Michel Prada takes IASB governance chieftainship

MICHEL PRADA is the new trustee chairman of global standard setters the IASB, following a 12-month search for a successor to the suddenly deceased Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa.

Traditionally occupied by political heavyweights, the top trustee role oversees governance and ensures the International Accounting Standards Board is fulfilling its mandate.

Prada begins his three-year stint in January, and the £200,000 salary – recently raised by £75,000 – reflects the growing burden he takes on.

He assumes the governance position after a career in investment and independent standard setting. The 71-year-old spent 12 years in the French markets regulator, was an executive in the International Organisation of Securities Commissions and is a founding member of the Financial Stability Forum.

Prada’s international accounting CV includes stints in the International Federation of Accountants and the Financial Crisis Advisory Group, formed to advise global and US standard setters on their response to the economic crisis.

He is currently chairman of the International Valuation Standards Council, co-chairman of the Council on Global Financial Regulation and non-executive director of the International Centre for Financial Regulation.

Sir Bryan Nicholson, chairman of the Trustees’ Nominating Committee said: “Michel was closely involved in the formation of the IFRS Foundation. It is fitting that he returns to chair the trustees at a point when IFRSs are on the verge of becoming global standards.

“His appointment received the unanimous support of the trustees and of the Monitoring Board. It is an excellent outcome to an extensive search process.”

The IASB and US equivalent the FASB are working on four final priority projects in a bid to converge international financial reporting standards with US GAAP.

Initial deadlines for these projects have been significantly pushed back and US regulator the SEC last week said it will miss its decision deadline on the adoption of IFRS.

Stateside experts have suggested the IASB should be primarily responsible for setting US standards, but the US GAAP moniker should be retained.

Prada called his appointment an honour, saying: “I have long supported the role of the IASB … and the need for this organisation to build on appropriate governance and strong independence.”

The IASB was criticised for the lengthy appointment process, with experts suggesting chairman Hans Hoogervorst was a natural fit for the role and had inadvertently deterred potential candidates.

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