The board of the Dubai Financial Services Authority, the regulator of the emirate’s financial services free zone, has appointed Ian Johnston as chief executive.
He will succeed Christopher Calabia from September 1, who is stepping down to return to the US for family-related reasons, the regulator said on Friday.
Mr Johnston, who served as the DFSA’s chief executive from 2012 to 2018, will reprise his role from September 1.
Over the past four years, Mr Johnston has been providing consultancy services to regulators and policymakers in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and has undertaken projects funded by the World Bank and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
Mr Johnston has also served on the DFSA’s legislative committee since January 2022.
The board of directors of the DFSA accepted the resignation of Mr Calabia, effective from August 31.
“The DFSA thanks Chris for his service over the past year and we wish him the very best as he returns to the United States,” DFSA chairman Fadel Al Ali said.
“We look forward to welcoming Ian back to lead the DFSA.”
Mr Calabia joined the DFSA from a senior advisory position at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he promoted regulations that enable digital financial inclusion.
An expert in banking supervision, he was previously responsible for improving supervisory effectiveness at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he held a variety of policy and supervision roles.
The DFSA is the independent regulator of financial services conducted in and from the Dubai International Financial Centre. Its regulatory mandate covers asset management, banking and credit services, securities, collective investment funds, custody and trust services, commodities futures trading and Islamic finance.
It also has oversight of insurers, crowdfunding platforms, money services, an international equities exchange and an international commodities derivatives exchange within DIFC.