The division is responsible for licensing requirements and supervising licensed corporations "with a focus on their business conduct and financial soundness", according to the SFC.
About one year ago, Leung was appointed to serve as executive director of a different unit, the investment products division, on a three-year contract beginning 2 March 2015, the SFC said at the time.
However, her new appointment is effective from 19 June 2016.
From 2008 to 2013, Leung worked for the Hong Kong Government as the undersecretary for financial services and the treasury. Prior to that, she was executive director of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority in charge of international affairs for eight years.
She is also a former financial journalist, having worked for a decade as a reporter for the Asian Wall Street Journal from 1984 to 1994.
Leung will replace James Shipton, an ex-Goldman Sachs executive, who has a three-year contract that ends 18 June.
Ashley Alder, the SFC’s CEO, said Shipton “oversaw the formation of a new intermediaries division, combining the existing licensing and supervision teams under one roof and then [led] a reorganisation of the division, which emphasises greater specialisation to enable us to more effectively regulate an increasingly complex marketplace”.
The appointment of Leung comes at a time when Hong Kong regulators must increasingly work together with their mainland counterparts as the two markets integrate through the Stock Connect and the Mutual Recognition of Funds initiative, and cross-border vetting and enforcement grows more complex.
In China, there has also been a recent reshuffling of senior executives. Chinese authorities have removed Xiao Gang, head of the China Securities Regulatory Commission, and replaced him with Liu Shiyu, chairman of the Agricultural Bank of China, who also previously served as a vice-governor of China's central bank, the PBoC.