Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he
The DFSA Board oversees the DFSA Chief Executive and staff and are appointed by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of the DIFC, for a three year term. The structure has been designed to ensure a transparent separation of day-to-day regulatory activities from the oversight of the DFSA’s regulatory performance. The Board provides governance that is characterised by vigilance, accountability and fairness. Directors are governed by a Code of Values and Ethics that sets out procedures for reporting and managing any potential, perceived or actual conflicts of interest. A copy of the Code is available here.
The Board typically meets six times per year. The Board’s Committees meet as needed, with most of them meeting two or three times per year. Beginning in 2014, a summary of outcomes for each of the Board meetings is available, to view please click on the month below:
The Board currently consists of 10 Directors and all but the Chief Executive are independent non-Executive Directors. The Members of the Board are leading industry, legal and regulatory experts drawn from major international financial jurisdictions.
Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he
Formerly a Senior Manager at ANZ Grindlays Bank PLC, in London, Mr Eigner headed the Middle East and Indian Subcontinent Division of the private bank, which he left to found a private investment company in 1992.Mr Eigner holds a Master’s Degree in Management from London Business School. He is a former Governor of London Business School, Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committees and member of its Estate Committee. He is the co-author of the management books Sand to Silicon (2003), Sand to Silicon - Going Global (2009), and author of Art of the Middle East (2010 and 2015). He holds/ has held a number of Board appointments in banking, strategy, education, regulation and investment. Mr Eigner is Chair of the Board’s Governance and Nominations Committee.
Bryan Stirewalt was appointed Chief Executive of the DFSA in October 2018, after eight years as the DFSA’s Managing Director of the Supervision Division. From 1985 to 1996, he worked for the US Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as a National Bank Examiner, specialising in policy development and implementation, problem bank rehabilitation and banking fraud initiatives. From 1996 until joining the DFSA in 2008, he worked for an international consulting and advisory firm, focusing on emerging markets development programmes in Poland, Ukraine, Cyprus and Kazakhstan. In relation to international development, Bryan plays an active role in supporting the work of international standard-setting bodies. He now serves as the Co-Chair of the Basel Consultative Group (BCG), which provides a forum for deepening the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s engagement with non-member, global supervisors on banking supervisory issues. Through this role, he also serves as an Observer at the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
Fadel Al Ali has been appointed the Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Group Chief Operating Officer of First Abu Dhabi Bank in April 2021, where he previously held the position of Deputy CEO and Head of Corporate and Investment Banking since April 2020. Prior to joining First Abu Dhabi Bank as Group Chief Customer Experience and Digital Officer in 2017, Mr Al Ali was the CEO of Dubai Holding, a global group with assets of USD 35 billion across 21 countries and interest in 14 economic sectors. Mr Al Ali led the financial restructuring of Dubai Holding’s investment groups and led the new business model of Dubai Holding as a strategic investor. Mr Al Ali started his career at Citibank in 1989, and left Citi in his capacity as UAE Head of Distribution, before joining Dubai Holding in 2004. Mr Al Ali is a member of the Executive Committee of the First Abu Dhabi Bank, Chairman of Board of Directors of MIRA Bank, Serbia and the H Hotel & Resort Management and SHUAA Capital PJSC. He also sits on boards of FAB (Suisse) Private Bank SA, Abu Dhabi Capital Group and Abu Dhabi Financial Group and Abu Dhabi Development Holding. Mr Al Ali holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and System Engineering from University of Southern California and a degree in High Performance Boards, International Institute of Management Development, Lausanne. Mr Ali was appointed Deputy Chair of the Board in July 2020. He is also a member of the Remuneration Committee, Audit Committee and Emirati Working Group.
Abdul Wahid Al Ulama is a partner with White and Case in their Global Merger and Acquisitions Practice. Mr Al Ulama is a certified arbitrator operating in Dubai and registered with the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and the International Chamber of Commerce. He has been a member of the Panel of Conciliators for the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) since March 2017. He has been an independent Board Member of the Emirates Post Group since September 2016 and sits on some of their committees and subsidiary boards. He is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre.Mr Al Ulama was previously a partner with Al Tamimi & Company Advocates & Legal Consultants in Dubai and the Managing Partner of their associate office in Qatar. Thereafter, he was with Dubai World, initially as the Group Chief Legal Officer. He later assumed leading commercial roles within the Group, including Executive Vice Chairman of Dubai Natural Resources, and Executive Vice Chairman of Retailcorp World. Before joining White and Case, he was a Senior Advisor, Originations at Mubadala GE Capital, based in Abu Dhabi. Mr Al Ulama has held a number of Board appointments in banking and financial services. Mr Al Ulama graduated first in class with distinction for his LLB degree from UAE University. He holds a Master’s Degree in International Trade Law from University College London. Mr Al Ulama is Chair of the Board’s Emirati Working Group and Remuneration Committee. He is also a member of the Legislative Committee and Risk Committee.
