NETHERLANDS - Former Dutch welfare minister, Hans Hoogervorst is expected to succeed outgoing head of the Dutch financial watchdog, Authority Financial Markets (AFM), Arthur Docters van Leeuwen.

Het Financieele Dagblad reported this morning that according to sources closely familiar with the matter, Hoogervorst has been approached and chosen to follow up Docters van Leeuwen.

AFM today declined to comment if any one had been approached yet. Hoogervorst could not be reached for comment.

Nonetheless, an AFM spokeswoman confirmed that the supervisory board has been looking at finding a replacement since Docters van Leeuwen announced last July that he will leave the watchdog this autumn.

Hoogervorst, nicknamed ‘little Napoleon', is a prominent member of the Dutch liberal party, VVD.

He was minister of health, welfare and sports between May 2003 and February 2007. Previous posts include minister of finance (2002-2003) and state secretary of social affairs and employment (1998-2002).