Levitt and Keegan welcome IASC board

Arthur Levitt, who is to step down next month from his post at the SEC, played a pivotal role in restructuring the IASC in its crusade to accelerate harmonisation in financial reporting.

In January last year Levitt was appointed as chairman of the nominating comittee charged with selecting IASC trustees to oversee the restructured organisation.

The committee selected 19 trustees, including former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Board Paul Volcker as trustee chairman and chairman of the UK’s Accounting Standards Board Sir David Tweedie as chairman of the new IASC Board.

Yesterday’s announcement completed the selection process allowing the IASC to begin its new role.

Levitt said: ‘I commend the IASC trustees for selecting this group of most capable and experienced individuals to be the first members of the new IASC board. Strong and resilient capital markets cannot function without high quality information. Efficient capital allocation depends on accurate, timely and comparable financial reporting. The board members who have been appointed today carry an enormous public service responsibility.’

Mary Keegan, who became chairman of the ASB at the start of the year, echoed Levitt’s praise.

‘I welcome the announcement of the new international board, and wish it every success. I am particularly delighted that it includes Professor Geoffrey Whittington CBE, a long-standing member of the ASB,’ said Keegan.

‘The ASB looks forward to making a significant UK contribution to international standard setting. We shall also be working hard with fellow European standard-setters to ensure that Europe has a strong and positive voice in the standards convergence process.’

Keegan this week set the agenda for her first few months at the ASB when she urged the business community, regulators and professional bodies to comment on research published last year that evaluates the differences between UK accounting standards and global rules.

Commissioned by the ASB, the ICAEW published the Convergence handbook which gives a detailed comparison between IASs and UK standards following the European Commission’s announcement to require all listed companies to adopt IASs by 2005 at the latest.

Keegan said: ‘I am determined that convergence towards global standards should lead to the selection of the best possible solutions and be as smooth as possible. Quality is more important than national origin.’

The deadline for comments is 30 April 2001.

To obtain a copy of the Convergence handbook contact the ICAEW Centre for Business Performance.


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