Shipton’s parting views on governance

  • By Christine St Anne

An embedded risk culture that will endure over the years as well as an effective deterrence message to the industry are among the key initiatives, highlighted by departing chair James Shipton.

Shipton was speaking at a senate hearing on Monday. He will be leaving the corporate regulator following an inquiry into expense claims. 

Shipton will leave once a replacement is found. He was thanked for all his work by member of parliament and committee member Celia Hammond who also asked him about this experience at the regulator and what he wished he could change. 

He reframed the question around what he as most proud of at his time at ASIC. 

He highlighted that ASIC has now put in place an independent administrative function that will support the commissioners in their work.

Long-service ASIC executive Warren Day was promoted to the chief operating officer job in August last year. 

The recommendation was in fact part of the Productivity Commission’s 2015 capability review into ASIC.  

Shipton said he “personally hopes” that this new framework will help the executive to concentrate on operational matters and allow the commission be even more effective in its important role in governance, overseeing strategic and significant matters, and oversight holistically”. 

Shipton said ASIC had made “tremendous progress” over the last two to three years. 

He noted that the regulator now has a chief data officer “who I believe is excellent” and now it’s first chief risk officer. 

“We have increased our risk focused culture. We are developing and embedding a risk framework that will endure over the years and I have every confidence that my commission colleagues and executive leadership group will continue to push [this agenda] in the years ahead.” 

He also responded to the advertising campaign by failed businessman Clive Palmer who took out full page newspaper advertisement against Shipton. 

He would not be drawn on the issue but his “observation” was that ASIC has an “amazingly resilient” team that were dedicated and motivated and he believes the effectiveness and credibility was not impacted by “those matters in the press”. 

He also added that ASIC now has now crafted an effective deterrence message that has never been stronger. 

“We have never been more effective as a deterrent agency as we are today. And I know that that journey will continue. 

“There are many others [achievement] that I can go on about, but I have to stop here as I don’t want to sound like a Swan song.”