FCA governance head to be the next Pensions Regulator

Nausicaa Delfas


The Pensions Regulator (TPR) has announced the appointment of Nausicaa Delfas as its new Chief Executive. She is currently FCA head of Governance, she was until October the acting CEO and Chief Ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

TPR’s spokesperson tells us;

She will lead TPR as it continues to implement a raft of new high-profile initiatives designed to improve outcomes for savers, from pensions dashboards to the new DB Funding Code; while not hesitating to take robust regulatory action where necessary to drive up standards and to ensure that savers are protected.

Driving value for money for savers, ensuring automatic enrolment continues to be a success and tackling criminal activity will also be a key focus for Nausicaa as TPR delivers on its Corporate Strategy to put savers at the heart of all it does.

Sarah Smart, Chair of TPR, has commented:

“Following Charles Counsell’s announcement in June that he was stepping down in March 2023, we have been running an extensive selection process to find a new CEO. I am thrilled to appoint Nausicaa Delfas to the role at a time when the pace of change in the pension industry shows no sign of slowing. Nausicaa has a proven track record of delivering transformational change, and her background in governance will be vital as we ensure those who deliver pension savings are meeting the challenges of new legislation, and as we continue to improve our effectiveness by becoming a more data and technology-led organisation.

“I am confident Nausicaa will put value for money, equality and diversity and a determination to tackle wrongdoing at the core of her priorities to help us fulfil our commitment to protect savers and develop as an organisation fit for the future.

“I would like to thank Charles for his outstanding work as CEO. He has worked tirelessly to help TPR become the clearer, quicker and tougher regulator it is today, embedding wide-ranging new legislative duties and showing that we will take action to tackle criminal behaviour. He has led from the front and has engendered the values by which we, and the industry, should all work.”

Nausicaa Delfas said:

“I am delighted to be joining TPR as CEO at a time of significant change and challenge. Saving effectively for the future is essential for everyone. TPR plays a key role in protecting work-based pensions and the post-retirement income of over 30 million people.  I look forward to leading this organisation in its critical work.”

Minister for Pensions Laura Trott said:

“I want to congratulate Nausicaa on her appointment as TPR’s new chief executive. Nausicaa will bring a real wealth of experience to the role and I’ve no doubt she will be an excellent choice to continue the pivotal role played by Charles Counsell and the whole TPR team in supporting and expanding pension saving across the country.”

Educated at Cambridge where she received an MA in law, Defas became a solicitor with Freshfields , joining the FSA in 2000. She will be working with Sarah Smart – TPR chair, reporting through to a female pension minister  and a predominately female board.

To have a high-flier from the FCA in charge of TPR is not without precedent, Lesley Titcombe followed the same path. Titcombe welcomed the appointment

But Defas’ 20 years with the FCA suggests that the FCA’s influence in Trafalgar Place , will be “on an upwards trajectory”.

The Pension Minister and TPR chair see the new CEO’s role as “expanding pension saving”, let’s hope that she’ll also be making sure that our savings can become pensions;  that looks a tougher challenge!

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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