Dutch financial markets regulator Hans Hoogervorst will succeed Sir David Tweedie as chairman of the International Accounting Standards Board next June when Tweedie retires from the most powerful and influential position in the accounting profession.

The trustees of the IFRS Foundation made the announcement Tuesday. Hoogervorst is currently chairman of the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, the Dutch securities and market regulator, chairman of the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, also known as IOSCO, and co-chair of the Financial Crisis Advisory Group, an independent body of senior leaders formed to advise accounting standard-setters on their response to the global financial crisis. He will step down from all his present positions in order to join the IASB.

Between 1998 and 2007, Hoogervorst held a number of positions in the Dutch government, including minister of finance, minister of health, welfare and sport, and state secretary for social affairs. Prior to this he served as a member and senior policy advisor to the Dutch Parliament and the Ministry of Finance. He also spent three years as a banking officer for the National Bank of Washington in Washington, D.C. Last year, he was chosen as chairman of the Monitoring Board of government regulators overseeing the IASB (see International Accounting Monitors Choose Leader).


The foundation has also named Ian Mackintosh, a former chief accountant of the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, as vice chairman of the IASB. Mackintosh has more than 30 years experience of national and international accounting standard-setting.  He is currently chairman of the UK Accounting Standards Board and chairman of the group of national accounting standard-setters, a body in which more than 20 national and regional accounting standard-setting organizations participate.

Under the 10-year leadership of Tweedie, the IASB has succeeded in establishing International Financial Reporting Standards as the accepted set of financial reporting standards in more than 100 countries, although convergence with U.S. GAAP has proven to be an elusive goal. The IASB and the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board have been working on converging accounting standards since 2002, and they plan to have most of the outstanding issues resolved by the end of 2011. However, the recent sudden retirement of Tweedie’s counterpart at FASB, Robert Herz, has thrown the convergence timeline into doubt. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not yet approved the incorporation of IFRS into the U.S. financial reporting system and will not until at least next June, when Hoogervorst’s term begins. The IFRS Foundation said the “new chairman brings a strong understanding of, and an ability to navigate through, the challenges facing the IASB on the path to global IFRS adoption.”

“I am delighted that the trustees have chosen Hans, supported by Ian, to lead the IASB,” said Tweedie in a statement. “I got to know Hans when he co-led the Financial Crisis Advisory Group and I have worked with Ian for many years. Their skill sets are entirely complementary. This is an excellent outcome.”

Mackintosh also has significant experience in the standard-setting field and will help the IASB establish IFRS as the global standard. Both Hoogervorst and Mackintosh have demonstrated a commitment to protecting the independence of the standard-setting process and acting in the interest of investors and other stakeholders, according to the IFRS Foundation.

“As a securities and market regulator I have investor protection in my DNA,” said Hoogervorst in a statement. “I strongly believe that a global set of accounting standards, set for investors by an independent standard-setter, is an essential component for the world’s financial markets. These will remain my priorities. The IFRS story is a remarkable one.  I relish the opportunity to build on the great work of Sir David Tweedie and to lead the organization into a second decade of success.”

The appointments mark the end of a nearly year-long international search process.  Trustees sought nominations from more than 500 stakeholder organizations, considered more than 300 candidates from 28 countries before compiling a reduced list of 45 individuals from 20 countries. The appointments were unanimously approved by Trustees during their October 12 and 13 meeting in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Separately, the IFRS Foundation named Duck-Koo Chung as a trustee for an initial three-year term, starting Jan. 1, 2011. Chung is a former Minister of Commerce, Industry and Energy for the Republic of Korea. He is a visiting professor of international finance at Korea University and Renmin University in Beijing, Republic of China, and a founding member of the North East Asian Research Foundation, a research group comprising Chinese, Japanese and Korean international finance experts.

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