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Deputy Public Service Commissioner Helene Quilter QSO has today announced the appointment of Ms Karen Chang to the position of Director and Chief Executive, Serious Fraud Office.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is the lead law enforcement agency responsible for addressing serious and complex financial crime in New Zealand. The SFO also works to prevent financial crime and corruption in New Zealand’s public sector, providing guidance and raising awareness.

“I’m very pleased to appoint Ms Chang to this important role,” Ms Quilter said.

“Ms Chang is a proven leader in the field of financial crime law enforcement and has worked closely with the SFO on a number of investigations.” 

Ms Chang is currently Acting General Counsel at the Financial Markets Authority (FMA), a role she has held since 1 November 2021. Prior to this, Ms Chang had been the Head of Enforcement at the FMA since 2017.

Ms Chang leads the policy and governance, corporate legal, investigations and enforcement functions for the FMA. As the Head of Enforcement at the FMA she led a range of complex, high-profile criminal, and civil proceedings, several of which were the first of their kind in New Zealand. These included criminal prosecutions involving investor fraud, insider trading, and Ponzi schemes and civil pecuniary proceedings for breach of capital markets trading misconduct.

As a Senior Crown Prosecutor at Meredith Connell, Ms Chang prosecuted a range of trials involving serious criminal offending including fraud, theft and financial reporting offences on behalf of the FMA and the SFO.

Ms Quilter said Ms Chang has a clear vision for the role of the SFO and how to position it for the future.

Ms Chang holds a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Auckland.

She has been appointed for four years from 26 April 2022.



Ms Chang joined FMA in 2017 as Head of Enforcement, and since November 2021 has been the Acting General Counsel. 

Prior to joining FMA, she was a senior Crown prosecutor.  Earlier in her career, Ms Chang was a commercial and regulatory litigation lawyer in private practice in Auckland, Sydney and New York City.


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