Page last updated: 23 September 2022

People & leadership

Welcome to the FMA. This page contains information about the FMA's executive leadership team and staff policies.

Woven flax

Our executive leadership team

Samantha Barrass, FMA CE landscape

Samantha Barrass: Chief Executive B.Com (Econ), BCA. Hons (Econ), MSc (Econ)

Samantha has extensive international regulatory experience, including the Chief Executive role at UK’s Business Banking Resolution Service, a dispute resolution scheme for banks and business customers. Previously she was Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, which oversees the prudential and conduct regulation of Gibraltar’s financial services sector. She has held a number of other senior roles at finance regulators and industry associations, including the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and the London Investment Banking Association. 

Samantha grew up in Christchurch, and studied Economics at the University of Canterbury and Victoria University of Wellington, before beginning her career as an economist at the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

Clare Bolingford: Executive Director, Regulatory Delivery

Clare is responsible for directing, planning and delivery of the FMA’s core regulatory functions across licensing, engagement and supervision of regulated individuals and firms. 

Previously Clare has led our Banking & Insurance Conduct function and served as Acting Director External Communications & Investor Capability. 

Clare is leading the FMA’s implementation of the new conduct regime for banks, insurers and non-bank deposit takers, the new financial advice regime, and the Climate Related Disclosures regime. 

Clare’s experience includes almost 20 years with the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK, in a variety of policy, change implementation and supervision roles, including oversight of large banking groups and financial advisers. She also spent two years at the UK Treasury, leading capital markets and prudential policy. 

Clare Bolingford, Director of Banking and Insurance landscape
Paul Gregory, Director of Investment Management, and Acting Director of Capital Markets

Paul Gregory: Executive Director, Response & Enforcement 

Paul is responsible for overseeing the strategic approach and appropriate response to the actions and behaviour of market participants that pose risk or harm, including the investigation and enforcement of misconduct cases. 

Previously, Paul has held leadership roles with the FMA as Director for Investment Management, Acting Director, Capital Markets, and Director for External Communications and Investor Capability  

His experience includes Chief Operations Officer at PIE Funds, positions in the investment and communications teams at the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, and communications management roles at Macquarie Group, SKYCITY and Westpac. 

Liam Mason: Executive Director, Evaluation & Oversight and General Counsel, and Acting Executive Director, Strategy & Design

Liam is responsible for a broad range of audit, risk, legal and governance matters along with evaluating the effectiveness of regulatory interventions and activity. He remains the FMA General Counsel. 

Liam has been with the FMA since its inception. He has extensive experience in securities law and corporate governance matters, advising on securities and financial services law and policy, Crown entity governance and legal compliance. 

Liam has previously led frontline teams overseeing the FMA’s compliance frameworks, licensing, knowledge management and intelligence, and fintech functions. 

Liam is also Acting Executive Director, Strategy & Design and has interim responsibility for leading the strategy and direction setting for the FMA, ensuring a clear view of the systems, priorities and regulatory design is developed and communicated across a broad range of external stakeholders. 

Liam Mason, Acting Chief Executive
Sharon Thompson, FMA Executive Director – Transformation and Operational Delivery

Sharon Thompson: Executive Director, Transformation & Operational Delivery

Sharon is responsible for the strategic direction of the FMA’s operations and capability functions, including technical operations, project management, data engineering, IT security and architecture, customer relationship management, knowledge management, business improvement, people and capability, finance, business support and transformation. This group provides internal support to enable the whole of the FMA. 

Sharon has extensive, senior leadership experience in both the New Zealand public sector and financial services industry. Previously she was Deputy Commissioner for the Customer and Compliance Services (Individuals) group at the Inland Revenue - Te Tari Taake. 

Prior to Inland Revenue, Sharon held senior roles at ASB Bank and Westpac, and holds a Masters in Management from Massey University. 

Staff Policies

All members of staff are required to comply with the State Sector Code of Conduct. The Code sets out the minimum standards of integrity and conduct expected of public sector employees – they must be fair, impartial, responsible and trustworthy. 

Read the code

The FMA discloses the Chief Executive’s expenses, gifts and hospitality as part of its commitment to transparency and accountability. 


Year Time period CE expenses disclosure
2022 Samantha Barrass:
25 Jan 2022 – Jun
Travel Hospitality Gifts Other Summary
2021 Liam Mason:
Nov - 25 Jan 2022
Travel Hospitality Gifts Other Summary
Rob Everett:
July - Oct
Travel Hospitality Gifts Other Summary
Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2020 Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2019 Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2018  Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2017  Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2016 Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2015  Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  


Hospitality Gifts Other  
2014   Rob Everett:


Hospitality Gifts Other  
Liam Mason:
Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2013  Jan-Jun Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2012  Jan-Jun CE expenses
Jul-Dec Travel Hospitality Gifts Other  
2011 Jan-Jun FMA: May-Jun

Securities Commission: Jan-Apr

Jul-Dec FMA CE expenses