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Kwarteng appoints four non-executive directors to FRC board

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 17 Feb 2022

Four non-executive directors have been appointed to the Financial Reporting Council Board, with new Chair Sir Jan du Plessis also confirmed.

Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has appointed four new directors to the Board of the Financial Reporting Council (FRC): Angela Cha, Sir Ashley Fox, Clare Thompson and David Willis. 

They will serve as non-executive directors, helping to ensure strong standards of governance at the FRC, which promotes transparency and integrity across UK business.

“These appointments, drawing together directors with a wide range of experience, put the FRC in a strong position, and I look forward to working with Sir Jan and his team as we bolster the quality of audit and governance across UK plc”, said Kwarteng.

The new appointments will work alongside Sir Jan du Plessis, who was recently confirmed as the organisation’s new Chair following a hearing with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee in January.

The new FRC board appointments

Clare Thompson has had an executive career at PwC between 1976 and 2011, which combines client-serving roles with internal leadership, and became a partner in 1988. Her non-executive career began in 2012, through a variety of companies including Bupa and M&G. Clare is currently a senior independent director and audit committee chair of significant financial services groups – both global and domestic.

Angela Cha was a solicitor who qualified in England in 1990. Since 2010, she has held various consultancy and non-executive positions. She is currently a non-executive director of the NSPCC and a co-opted member of the Bath Building Society board.

Sir Ashley Fox has been Chair of the Independent Monitoring Authority since 2020 and a business consultant since 2019. He was previously a member of the European Parliament for the South West of England and Gibraltar from 2009 to 2019, a councillor for Bristol City from 2002 to 2010 and a solicitor specialising in insurance litigation from 1992 to 2009. He was knighted in 2019.

David Willis was a solicitor, latterly Managing Partner of Herbert Smith between 2008 and 2012 and then joint-CEO of Herbert Smith Freehills between 2012 and 2014 following a merger. He has held various non-executive roles since retiring, including Chair of the Paradigm Trust (a multi-academy schools’ trust); Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at Queen Mary University of London; Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of the Solicitors Regulation Authority; and Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee at United Response.

Earlier this year Du Plessis said addressing governance would be a “first priority” upon being named the preferred candidate for Chair of the FRC. Read his full comments at the BEIS pre-appointment hearing here.