The Hon Mr Apurv Bagri is President and CEO of the Metdist Group of Companies, engaged in international non-ferrous trade and industry. He is a past Chairman and current Board member of the International Wrought Copper Council, which represents the global copper fabricating industry. He is a Board member of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEx), Chairman of the Governing Body of London Business School, a Commissioner of the Crown Estate Paving Commission, and a Trustee of Asia House. Mr Bagri is the Honorary Rector and former Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Council of City, University of London, and is a visiting Professor at Cass Business School. He is a past Chairman of TiE Inc, a global non-profit organisation that promotes entrepreneurship and wealth creation. Mr Bagri is an Honours graduate in Business Administration from Cass Business School in London and has an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from City, University of London, and an Honorary Fellowship from London Business School. Mr Bagri was appointed to the Board of the DFSA in September 2004 and was the Board’s Deputy Chair until June 2020. He is a member of the Governance and Nominations Committee, Remuneration Committee and Audit Committee.
Julie Dickson was a member of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank, between 2014 and 2017, which is responsible for overseeing European banks. Prior to that, she spent 15 years at the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions in Canada, heading the office from 2006 to 2014. In addition, Ms Dickson served for 15 years with the Canadian Department of Finance, focusing on financial institution policy issues. She has been a member of the Financial Stability Board, the Basel Committee on Banking Regulation, and the boards of the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Toronto Leadership Centre. She currently sits as an independent non-executive director on the board of Manulife, where she is also a member of the Risk Committee and Management Resources Compensation Committee. She also sits on the board of the Global Risk Institute, which focuses on risk management for the financial industry, and the Canadian Public Accountability Board, which oversees audit firms in Canada. She has been awarded the Order of Canada for her work in Canada and globally in the area of financial institution regulation and supervision. Ms Dickson is a member of the Board’s Legislative Committee, Remuneration Committee and Audit Committee.
Sabine Lautenschläger was appointed to the Board of the DFSA in July 2020. Ms Lautenschläger served as Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) at the European Central Bank (ECB) from 2014 to 2019. During this time, she also served as a Member of the Executive Board and Member of the Governing Council of the ECB, the decision-making body responsible for monetary policy within the Euro area. She represented the ECB on the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the Financial Stability Board and was an observer at the Single Resolution Board. Prior to this, Ms Lautenschläger was Deputy Governor of the Deutsche Bundesbank for three years. She was also a member of the Executive Board, and Chief Executive Director of Banking Supervision at Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). Ms Lautenschläger holds a law degree from Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn has extensive experience in banking supervision, market infrastructures and payments, risk management and cyber resilience. Ms Lautenschläeger is a member of the Board’s Legislative Committee and Risk Committee.
Charles Flint QC is a commercial barrister, arbitrator and mediator specialising in banking and financial services in the UK. Mr Flint has advised and acted for regulators and firms in regulatory proceedings and investigations and has been involved in many of the major regulatory cases that have arisen in London in the last 25 years. He is on the panel assisting Sir William Blackburne in his independent review of complaints brought against the Royal Bank of Scotland in relation to its Global Restructuring Group. He is a member of the panel of chairmen for the AIM Disciplinary Committee established by the London Stock Exchange, and on the disciplinary panel of the London Metal Exchange. In 2009, he was appointed to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which investigates complaints against the intelligence agencies of the UK. He is a member of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body, which administers the financial fair play rules that apply to European football clubs. He is President of the National Anti-Doping Panel, the independent body which adjudicates on doping cases in sport in the UK, and Chairman of the independent tribunal of the International Tennis Federation. Between 1991 and 1995, Mr Flint was a Junior Counsel to the Crown (Common Law). From 1998 to 2004, he was Joint Head of Blackstone Chambers, one of the leading commercial and public law chambers of barristers in London. Mr Flint is Chair of the Board’s Legislative Committee and a member of the Risk Committee.
