Finance Watch elects new chair, three new board directors

Date published: 22 December 2016

Press release

Brussels, 22 December 2016 - Finance Watch, the public interest association working to make finance serve society, announces the following governance changes after its General Assembly, held in Brussels on 13 December 2016, and a board meeting held yesterday, 21 December 2016.

Finance Watch Members Fran Boait (Positive Money), Grégoire Niaudet (Caritas France) and Rainer Geiger (individual) were elected by the General Assembly as new board directors.

Board director and former treasurer, Professor Rainer Lenz (individual), was appointed by the new board as chair. Board director Anne Fily (BEUC) was appointed vice chair. Incoming director Fran Boait was appointed [interim] treasurer.

The eight-member board includes six directors who are elected by and from the general assembly (four member organisations and two individual members), and two independent directors, who are selected by a nomination committee appointed by the board, and confirmed by the General Assembly. The new board consists of:

Professor Rainer Lenz (individual, German), chair  
Anne Fily (BEUC, French), vice chair
Fran Boait (Positive Money, British), [interim] treasurer
Grégoire Niaudet (Caritas France, French)
Rainer Geiger (individual, German)
Morten Clausen (UNI Europa, Danish)  
Marc Roche (independent director, Belgian)
Eric de Keuleneer (independent director, Belgian)
 
The outgoing chair Kurt Eliasson (Housing Europe) and the two other outgoing board directors, Jacques Terray (Transparency International EU) and François-Marie Monnet (individual), stood down after reaching the end of their mandates. Board elections are held on a rotating basis to ensure continuity.

Finance Watch chair, Dr. Rainer Lenz, said:

“On behalf of all our Members, I would like to thank the outgoing directors Kurt, Jacques and François-Marie for the large contribution they have made to Finance Watch over the years. It is highly appreciated.

“In taking over the chair from Kurt, I am deeply aware that Finance Watch gives ordinary people a voice on financial reform and regulation. Our responsibility is to make sure that this voice is heard loud and clear so the financial sector can serve society’s interests as well as its own. The experience and energy of our new board members will be a great asset in this work; I welcome them warmly to the board.”

Director Fran Boait said:

We know that a reformed finance sector could be working to deliver prosperity across Europe and helping to tackle the big challenges we face including climate change and inequality. Finance Watch is the leading voice for financial reform and I'm excited to be joining the board to support the organisation in its development.”

Director Grégoire Niaudet said:

"As a new board director, I'm proud to actively participate to the new and very ambitious strategy we adopted on this general assembly. In these troubled times, it is crucial that citizens and movements like Finance Watch and its members can be able to put back public interest issues on the decision making processes."

Director Rainer Geiger said:

“Finance Watch’s mission is more relevant today than at any time since the financial crisis. The financial sector has contributed to - and can help to fix - the worsening political, economic and environmental problems facing the EU's citizens today. I look forward to working with the Finance Watch board to strengthen its work and mission.” 

Finance Watch is committed to transparency, independence and good governance. Its governance arrangements are described in detail in its Articles of Association (http://www.finance-watch.org/about-us/governance-and-funding).
 
ENDS

For further information please contact:
Reza Opdebeeck 
+32 (0)2 880 0440 or +32 (0)485 50 66 71
 
BIOGRAPHIES

Dr. Rainer Lenz (German), chair:
Professor of finance at the University of Applied Sciences in Bielefeld, former investment banker and Economic Advisor at the Namibian Ministry of Finance.

Anne Fily (French), vice chair:
BEUC Special Advisor, representing FW Member organisation European Consumers’ Organisation (BEUC).

Fran Boait (British), director:
Executive Director of Positive Money, a UK-based NGO campaigning for a fair, democratic, and sustainable money and banking system. Fran has previously worked at the United Nations, Greenpeace, and BP.

Grégoire Niaudet (French), director:
Specialist in financial matters, particularly in North/ South relations. Since 2010, in charge of these issues for the international advocacy services of Secours Catholique - Caritas France.

Rainer Geiger (German), director:
Attorney-at-law, and senior adviser on issues of international economic law, investment, governance and development. He teaches international economic law at the University of Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne, and has previously worked in the German Ministries of Economics and Economic Cooperation, and the OECD.

Morten Clausen (Danish), director:
Policy Officer for EU Financial Regulation. UNI Europa is the European federation for trade unions in the service and skills sectors.

Marc Roche (Belgian), independent director:
Author, financial journalist, former London correspondent for Le Monde.

Professor Eric De Keuleneer (Belgian), independent director:
Professor of economic regulation and banking at the Solvay School of the Université Libre de Bruxelles, former corporate and investment banker.