The Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) have today announced the appointment of Tushar Morzaria as the new Chair of the Sterling Risk Free Reference Rates Working Group (the Working Group). Tushar has been the Chief Financial Officer at Barclays and a member of the Group Board since 2013. He is a qualified accountant and has previously held senior roles at JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse and SG Warburg.
Tushar will become Chair of the Working Group from the start of 2019, taking over from François Jourdain, who has been Chair since the Group’s inception in 2015. Under François’ leadership, the Group has placed the UK at the leading edge of global efforts to transition from Libor, recommending and overseeing adoption of the market’s preferred risk free rate, SONIA, and building cross-market support for the steps needed to bring about full transition.
Commenting on the appointment, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said:
“I am delighted that Tushar Morzaria has agreed to serve as the new Chair of the UK’s Risk Free Rate Working Group. Tushar takes the mantel of chair at a pivotal time for the transition away from Libor towards new robust RFRs, which can only be achieved with strong direction, broad engagement and clear co-ordination across the financial sector and beyond. Tushar’s experience in strategic management across financial services and markets, plus his extensive international expertise, make him ideally suited to leading this transition for the market, and I look forward to working closely with him.”
Andrew Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of the FCA said:
“Financial markets need to move off Libor and on to SONIA and the other chosen Risk Free Rates by end 2021. This transition has begun, but there is much work yet to do. I welcome Tushar’s agreement to take on this important role co-ordinating and leading the cross market work on transition.”
On assuming the role, Tushar commented:
“It is a privilege to lead the Working Group at this important time in what will be a complex journey, and I look forward to working with partners across the industry, the Bank of England and FCA to build on the effort to date to facilitate a timely and orderly transition and maintain financial stability.”
The Working Group on Sterling Risk-Free Reference Rates was established in 2015 to implement the Financial Stability Board’s recommendation to develop alternative risk-free rates (RFRs) for use instead of Libor-style reference rates. In April 2017, the Working Group recommended the SONIA benchmark as their preferred RFR and since then has been focused on how to transition to using SONIA across sterling markets. The Working Group was reconstituted by the Bank and the FCA in 2018 to include a wider set of market participants. In addition to the 26 members of the Working Group who represent various markets and segments, work streams and forums under its umbrella include over 100 firms.