J Andrew Spindler is President and CEO of the Financial Services Volunteer Corps (FSVC), a non-profit public-private partnership that helps build sound banking and financial sectors in emerging market countries. Since its founding in 1990, FSVC has sent more than 10,000 experts on a pro bono basis to strengthen financial infrastructure in 60 countries. Before his appointment in 1993, Mr Spindler served as a Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (NY Fed), where he headed the Banking Studies and Analysis Function and Payments System Studies. While at the NY Fed, he helped develop the risk-based capital framework that has been adopted by bank supervisory authorities around the world. He represented the NY Fed on the BCBS from 1991 to 1993. Before joining the NY Fed in 1985, Mr Spindler held several positions at the Continental Illinois Bank. Mr Spindler holds PhD and MPA degrees from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Politics from Harvard University. He served as a fellow at the Brookings Institution from 1980 to 1983, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Bretton Woods Committee. Mr Spindler is Chair of the Board's Audit Committee, a member of the Risk Committee, Governance and Nominations Committee and Emirati Working Group.
Swee Lian Teo joins the Board after spending 27 years at the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Her last executive role was as Deputy Managing Director in charge of Financial Supervision. Ms Teo is an independent non-Executive director on the Board of HKEx-listed AIA Group Ltd, where she is also a member of its Risk and Nomination Committees. Ms Teo also serves as an independent director on the Board of SGX-listed Singapore Telecommunications Ltd, and is a member of its Governance and Nominations Committee, Executive Resource and Compensation Committee, and Chair of its Risk Committee. Ms Teo is also an independent director on the Board of Clifford Holdings Pte Ltd and Chairman of Capitaland Mall Trust, a REIT listed on SGX. Ms Teo is an independent non-Executive director on the Board of Avanda Investment Management Pte Ltd and chairs its Audit and Risk Committee. She is also an independent non-Executive director of Clifford Capital and chairs its Audit Committee. She graduated with a B.Sc. (First) in Mathematics from Imperial College, London University in 1981, and an M.Sc, in Applied Statistics from Oxford University in 1982. Ms Teo is the Chair of the Board’s Risk Committee and a member of the Governance and Nominations Committee and Emirati Working Group.
The Legislative Committee (LegCo) assists the Board in discharging its policy-making and legislative functions, including the development of the regulatory framework for financial services conducted in or from the DIFC. LegCo is responsible for the scrutiny of proposed legislative and Rulebook changes, ensuring proper consultation on those changes and recommending to the Board the final form of changes proposed. The Board has the power to make or amend rules, and will recommend primary legislation for enactment by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
During 2019 LegCo members were:
* External member
*** Executive member
Decisions on LegCo’s workload are taken by the Executive in consultation with the Chairman of the Committee. In many instances, the agenda items are the result of the DFSA’s commitment to have a regulatory regime that is in line with international standards and developments. In 2019, LegCo recommended to the Board changes to the DFSA’s regulatory regime across a wide range of subjects. These included to:
• introduce Fund Platforms into the DFSA Rrulebook and to allow for Funds to be managed in the DIFC using such a Platform;
• recognise a new Funds Protocol setting out how domestic funds could be marketed and sold to investors in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This followed the agreement between the Emirates Securities and Commodities Authority, the DFSA and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (ADGM) to facilitate the passporting of funds between the three jurisdictions;
• allow for Property Investment Crowdfunding, to reflect the increased interest from firms wishing to finance different types of assets, in this case, property;
• enhance the DFSA’s processes for making and publicising regulatory decisions, including those made following enforcement investigations;
• introduce a regime for the regulation of Employee Money Purchase schemes, following the announcement by DIFCA of plans to change the arrangements for End of Service Gratuities in the DIFC; and
• a number of miscellaneous changes, including on the level of the DFSA’s reserves and on the rules for Suitability.
LegCo agreed to publication of a number of Consultation Papers, the proposals in which were subsequently enacted during 2019. These included consultations on regulatory decision making, Employee Money Purchase schemes and the miscellaneous issues referred to above.
LegCo also agreed to consultations being published on a number of issues, where final proposals for enactment have not yet been brought forward. These consultations covered:
• Provision of Money Services (CP125);
• SME listings (CP129);
• Further miscellaneous issues (CP130);
• Recovery and Resolution (CP131).
In each of the above areas, the DFSA expects to make changes to its regime, by making final rules, during 2020. Lastly, LegCo were provided with updates on the progress that was being made to create a DIFC Digital Assets regime, and also in respect of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Mutual Evaluation of the UAE’s regime to counter money laundering, terrorism financing and sanctions violations.
The primary function of the Audit Committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities regarding the financial management of the DFSA, the adequacy of its systems of internal controls and the quality of its internal risk management process. The Chairman and Chief Executive are not members of the Audit Committee.
