CANBERRA, AAP – The new boss of Australia’s corporate watchdog Joe Longo concedes it has been a turbulent few years for the regulator, but says he is “proud and excited” to take up the role.

Mr Longo became the chair of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission this week and was thrust into his first appearance before the gruelling Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

He took over from James Shipton, who decided to leave the regulator after being embroiled in an expenses investigation, even though he was cleared of misconduct.

“I acknowledge that it has been a turbulent few years – the aftermath of the royal commission (into the banking system), and then COVID-19 has had a profound impact on ASIC in how we engage as a regulator,” he told senators.

“More recently ASIC has been buffeted by the changes at commission level.”

But he believes ASIC’s strength and effectiveness as an institution can be enhanced and in his first few months he intends to engage widely with his staff and stakeholders, as well as other regulators, particularly the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

“This will assist me and the commission to shape and develop ASIC’s longer term strategy,” he said.