David Lawton, acting head of the Financial Services Authority's (FSA's) markets division, has been appointed to the post permanently.
The appointment will take effect immediately.
Lawton, who has served as acting head since September 2008, will oversee the division as it moves to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as part of the regulatory split planned for next year.
According to the Financial Times, he will serve as the UK's "frontman" on markets issues in Europe and globally.
His appointment comes at a time when the EU is pushing through a series of new directives on over-the-counter derivatives and market abuse that could have profound consequences for the UK markets.
The division oversees primary and secondary markets, the UK Listing Authority, conduct in the wholesale markets and markets surveillance. It also supervises the safeguarding of client assets and the UK covered bond programme.
Mr Lawton replaced Alexander "JJ" Justham. Mr Justham has since joined the London Stock Exchange.
Head of the FSA's conduct division, Martin Wheatley, said of the appointment:
"David has a deep technical knowledge and strong connections within the EU, including with [the] European Securities & Markets Authority.
He is also a respected leader in the markets division," Martin Wheatley, head of the FSA's conduct division, wrote in a memo to FSA staff on Tuesday.
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