Regulator world first as JFSC appoints a board apprentice

THE Jersey Financial Services Commission has appointed its first board apprentice.

Catherine Watson (picture supplied by JFSC) (30586273)
Catherine Watson (picture supplied by JFSC) (30586273)

Catherine Watson, who is the chief internal auditor of the States of Jersey and a Fellow Chartered Accountant, joined the commission for a year’s placement on 1 April.

During her time at the JFSC, she will sit in on the commission’s board meetings, receive mentoring and gain real-life board experience.

Her placement makes global history as it marks the first time that an apprentice has been able to observe the board of a regulator.

The JFSC signed up to be part of the I WILL programme, which is run by the Government of Jersey, and was set up in conjunction with Board Apprentice, using their internationally tried and tested concept. It aims to increase the number of women in senior leadership positions both in the government and the private sector.

JFSC chairman Mark Hoban said: ‘I wanted the commission to support the I WILL programme to offer more leadership opportunities for women in the public sector and to make an active contribution to improving diversity.

‘I am delighted that Catherine will be joining us as a board apprentice. I believe that Catherine and the commission will benefit hugely from this experience.’

JFSC commissioner and soon-to-be deputy chairwoman Monique O’Keefe added: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity that we are honoured to support.

‘Building a pipeline of high-calibre professionals who will contribute to diversity of thought on boards is key to good governance. Before starting my career as a non-executive director, I took part in the Board Apprentice scheme, which provided me with invaluable experience. It is also great to see that Jersey is leading the way for regulators across the world by becoming the first to support an apprenticeship of this kind.’

Ms Watson said: ‘I am delighted to have the honour of being offered this position with the JFSC. Working with such high-calibre commissioners and the JFSC executive is a fantastic opportunity, one that I am privileged to have.

‘I would like to thank the board apprentice scheme and the Government of Jersey for their support and the JFSC for their commitment to providing women in senior leadership positions such a great opportunity for now and the future.’

Kate Nutt, chairwoman of the I WILL steering group for the Government of Jersey, said: ‘The I WILL programme was launched to support and inspire more women into leadership roles in the public sector.

‘We’re excited to be working with the Board Apprentice team and the JFSC on this initiative, which will support the personal and professional development of our female colleagues, as well as bringing new perspectives and experience to the host boards. It’s fantastic news that Catherine has been appointed.’

Charlotte Valeur, founder and chairwoman of Board Apprentice, added: ‘I am delighted to have the JFSC taking part in the Government of Jersey’s I WILL initiative as a host board.

‘The JFSC is the first financial regulator globally to lead the way in taking an active role in the development of tomorrow’s board members.’

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