As is well known, Sir David Tweedie will retire as chairman of the IASB in June 2011 after 10 years in post. The search for a replacement has been going on for some time. The IASB has just announced two important appointments in this regard – first, Hans Hoogervorst as new chairman; and second, Ian Mackintosh as vice-chairman. These seem to be both good appointments and I wish both gentlemen every success in the future.
Hans Hoogervoorst is not an accountant but is a senior politician and regulator from The Netherlands. A former finance minister, he is currently chairman of the Dutch securities and market regulator, as well as being chairman of the technical committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO).
He is also co-chairman of the financial crisis advisory group, which is an independent body of senior leaders formed to advise accounting standard setters on their response to the global financial crisis. He is therefore well immersed in the political background to standard setting, as well as in some of its technicalities.
Ian Mackintosh is deeply involved in standard setting in a different way – he is currently chairman of the UK Accounting Standards Board and chairman of the group of national accounting standard setters. So in both roles he has had extensive involvement with the IASB in recent years.
The combination of these two appointments is, I think, a good response to the dilemma facing the appointments committee, which is: how do you find someone to replace Sir David Tweedie's skills as someone who deals with the technical agenda and also deals with the global politics that surround the IASB? It is indeed difficult to find both of those talents in one person and to appoint two people with that skill set in combination seems to me a very good solution.