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Watchdog takes job at a hedge fund he probed: Ex FCA boss Martin Wheatley joins Hong Kong firm

Gamekeeper turned poacher: Ex FCA boss Martin Wheatley

The tough talking regulator who pledged to clean up the City has switched sides to work for a Hong Kong hedge fund – despite once ordering a crackdown on short-selling.

Martin Wheatley, former boss of the Financial Conduct Authority, shocked finance chiefs by promising to ‘shoot first and ask questions later’.

The industry he is joining loves to short-sell – which means firms bet that a share price will fall – but he once led a crackdown against the practice.

In 2015, however, then-chancellor George Osborne forced 58-year-old Wheatley out after big banks took exception to his combative approach.

He was on paid leave for a year – pocketing £396,000 – and he has now taken a job on the advisory board of Asian fund Oasis Management.

Oasis is mostly focused on Asian markets but it is building up a stake at Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods.

His move into big business is likely to result in more anger at the apparent revolving-door policy between watchdogs and the companies they are meant to regulate.

He is the latest in a long line of FCA bosses – and its predecessor, the Financial Services Authority – to move from gamekeeper to poacher.

Tracey McDermott took over as interim head of the watchdog after Wheatley left and was seen as a front-runner for the permanent top job.

She was humiliated in January last year, however, when Osborne announced on radio she had pulled out of the race.

McDermott moved to Standard Chartered bank after serving her notice period.

Other previous regulator bosses who now have lucrative private sector jobs include Sir Howard Davies, chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland; Lord Turner, a non-executive director at Prudential; and Sir Hector Sants, vice chairman at consultant Oliver Wyman.