Audit Committee members in 2019 consisted of:
During 2019, the Committee reviewed the audit report prepared by external auditors on the Financial Statements for 2018 and discussed this with the auditors. The DFSA’s financial statements were assessed as being presented fairly and in accordance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards for the year ended 31 December 2018.
The Committee approved the appointment of a new Head of Internal Audit during 2019. This has enhanced the skills and experience within the internal audit function, helping to ensure that it has developed in line with the increasing size and complexity of the DIFC as a leading international financial centre. During the year, the internal audit function conducted a maturity assessment of the DFSA’s ethics programme and a review of the DFSA’s disaster recovery arrangements. It also completed a comprehensive follow-up of an earlier review of the implementation of the DFSA’s risk tolerance within the risk-based supervisory approach.
In addition, the Committee engaged a third-party to provide an independent assessment of the DFSA’s IT security framework against relevant international best practices. The Committee also oversaw an independent third-party review of the DFSA’s Health, Safety & Environment arrangements. The Committee reviewed the draft budget for 2020 prepared by the Executive and recommended it for approval by the Board.
The primary function of the Risk Committee (RiskCo) is to assist the Board in identifying and assessing external and internal risks that could affect the DFSA's ability to meet its regulatory objectives and/or could impact negatively on the DFSA's reputation. The Committee also assists the Board in considering risk mitigation measures and monitoring their implementation.
Risk Committee members in 2018 were:
* Ex Officio
During 2018, the Risk Committee held three meetings at which it carried out the following regular activities:
Governance and Nominations Committee
The primary function of the Governance and Nominations Committee is to assist the Board in fulfilling its supervisory responsibilities in respect of the operations of the Board and its management, to make recommendations to the Board in terms of new Board members, and to develop a succession programme. The Committee also develops and recommends a set of corporate governance principles to the Board.
Governance and Nominations Committee members in 2018 were:
* Ex Officio
During 2018, the Committee managed the process of identifying suitable candidates to replace Ian Johnston as Chief Executive on his retirement from the DFSA at the end of September 2018. Following a lengthy and extensive global search for candidates, with the assistance of an international firm of recruiters, and a thorough interview process, the Committee recommended to the Board that the Managing Director of Supervision, Bryan Stirewalt, be appointed as the new Chief Executive.
The Committee also engaged an international firm to conduct a review of the performance of the Board and its committees, which will be completed in early 2019. At the Committee’s request, during 2018 the DFSA’s Code of Values and Ethics was comprehensively reviewed to ensure it continued to align with best practice globally.
The Executive reported to the Committee on complaints received, during the reporting period 1 November 2017 to 31 October 2018, and their resolution.
The primary function of the Remuneration Committee is tomake recommendations that will assist the Board to discharge its responsibilities relating to Human Resources.
The Committee's remit includes matters concerning remuneration and performance and policies applicable to the DFSA Board, Executive and staff.
Remuneration Committee members in 2018 were:
* Ex Officio
During 2018, the Committee made recommendations to the Board on adjustments to the remuneration of the senior management team, and on the overall distribution of salary adjustments for 2018, following a detailed and comprehensive review of the DFSA’s remuneration structure and remuneration positioning strategy. This included a comprehensive review of market conditions including inflationary trends and local practice.
The Committee also made recommendations to the Board on the level of bonuses for DFSA employees reflecting performance in 2017. The Committee also considered the policy it had previously approved, enabling some employees to work flexible or reduced hours, provided that there was no adverse impact.
This flexibility would assist with recruitment and retention because it would better accommodate employees who had young children or other challenges that make it difficult to work longer hours. It was noted that since implementation of the policy there had been no negative impact on the operational efficiency of the DFSA.
The Committee reviewed progress and use of approved resources for the Taqadum Programme in view of its commitment to developing UAE National talent. The Committee also considered during the year a range of other Human Resources matters, including talent development, succession planning, budgets and headcount.
Rules of Procedure and Practice Directions
To access the former RAC Rules of Procedure, please click here.
RAC - Notice of Hearing, 2013:
RAC - Notice of Withdrawal of Appeal, 2013:
RAC - Notice of Hearing, 2012:
RAC - Notice of Decision, 2012:
Emirati Working Group
The Emirati Working Group is a vehicle through which the Board seeks to promote the development of UAE National employees, and through which it oversees the TRL Programme, which has been designed to develop young UAE Nationals.
During 2018, membership of the Working Group included selected Board members and members of senior management as follows:
*** Executive member
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