Queen's park, Ontario
iStock.com / diegograndi

The Ontario government has appointed Kevan Cowan as the new chair of the Ontario Securities Commission, replacing Heather Zordel who resigned abruptly last month.

Cowan is a member of the OSC’s board of directors and served on the province’s Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce Expert Advisory Group.

He was also president of TSX Markets and the TSX Venture Exchange, and headed the now-defunct Capital Markets Authority Implementation Organization, which sought to build a new cooperative capital markets regulator.

Zordel resigned as OSC chair last month, leaving the position vacant. No reason was given for her departure.

The OSC chair only recently became a distinct position. Last year, the Ontario government announced in its budget that the chair and CEO jobs would be split to separate the OSC’s adjudicative function from its policy role with a new Capital Markets Tribunal at the commission. Those changes were recommended in the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce’s final report.

Zordel, the first chair under the new structure, had been appointed to a two-year term set to expire in April 2024.

Cowan’s appointment must undergo a review from the Standing Committee on Government Agencies.