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Former Governor of the Finnish Central Bank Erkki Liikanen has been appointed as the Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, bringing significant international economic and policy leadership experience. He succeeds Michel Prada, who has served as Chair since 2011.

The Trustees of the IFRS Foundation are responsible for the governance and oversight of the International Accounting Standards Board, which sets IFRS® Standards now required in more than 140 jurisdictions.

Mr Liikanen takes up the position having served two seven-year terms as Governor of the Bank of Finland. He has also since 2004 been a Governor of the International Monetary Fund and a Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank.

Mr Liikanen has many years’ experience working internationally. Prior to joining the Bank of Finland, he was a Commissioner at the European Commission, first for Budget and then for Enterprise and Information Society. He served as the Minister of Finance in Finland from 1987 to 2009 and as the Head of the Finnish Mission to the EU at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1994. Mr Liikanen was the youngest Finn to become a Member of Parliament at the age of 21, serving for 18 years from 1972.

Outgoing Chair of the IFRS Foundation Michel Prada said:

It’s been a privilege to be closely involved with the IFRS Foundation for almost two decades, from the establishment of the organisation at the start of the millennium through to serving as Chair of the Trustees. I am honoured and pleased to hand the reins onto Erkki Liikanen, a highly respected and competent successor. I wish him a successful leadership of the Foundation on the road towards global adoption of IFRS Standards.

Sheila Fraser, Vice-Chair of the Trustees and Chair of the Nominating Committee, said:

Erkki Liikanen has an impressive background, combining senior leadership experience at a national and international level with great understanding of finance, economics and policy. I am delighted to welcome him as the new Chair of the Trustees.
I would also like to thank outgoing Chair Michel Prada for his hard work and dedication. He has since 2011 successfully lead the IFRS Foundation to its current position where its accounting standards are recognised, respected and used in much of the world.

Erkki Liikanen said:

IFRS Standards have a major role in the global financial system. Michel Prada has done an impressive job as Chair of the IFRS Foundation Trustees, and I am proud to succeed him. I look forward to playing my part in the organisation’s future success.

Mr Liikanen has been appointed for an initial three-year term, commencing after the Trustees’ meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, in October 2018. His appointment follows an extensive global search process led by the Trustees’ Nominating Committee.

The recommendation for his appointment was unanimously supported by the IFRS Foundation Trustees and subsequently approved by the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board.

Statement from the IFRS Foundation Monitoring Board on Mr Liikanen’s appointment.

Erkki Liikanen biography


  • Finnish


  • Master's Degree in Political Science (Economics), University of Helsinki, 1975

Previous position

  • 2004–2018: Governor of the Bank of Finland

Non-executive roles

  • 2004–2018: Member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank
  • 2004–2018: Governor of International Monetary Fund for Finland
  • 2008–2014: President of the Finnish Red Cross
  • 1983–1989: Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Finnish stainless steel company Outokumpu
  • 1983–1987: Member of the Parliamentary Supervisory Council of the Bank of Finland (Vice-Chair)

Professional experience

  • 1995–2004: Commissioner at the European Commission (Enterprise and Information Society, 1999–2004; Budget (Personnel and Administration), 1995–1999)
  • 1990–1994: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary and Head of Finnish Mission to the EU at Finland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1987–1990: Minister of Finance, Finland’s Ministry of Finance
  • 1983–1987: Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee at the Parliament of Finland
  • 1981–1987: Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party in Finland
  • 1972–1984: City Councillor at City of Mikkeli, Finland
  • 1972–1990: Member of the Finnish Parliament