Prior to taking the top job at the London Stock Exchange (LSE), Rathi was director of Financial Services Group at the Treasury from September 2009 to April 2014.
In this role, he led the Treasury’s work on the UK’s EU and international financial services interests.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that Rathi, 40, was “the outstanding candidate” for the job after carrying out a “worldwide search”.
Rathi will be paid £455,000 a year, with no further bonus, and will have no remaining interests in LSE Group shares.
He will not be involved in supervisory or enforcement decisions relating to the LSE Group until 22 June 2021.
FCA chairman Charles Randell said: “I warmly welcome Nikhil to the FCA. I look forward to working with him as he leads the FCA to deliver the next phase of its mission.
“Nikhil has been closely involved in guiding the FCA’s development through his roles on our practitioner panel and markets practitioner panel, and brings both private sector management skills and experience of domestic and international regulatory policymaking.”
Focus on vulnerable and technology
Randell thanked the interim CEO Christopher Woolard, who stepped into the role temporarily in March after the departure of Andrew Bailey, for steering the FCA through its initial coronavirus response.
Bailey left to become governor of the Bank of England.
Rathi said: “I am honoured to be appointed chief executive of the Financial Conduct Authority. I look forward to building on the strong legacy of Andrew Bailey and the exceptional leadership of Christopher Woolard and the FCA executive team during the crisis.
“FCA colleagues can be very proud of their achievements in supporting consumers and the economy in all parts of the UK in recent months.
“In the years ahead, we will create together an even more diverse organisation, supporting the recovery with a special focus on vulnerable consumers, embracing new technology, playing our part in tackling climate change, enforcing high standards and ensuring the UK is a thought leader in international regulatory discussions.”
Nikhil is expected to take up the role in the autumn.