Jenny Watson appointed as Institute of Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board Chair

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales Regulatory Board (IRB) has appointed Jenny Watson as its new Chair.

Jenny will join the IRB on 1 November and replaces Michael Caplan who has held the role since the IRB was created in 2015.

The IRB is an independent board responsible for oversight of ICAEW’s regulatory and disciplinary work, undertaken by the Professional Standards Department, to ensure it’s carried out in the public interest.

Jenny has previously served as chair of the UK Electoral Commission (2009-16), the Independent Complaints Panel at the Portman Group (2013-20) and the Equal Opportunities Commission (2005-07). She also held non-executive roles at the Financial Reporting Council and Financial Ombudsman Service.

Commenting on her appointment, Jenny said: “I’m pleased to be taking up the role of Chair of the IRB. We already know that there is much change to come for those working in the fields of accountancy, audit and insolvency services in the future. I look forward to ensuring that the Board plays a key part in responding to this change and that, whatever the future brings, its work always keeps the public interest firmly at its heart.”

ICAEW professional standards department chief officer Duncan Wiggetts said: “Jenny joins us at a key point as the UK Government’s proposed reforms to audit, reporting and corporate governance and the forthcoming consultation regarding the insolvency regulatory framework have the potential to reshape the future role of regulation and the work of ICAEW and the IRB. I look forward to working with Jenny in her new role and would also like to thank Michael Caplan for his service over the last six years as the IRB’s first ever chair.”