He replaces Old Mutual Wealth UK managing director Scott Goodsir, who steps down from the position after two years.
Part of the Chartered Insurance Institute, the PFS, which this year turns 10-years-old, states its purpose is to “secure and justify the confidence of the public” in financial services.
The adviser trade body said it is planning an enhanced support programme for its 34,000 members, a new consumer website and new adviser directory this year.
Advisers accused the PFS of creating a “two-tier membership” after it emerged some will be left out of the planned new version of the organisation’s adviser database and will not have the same details displayed on their profiles as other PFS members.
Shaughnessy (pictured) began his career in financial services with the Bank of Scotland in 1989. He has since been UK retail life and pensions managing director at Prudential and UK managing director at Fidelity International, prior to joining Zurich in 2012.
Shaughnessy said: “I am delighted to offer my services to the PFS board and its members at such a key stage of evolutionary change for the financial advice profession.
“The sector fulfils a vital role in serving the public and in the wake of the pension reforms, UK consumers have never needed professional advice as much.”
He continued: “The financial advice sector and the PFS have made huge strides in the last two years and I am looking forward immensely to having this opportunity to further contribute to its continuing progression.”