Malcolm Turnbull

Labor gives new ASIC chief thumbs up

James Shipton is the new head of the corporate regulator, ASIC. (AAP)

Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer has announced Harvard lawyer James Shipton as the new head of the corporate regulator.

Labor has thrown its support behind the federal government's choice for the head of the nation's corporate watchdog.

The government on Tuesday announced James Shipton, a lawyer with expertise in financial market regulation, would head up the Australian Securities and Investments Commission replacing Greg Medcraft who steps down in November.

Mr Shipton is an executive director of international financial systems at Harvard Law School and was previously a director at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission.

He also has extensive experience in various roles in investment banking in Asia and Europe.

"We have appointed here the most qualified and the most experienced candidate for the job ahead," Financial Services Minister Kelly O'Dwyer told reporters in Canberra.

Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Mr Shipton offered a good mix of corporate and regulatory experience, describing it as an appropriate and good appointment.

Mr Bowen had previously slammed another contender, Credit Suisse Australia chairman John O'Sullivan, as a long-time Liberal Party donor with close ties to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

"The government's alternative plan would have been inappropriate, would have been unsustainable," Mr Bowen told reporters.

Mr Shipton sees the role of financial regulators as leading market participants and intends to lead by example.

"Culture is one of the greatest challenges for all financial markets globally," Mr Shipton said.

"I have been a great advocate of culture reform in the financial institutions and in the financial markets for a long time."

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