Erkki Liikanen, a former governor of the Finnish Central Bank, has been named chair of the IFRS Foundation trustees, the group that oversees the International Accounting Standards Board and the International Financial Reporting Standards they develop.

IFRS Foundation chair Erkki Liikanen
IFRS Foundation chair Erkki Liikanen Courtesy of IFRS Foundation

He will succeed Michel Prada, who has chaired the foundation since 2011.

“IFRS Standards have a major role in the global financial system,” Liikanen said in a statement. “Michel Prada has done an impressive job as chair of the IFRS Foundation trustees, and I am proud to succeed him. I look forward to playing my part in the organization's future success.”

Prada congratulated his successor. “It's been a privilege to be closely involved with the IFRS Foundation for almost two decades, from the establishment of the organization at the start of the millennium through to serving as chair of the trustees,” Prada said in a statement. “I am honored and pleased to hand the reins onto Erkki Liikanen, a highly respected and competent successor. I wish him a successful leadership of the Foundation on the road towards global adoption of IFRS standards.”

Liikanen has served two seven-year terms as governor of the Bank of Finland. He has also been a governor of the International Monetary Fund and a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank since 2004.

Before joining the Bank of Finland, Liikanen was a commissioner at the European Commission. He was also the Minister of Finance in Finland from 1987 to 2009 and head of the Finnish Mission to the EU at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1994. He was the youngest Finn to become a member of Parliament at the age of 21, serving for 18 years starting in 1972.

Liikanen has initially been appointed for a three-year term, starting after the trustees' meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October. His appointment comes after an extensive global search by the trustees' Nominating Committee. The recommendation for his appointment was unanimously supported by the IFRS Foundation trustees and subsequently approved by the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board.

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