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Sharon Bowles, Chair of European Parliament’s ECON Committee

Thursday 6 January 2011 – by Nicola York

The feisty MEP has the job of keeping the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee in order – an almost impossible task when parliamentarians are all too keen to pursue their own agendas. She comes 20th in the GFS Power 50.

As chair of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Sharon Bowles has been key in driving through the financial reform agenda including the restructure of the supervisory architecture.

An MEP for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe party, Bowles stated in a GFS interview last spring that the Econ committee was under “a lot of pressure” to deliver on capital requirements, remuneration rules, cross-border resolution regimes and the hedge funds directive among others.

Never afraid of speaking her mind, Bowles has slammed the “cry-baby” financial industry, saying the industry is good at protesting against regulation but repeatedly fails to provide evidence to back up their claims that it would be damaging to them.

The 57-year-old may be outspoken, but Bowles has proved to be a fair voice of reason and does listen to industry concerns. For example, when Econ committee members proposed that there should be a total ban on naked short selling as part of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, Bowles voted against it, saying the issue was “not that simple”.

Bowles became an MEP in the May 2005 elections and was re-elected in June 2009 when she became chair of the Econ committee.

A keen rower and archer, Bowles is a chartered patent attorney and comes from a scientific and technological background, which she says means she is able to quickly analyse technical directives with professional detachment.

Learn more about the GFS Power 50, a countdown of the most influential people in worldwide financial regulation in 2010.

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