The new appointments are:

  • Carole Begent as head of legal. Carole joins from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) where she is Senior Legal Director - Mergers, Markets and Sector Regulation. She will start her new role on 1 April 2015.
  • Mark Falcon as head of regulatory policy and strategy. Mark joins from Hutchison 3G UK (Three) where he is head of economic regulation. He will start his new role on 2 March 2015.
  • Louise Buckley as head of stakeholder engagement and communications. Louise joins from Stracey Wheeler Consulting Ltd where she is a director and senior communications consultant, most recently working with Ofqual, the UK’s qualifications, examinations, and assessments regulator. She will start her new role on 26 January 2015.

Hannah Nixon, the Payment Systems Regulator’s managing director, commenting on the appointments, said:

"Carole, Mark and Louise bring with them a wealth of experience that will be invaluable in helping deliver our objectives of promoting competition and innovation in payment systems, and ensuring the interests of service users are always at heart. I am delighted to have secured their services at this crucial time.

"We have accomplished much since we were incorporated last year, not least our November consultation paper that set out a comprehensive road map for regulation. Our focus is now on finalising our approach then delivering it as we go live in April. Carole, Mark, and Louise will play vital roles in driving forward this agenda."


Carole is Senior Legal Director, Mergers, Markets and Regulatory Appeals at the CMA, leading 35 lawyers providing legal advice across different directorates. A member of the Senior Management team, she reports to the General Counsel and to the CMA Board on legal issues arising in mergers, markets and regulation. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in competition, regulatory law, public law in advisory, policy development and litigation contexts.

Between March 2000 and March 2014 Carole was Deputy Chief Legal Adviser and Head of International at the Competition Commission (CC), managing its legal team of 15 plus and leading the CC’s representation internationally at OECD and the ICN and the EU Mergers Working Group. She led the successful defence of CC decisions, including appeals by BAA, Ryanair and BSkyB to Court of Appeal. Seconded to the Department for Transport in 2009 she served as Head of Railway Infrastructure and Safety Legal Division.

Prior to that, between 1997 and 2000, she worked at the Office of Rail Regulator as a legal adviser. Between 1994 and 1997 Carole was also a legal adviser at OFWAT as well as its head of competition policy and – in an earlier role - its head of consumer complaints. In both roles she was a member of the Concurrency Working Group, now succeeded by the UK Competition Network.

Since 2010 Mark has been Head of Economic Regulation at Hutchison 3G UK (Three), the UK mobile network operator, part of the 3 Group. Leading Three’s regulatory strategy, he led its fourth-generation (4G) UK mobile licence auction bid team. Mark has also led numerous major strategic regulatory objectives, including UK/EU mergers, international roaming rate regulation, and UK/EU government broadband/spectrum policy and regulation. Mark is currently Chair of the Mobile Operators Association and Vice-Chair of the UK Spectrum Policy Forum. He is also chief economic adviser to Three’s parent, 3 Group, and Hutchison Whampoa Europe, present in infrastructure, retail, ports, property and telecoms.

Since 2011 Mark has volunteered as a Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Treasury Committee. In this role he has advised the committee and its staff, and reviewed draft inquiry reports and preparation for hearings, including the Independent Commission on Banking, The Future of Cheques, and Competition and Choice in Retail Banking.

Between 1999 and 2010 Mark worked at the economic consultancy, Frontier Economics, with him latterly establishing its Financial Services practice.

Since 2012 Louise has been director of communications consultancy, Stracey Wheeler Consulting Ltd. Most recently she worked with Ofqual leading communications and stakeholder engagement through the Summer 2013 and 2014 GCSE and A level results. She also led on the development of the organisation’s communications strategy for the reform of GCSE and A levels.

Louise has also worked with the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) helping it re-brand parts of its business, as well as develop and manage a change communications strategy to support a re-structure.

In autumn 2010 Louise became director of stakeholder and ministerial engagement at the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) where she was charged with improving BIS’ reputation with its stakeholders. She also worked across government, and closely with key stakeholders, to develop and implement the government’s marketing and communications strategy on increased tuition fees for higher education.

Between 2008 and 2010 she worked at the Better Regulation Executive, part of BIS, as its director of communications and operations, driving forward its ‘reducing regulation’ agenda across government. Between 1996 and 2008 Louise worked at the Financial Services Authority, now superseded by the Financial Conduct Authority, in a number supervision and communications roles, culminating in her heading up the strategic communications function.