FCA appoints new Director of International

The FCA has appointed Ruairi O’Connell, OBE, as the new Director of International.

Ruairi will join the FCA from the Home Office where he is Director, International. Ruairi has extensive experience in both the Home Office and the Foreign Office, including as British Ambassador to Kosovo.

He will be responsible for helping to shape the FCA’s international strategy as well as, overseeing our international engagement including matters arising from the UK withdrawal from the EU.

Ruairi’s appointment follows the appointment of six new Directors in July as the FCA expands its headcount to meet its growing remit and the ambitious three year-strategy launched in April.

Nikhil Rathi, Chief Executive of the FCA, said 'I am pleased to welcome Ruairi to the FCA’s new Senior Leadership Team to lead our international work, where he brings with him extensive experience of international affairs, security and strategy.'


Ruairí O'Connell OBE

Ruairí O'Connell joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001. He began his career in the Eastern Adriatic Department and worked on a range of issues with a particular focus on European security and sustainable economic development.

Overseas he served as British Ambassador to Kosovo between 2015 and 2019 and as Second Secretary Political and later as Deputy Head of Mission to the British Embassy in Kosovo (2004-2008).

In London, he served as Head of Unit of the Foreign Secretary's Special Representative on Climate Change (2008-2010), Head of Strategy and Analysis in the Finance Directorate (2010-2011), Deputy Director of the London 2012 and GREAT Campaigns (2012-2013), Head of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Project (2013-2014) and as Deputy Director and Head of NATO Summit Unit within the Directorate for Defence and International Security (2014-2015).

He joined the Home Office in 2020 as Director, International. 

Notes to editors

  1. The FCA published its business plan and new strategy in April 2022. As the FCA’s remit is broad and growing, the three-year strategy prioritises resources to prevent serious harm, set higher standards and promote competition. The regulator will also, for the first time, hold itself accountable against published outcomes and performance metrics.

  2. The FCA has made a number of recent senior appointments in support of its new strategy.

  3. In addition to building its headcount to achieve its strategy, the FCA is expanding its national footprint, with plans to double its headcount in Scotland and announced its new office location in Leeds earlier this week.