Seffy Zinger to be appointed head of Israel securities watchdog

Finance minister selects Zinger, a partner at law firm Herzog Fox & Neeman, as chairman of the Israel Securities Authority, subject to approval

Sharon Wrobel is a tech reporter for The Times of Israel.

Incoming Israel Securities Authority chairman Yosef (Seffy) Zinger. (Courtesy)
Incoming Israel Securities Authority chairman Yosef (Seffy) Zinger. (Courtesy)

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Monday announced the appointment of Seffy (Yosef) Zinger, an attorney, as the new head of the Israel Securities Authority.

Zinger, 44, a partner in the corporate and securities department at prominent Israeli law firm Herzog Fox & Neeman since 2018, will replace Anat Guetta as chairperson of the Israel Securities Authority. Guetta stepped down in April after more than five years in office.

Zinger is expected to take up his new position following approval by the Gilor senior appointments advisory committee headed by retired judge Bilha Gilor, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

At Tel Aviv-based Herzog Fox & Neeman, Zinger has in recent years been overseeing the bankruptcy and insolvency practice advising Israeli and multinational companies on a wide range of complex issues in corporate and securities law. His area of expertise was focused on assisting companies and financial institutions in insolvency proceedings or in financial difficulty. At the law firm, Zinger was involved in the restructuring of the IDB Group, cross-border international transactions, and the privatization of the Haifa port.

Before that, starting in 2011 Zinger held a number of positions at the Justice Ministry in the areas of insolvency and taxation as part of the counseling and legislation department. He played a central role in the drafting of Israel’s insolvency and financial rehabilitation law passed by the Knesset in 2018. In addition, he was also involved in a number of economic reforms, including the regulation of securitization and nonbank credit, the Sheshinski committee examining natural gas and petroleum policies, and the committee on debt restructuring in Israel.

Commenting on the appointment, Smotrich said Zinger brings experience in both the private and public sectors in the economic sphere in general and in the securities sector in particular.

Guetta in April said that she was leaving at “a concerning period” with “substantial risks,” citing signs of global economic slowdown and high uncertainty in the Israeli economy — referring to the proposed changes to the country’s judicial system.

“Ignoring the potential risks to the stability of corporate governance in Israel undermines confidence and trust in the Israeli market among investors and creates a perception of risk that reduces the profitability of investing in Israel,” Guetta said. “Government decision-makers must take bold action to restore confidence and stability in the economy.”

The Israel Securities Authority oversees and supervises a broad range of activities in the capital market, including trade and corporate securities on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange; initial public offerings (IPOs) by companies raising capital from the public and institutional investors; operation of mutual funds that offer the public a range of liquid and convenient investment avenues; and operation of financial agents including investment consultants and portfolio managers.

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