The role is a non-executive one, introduced in 2005 when the government split the executive chairman's post into two - a non-executive chairman and a chief executive - to add checks and balances to the regulator. Fong, also a veteran accountant, has been chairman for six years.

Tong is expected to work with chief executive Ashley Alder to carry out reforms including a tightening of the regulation of listing sponsors.

Hong Kong-born Tong began his career with KPMG in Britain in 1979. He returned to Hong Kong in 1985 and was made a partner in 1989. He rose on the corporate ladder to become KPMG's China chairman in 2007 and Asia-Pacific chairman in 2009. After retiring last year, he has kept busy in public roles including non-executive director of the SFC and chairman of the English Schools Foundation.

Hong Kong Investment Funds Association chief executive Sally Wong said the funds industry would like to meet regularly with the new chairman.

"We look forward to establishing regular dialogues with Mr Tong, and the local fund industry hopes to see him help steer the development of a regulatory framework that can reinforce Hong Kong's position as a premier asset management centre," Wong said.

Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, the legislator representing stockbrokers, said many brokers did not know Tong well.

"I hope the new SFC chairman will listen to the concerns of brokers and develop policy that can help both large and small brokers to develop their business well," Cheung said.