Formerly Deputy Head of the U.K.'s Prudential Regulation Authority, Executive Director of the Bank of England, and member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision
Co-head of A&M's Financial Industry Advisory Services practice in London
Named a Distinguished Fellow of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors
Regulation is not simply a rule book; it is a relationship that a firm has with regulators, clients, markets and wider society. The meaning of the rules may change as that relationship changes, even if their words stay the same.
Paul Sharma is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal and co-head of the firm's Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory Services practice in London. He was formerly Deputy Head of the UK's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and an Executive Director of the Bank of England, and has over 20 years of experience as a top U.K., EU and global financial services regulator.
At A&M he has led: conduct, prudential, resolution and financial crime reviews for global, EU and UK regulated financial entities – retail, private, commercial and investment banks, non-bank financial firms – and insurers to help demonstrate regulatory compliance / overcome issues to the satisfaction of EU, UK and US regulators; regulatory due diligence for Private Equity firms acquiring regulated financial entities; and expert witness and litigation support work in respect of regulatory compliance.
As Deputy Head of the PRA, and earlier serving as a director of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), he was responsible for major regulatory reforms including the liquidity, capital adequacy, (Vickers) ring-fencing, risk management, governance and senior persons standards for banks, and the solvency, technical provisions, risk management, governance and senior persons standards for insurers. He led the U.K. regulator's negotiation and implementation of the BCBS's Basel 2 and 3 standards, the IAIS Common Framework standards and the EU Capital Requirements and Solvency II directives. He was also a member of the Bank Resolution Committee of the Bank of England.
At the FSA, he was also responsible for the wholesale conduct implementation of the EU Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), for the client-asset and client-money regime, and for the regulatory reporting regimes (COREP, FINREP, insurance). He participated in the FSA's reforms of the mortgage market and in the FSA's retail distribution review (RDR). He also led the FSA's risk review department of quantitative and qualitative risk specialists, responsible for validating the financial modeling of banks and insurance companies.
He was co-chair of the FSA’s Guidance Committee which issued guidance including on the Listing Rules, Prospectus Rules and Disclosure and Transparency Rules, and was a member of the FSA’s Executive Policy Committee that approved consultations including on the AIFMD EU Directive and set the FSA’s EU negotiating strategy including for the MiFiD2, EMIR and MAD2 / MAR EU directives and regulations.
He was a member of the Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (ESMA, EBA, and EIOPA), and chaired its sub-committee on risk that prepared the Joint Committee’s report on Risks and Vulnerabilities to the EU Financial System. He was the UK regulator’s alternate member of the European Systemic Risk Board, and of the boards of supervisors of the European Banking Association and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority. He was a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS), and served on the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). He chaired the BCBS’s Macro-Prudential Group and the IAIS’s Financial Stability Committee, responsible respectively for identifying globally systemically-important banks and insurers.
Before becoming a regulator, Mr. Sharma was a specialist financial services accountant, auditor and consultant at a Big Four accounting firm. He is an accountant (UK chartered) and actuary (Honorary UK Faculty of Actuaries) and earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Cambridge University.