He previously held roles as Director of Markets and Director of Markets Policy and International at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and has over 30 years of experience in regulatory and government positions. At the FCA and its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), he oversaw the negotiation and implementation of several major post-crisis regulatory reforms, including MiFID II, EMIR, Market Abuse Regulation, Short Selling Regulation, Credit Rating Agency Regulation and the Fair and Effective Markets Review.
In his roles at the FCA, Mr. Lawton led a Division of over 200 staff and was responsible for the U.K. Listing Authority; primary, secondary, post-trade and wholesale conduct policy; market surveillance and investigations into market abuse; the supervision of the market infrastructure, trading firms, benchmark providers and client assets in the U.K.; and the regulation of the U.K. Covered Bond programme.
He chaired the FCA’s Markets Regulatory Committee and was a Member of the FCA’s Executive Policy Steering Committee and Executive Regulatory Issues Committee, taking decisions on the whole range of key FCA policy and regulatory interventions. He was responsible for the FCA’s interface with the key European institutions – the European Commission and European Parliament – helping shape the post-crisis regulatory reform agenda and building capital markets union. He was also the sponsor for the FCA’s multi-million pound programme to implement MiFID II.
At a European level, Mr. Lawton was the FCA’s Alternate Member of the European Securities and Markets Authority’s (ESMA) Board of Supervisors, its key decision-making body with responsibility for the development and application of European regulation across the securities and markets sectors. He has also chaired ESMA’s Secondary Markets Standing Committee, Investor Protection and Intermediaries Standing Committee, Market Data Standing Committee and the Commodity Derivatives Task Force.
At a global level, Mr. Lawton co-chaired the International Organization of Securities Commissions’ (IOSCO) Commodity Futures Markets Committee, developing international principles for the regulation and oversight of commodity derivatives markets. He co-chaired both IOSCO’s Benchmarks Task Force and the Financial Stability Board’s (FSB) Official Sector Steering Group for benchmarks, strengthening the regulatory framework for key financial market benchmarks. He was also Vice-Chair of IOSCO’s Market Conduct Task Force and chaired the OTC Derivatives Regulators Forum.
Before joining the FSA in January 2005, Mr. Lawton spent nearly 20 years at Her Majesty's Treasury, latterly as Head of Capital Markets and Governance, with responsibility for the Department’s policy towards securities and wholesale financial markets, prudential capital standards, accounting and auditing issues, corporate governance and company law.
Mr. Lawton is an economist by training, with degrees from Cambridge University and the London School of Economics.