Malta MFSA names FIAU Director Kenneth Farrugia as CEO
The Board of Governors of the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has announced that it has appointed Kenneth Farrugia as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with effect from 12 April, 2023.
The MFSA Board stated that in its deliberations it took note of the several changes in the leadership of the Authority that took place over the last years, and acknowledged that these were not beneficial for the Authority. The Board agreed that the appointment of the right person to lead the Authority over the coming years was now a matter of urgency. The Board acknowledged also that the previous open and international call for applications for the position of CEO had not benefited the Authority to the desired extent, and agreed that a public call for applications for the post of CEO would not be in the best interests of the Authority at this point in time.
The Board concluded that Kenneth Farrugia has the required skills with proven leadership to provide the necessary impetus to implement the changes and reforms required by the organisation going forward.
Kenneth Farrugia has extensive experience in leadership, with previous appointments as Director General at the Internal Audit and Investigations Department (IAID), and as Director of the Malta Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). He is well known for his achievements and for successfully carrying out major reforms and strengthening both authorities. Mr. Farrugia is technically very well prepared and has exceptional organisational development skills. He is also personally very well regarded at an international level by a number of supranational authorities including the European Commission, European Banking Authority, Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and MONEYVAL, and has been acclaimed by the US government for his achievements and integrity. He is also highly regarded by the wider community of industry stakeholders in Malta, which is considered essential for the MFSA.
The Board unanimously agreed that Mr. Farrugia has the right attributes, experience and proven track record to carry out the necessary structural, organisational, and operational reforms within the Authority and to successfully lead it forward over the coming years.
In the meantime, the Board said that it would like to thank Dr. Michelle Mizzi Buontempo who held the position of Acting Chief Executive Officer for the past months and was instrumental in the publication of the Authority’s latest Strategic Statement.
The MFSA named Dr Buontempo as its Acting CEO in June 2022, when CEO Joe Gavin was said to have become “indisposed”, presumably for unspecified health reasons. Joe Gavin was named MFSA CEO in September 2021, following a scandal at the MFSA that led to the ouster of the regulator’s previous CEO, Joseph Cuschieri. Mr. Cuschieri resigned in November 2020 after reports surfaced in the country that he and MFSA general counsel Edwina Licari had gone on an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas with Maltese businessman and casino owner Yorgen Fenech in May 2018. Mr. Gavin was General Counsel at the Central Bank of Ireland between 2009 and 2015.