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Finance Minister Joe Oliver names Jeremy Rudin new OSFI superintendent

OTTAWA - The federal government has named Finance Department official Jeremy Rudin as the new policeman for financial institutions in Canada, replacing Julie Dickson whose seven-year term is expiring.

The choice of Rudin, currently assistant deputy minister in the financial sector policy branch, was a bit of a surprise in that he has kept a low profile since joining the public service in 1993.

One name that had been touted as a possible next head of the Office of Superintendent of Financial Institutions was Andrew Kriegler, currently deputy superintendent of the supervision section at the agency.

But analysts said Rudin enjoyed a solid reputation at Finance and was regarded as a potential deputy minister.

"Jeremy Rudin is a distinguished public servant. He has extensive direct experience in the oversight of financial institutions, financial system stability and financial markets," Finance Minister Joe Oliver said in announcing the appointment Friday.

"He played an important role in Canada's response to the global financial crisis. These skills and knowledge will be an asset in this critical position."

Rudin will assume is new role on June 29.

Royal Bank assistant chief economist Paul Ferley said Rudin has big shoes to fill since Dickson was highly regarded in the financial community for helping steer the country's banks through the 2008-09 financial crisis, as well as beginning to implement the Basel committee reforms for financial institutions. She was also known to have had the ear of the late finance minister Jim Flaherty.

"Certainly she managed OSFI extremely well during those trying times. OSFI was called on to do so much more (than in the past) and she was there to her part," Ferley said.

Under Dickson's direction, OSFI not only ensured that Canadian banks met the new Basel III capital buffer requirements, but at times went beyond them, and did so prior to the international timetable.

For that she got some heat that Canadian banks were being placed at a competitive disadvantage to international rivals, but she never made any apologies. Internationally, the Canadian banking system has been cited on several occasions as the soundest in the world.

"Her mission was to de-risk the system and she did that," said CIBC deputy chief economist Benjamin Tal.

There's more work to do, he added, noting that the co-called shadow banking system of non-regulated financial institutions has been growing and taking on some of the risk vacated by the banks.

Overall, Tal said Rudin is taking charge of an OSFI that is a much bigger player on the financial scene than it was when Dickson took over in 2007.

Aside from its role overseeing banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions, Flaherty had asked OSFI to also keep an eye on the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.

According to a brief biography supplied by the government, Rudin graduated with a PhD in economics from Stanford University and taught at the University of British Columbia and Queen's University before joining the finance department in 1993. He also worked at the Bank of Canada.

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