MFSA appoints FIAU director as CEO, does away with public call for position

kenneth farrugia

Last Updated on Wednesday, 5 April, 2023 at 12:13 pm by Andre Camilleri

The Board of Governors of the Malta Financial Services Authority has appointed FIAU director Kenneth Farrugia as its next Chief Executive Officer, as it chose to do away with launching a public call for the position.

Farrugia will depart the FIAU to take up the position and his appointment at the MFSA is with effect from 12 April.

He follows in the footsteps of FIAU chairman Jesmond Gatt, who was appointed as MFSA chairman in February.

He replaces Joseph Gavin who was appointed as MFSA CEO in July 2021 after an open call for the position was published. He however stepped down in August 2022, with the MFSA saying that he was retiring early due to medical issues.

In appointing his replacement, the MFSA’s Board of Governors decided to do away with the idea of opening a public call for the position, saying that when this was done in 2021 it had not benefitted the MFSA “to the desired extent.”

The MFSA said that in its deliberations the Board took note of the several changes in the leadership of the Authority that took place over the last years and acknowledged that these were not beneficial for the Authority.

The Board agreed that the appointment of the right person to lead the Authority over the coming years was now a matter of urgency, the MFSA said.

“The Board acknowledged also that the previous open and international call for applications for the position of Chief Executive Officer had not benefited the Authority to the desired extent, and agreed that a public call for applications for the post of Chief Executive Officer would not be in the best interests of the Authority at this point in time,” the authority added.

The Board concluded that Kenneth Farrugia “has the required skills with proven leadership to provide the necessary impetus to implement the changes and reforms required by the organisation going forward,” the MFSA said.

“Kenneth Farrugia has extensive experience in leadership, with previous appointments as Director General at the Internal Audit and Investigations Department (IAID) and as Director of the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).”

“Farrugia is well known for his achievements and for successfully carrying out major reforms and strengthening both authorities. Farrugia is technically very well prepared and has exceptional organisational development skills. He is also personally very well regarded at an international level by a number of supranational authorities including the European Commission, European Banking Authority, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and MONEYVAL, and has been acclaimed by the US government for his achievements and integrity. He is also highly regarded by the wider community of industry stakeholders in Malta, which is considered essential for the MFSA,” the authority said.

The authority said that its board unanimously agreed that Farrugia has the right attributes, experience and proven track record to carry out the necessary structural, organisational, and operational reforms within the Authority and to successfully lead it forward over the coming years.

In the meantime, the Board thanked Michelle Mizzi Buontempo who held the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer for the past months and was instrumental in the publication of the Authority’s latest Strategic Statement.

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