NETHERLANDS - Hans Hoogervorst, chairman of the Financial Markets Authority (AFM), has been appointed chair of the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

At the IASB, Hoogervorst will succeed Sir David Tweedie, who has chaired the organisation for the last 10 years, during which time it has established International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) in more than 100 countries.

The IASB said the new chairman brought a "strong understanding of, and the ability to navigate through, the challenges facing the IASB" on the path to global IFRS adoption.

Hoogervorst, 54, said: "As a securities and market regulator, I have investor protection in my DNA. I strongly believe a global set of accounting standards, set for investors by an independent standards-setter, is an essential component for the world's financial markets."

He said transparency in financial reporting was vital for assessing the real position of companies, and that the crisis had revealed how important independent standards were, adding that such standards were "an engine of financial modernisation", particularly in the emerging markets.

According to the IASB, Hoogervorst's appointment marks the end of a protracted international search process, during which trustees sought nominations from more than 500 stakeholder organisations and considered more than 300 candidates from 28 countries before compiling a shortlist of 45 individuals from 20 countries.

Commenting on the appointment, Tommaso Padoa-Schioppa, chairman of the trustees, said: "Hans is a senior and well-respected securities regulator, who has a strong record defending the principles of transparency and independence."

Before Hoogervorst became AFM chairman, he served as the Dutch health minister, after having been an MP for the liberal party VVD, as well as finance minister and state secretary for social affairs and employment.

He will take up his new position on 1 July 2011 and leave the AFM, which he has led since 2007, next April.