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The face of financial advice regulation to take a break from the FSCA

26 August 2020 Gareth Stokes
Caroline da Silva

Caroline da Silva

The person who many would identify as the face of insurance and financial advice regulation in South Africa will be taking a well-earned break after seven years with the regulatory authority. Caroline da Silva joined the Financial Services Board (FSB) in 2013 and continued working at the re-named Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) upon its establishment in 2018. Caroline, who served in various capacities over the years, has been intimately involved with most of the recent regulatory interventions affecting the insurance industry, including the frenetic implementation of the Twin Peaks structure indicated in the Financial Sector Regulation (FSR) Act.

Open and transparent communication

Caroline is a respected and well known personality in the short-term insurance sector thanks to her pre-regulatory experience at insurance giants Mutual & Federal, renamed Old Mutual Insure, and Santam. She is widely recognised by financial advisers and insurance brokers who attended broker roadshows during those years. Caroline worked incredibly hard at improving her intermediary-facing profile by giving countless presentations at association roadshows and myriad other industry events after joining the FSB. 

Most of these interactions took place while she was Deputy Registrar of FAIS and Insurance at the FSB, being the driving force of the extensive Retail Distribution Review (RDR) process. Whether you loved or hated the direction the regulator was taking at any given time, you could not fault the authority for their open and transparent communications on critical issues during this period. After the FSB was merged into the FSCA, Caroline headed up both the Conduct of Business Supervision and Regulatory Policy divisions within the newly established authority, pending the necessary executive appointments. 

In recent months Caroline’s focus turned to regulatory policy with oversight of regulatory frameworks; research; liaison; consumer education; and Fintech among her many roles. The FSCA press release announcing the resignation was short and to the point. “After a combined seven years of service at the FSCA and FSB, Caroline da Silva, Divisional Executive of Regulatory Policy, has resigned with effect from 31 October 2020”. The recently confirmed FSCA Commissioner, Advocate Dube Tshidi, was full of praise: “Caroline has been an invaluable member of our executive team and played an important role in the transition from the FSB to the FSCA; we thank Caroline for her unwavering commitment during her tenure”. 

A dynamo in financial sector regulation

On a personal note. I have had countless opportunities to interact with Caroline over the years, first as a freelance writer and editor of FAnews Online, and subsequently during my stint as Communications Manager at the Financial Intermediaries Association (FIA). I have always been in awe of Caroline’s knowledge of the regulation and her ability to fill a 45-minute presentation from memory, without hesitation, and always on-point. Another plus, from a journalistic perspective, is that Caroline always had time to discuss industry developments. The FSCA will miss her knowledge of the financial sector regulatory environment and her commitment to embedding the Treating Customers Fairly principles into every piece of legislation. 

Being a dynamic force in a fast-paced regulatory environment has taken its toll. When approached for comment on reasons for her departure, Caroline observed that she has achieved everything she had hoped for during her tenure at the authority and wished to take some well-deserved time off to think about what comes next. Although she has no immediate plans, she has offered to work an extended notice period if required. Caroline is also available for future projects, should the FSCA require assistance. FAnews will conduct an in-depth interview with Caroline at a more appropriate date: Watch this space. 

Writer’s thoughts:
The impact that Caroline da Silva had on the financial advice regulatory environment seems larger than the seven years she spent at the FSB and FSCA. We invite you, the financial advisers and insurance brokers amongst our readership, to share some of your memories of advice regulation during Caroline’s tenure? Please comment below, interact with us on Twitter at @fanews_online or email us your thoughts editor@fanews.co.za.

Comments

Added by Thapelo, 26 Aug 2020
Wow, how the FSCA allow this talent to go - she is needed to take the industry to next level and assist with the implementation of the industry (future) regulations. hopefully she will not be lost in the industry.
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