Mario Christodoulou, Accountancy Age, Tuesday 12 October 2010 at 11:41:00

"The final decision gives a blend of political and policy making experience"trustee head Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa tells Accountancy Age


The new International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) chairman must bepart-politician and part-technician, a head of the IASB?s oversight committeehas said.

Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, chairman of the IASB trustees, said the newly-electedIASB chairman Hans Hoogervorst, who will replace Sir David Tweedie in June nextyear, has the right mix of political and technical experience needed to move thebody forward.

?Some of the key challenges facing the organisation in the next two or threeyears are technical but also highly political,? he said.

The nationality of the candidates was not a factor in the final decision, hetold Accountancy Age from Seoul.

?The discussion?was not one where geographical factors played a significantrole, it was much more about the profile and what sort of person the IASB wouldneed in the coming years,? he said.

?The final decision gives a blend of political and policy-making experience,negotiating ability and leadership technical, expertise that I think that wasseen by all trustees as the lend we need for the future.?

Hoogervorst will begin his new post just as the US is in the final stages ofdeciding whether to adopt international standards. The IASB has been trying toharmonise international and US accounting rules despite differences in how thetwo boards account for financial instruments.

Padoa-Schioppa said Hoogervorst had strong US connections.

?Hans has excellent relationships in the United States, he has co-chairedwith Harvey Goldstein on the Financial Crisis Advisory Group.

He has a very strong relationship with [US Securities and Exchange Commissionchairman] Mary Schapiro and he chairs the International Organisation ofSecurities Commissions (IOSCO) committee. He has lived in the US and workedthere.?

Hoogervorst will also have to navigate a changing political landscape when hebegins, with Japan, Argentina, Canada, Mexico and South Korea officiallyswitching to international accounting rules in the next twelve months.

Hoogervorst said he had investor protection ?in my DNA?.

?I strongly believe that a global set of accounting standards, set forinvestors by an independent standard-setter, is an essential component for theworld?s financial markets. These will remain my priorities,? he said.

He will also have to work with European finance ministers, who have had arocky relationship with the IASB since adopting of international accountingrules in 2005. The IASB has so far resisted pressure from Europe to change itsaccounting rules to meet regulatory needs.

Padoa-Schioppa believes Hoogervorst will be a balanced chairman who will notalways agree with regulators.

?There are some regulators concerned with financial stability which may havein some cases different views as to what the best accounting methods will be,just as tax authorities will have accounting rules which are different,? he said

?The credentials of Hans are fully in line with the mission of IASB.?

He will be joined by the UK Accounting Standards Board?s current chairman IanMackintosh, who as appointed to the newly-created vice chairman position.Speaking from Seoul, Mackintosh said he had really enjoyed working at the ASB?and working with the fine folk involved with it?.

In an earlier statement he said he has been long-involved in thestandard-setting process and understands the challenges facing the organisation.

?I am strongly committed to the cause of global standards,? he said.

Baroness Hogg, chairman of the UK?s reporting regulator, the FinancialReporting Council, congratulated Ian on his appointment and said he would jointhe IASB at a critical time for international standards.

Further reading:

IASBdetails recruitment process for Tweedie replacement

Candidatesin frame for top IASB role