Treasury seeks £125,000-a-year corporate finance expert to help with "unpopular decisions"

Written by Civil Service World on 14 February 2017 in News

UK Government Investments – which leads on the management and privatisation of state assets – seeks new director

The Treasury is on the hunt for a senior corporate finance expert who is able to "make unpopular decisions and defend them", as it seeks a new director at the government body overseeing state investments and privatisations.

UK Government Investments was formed last year through the merger of the Shareholder Executive – which managed the government's financial interest in state-owned or part-owned businesses, including Companies House and the Met Office – and UK Financial Investments, which was set up to manage the taxpayer's stake in bailed-out banks at the height of the global financial crisis.

As well as taking on those functions, the merger of UKGI was intended to provide Whitehall with a single source of corporate finance and high-level commercial advice in negotiations with the private sector, and to scope out state assets with the potential for privatisation.

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Although ministers recently shelved plans to privatise the Land Registry after an outcry by MPs and trade unions, the government is pressing ahead with the sale of the coalition-era Green Investment Bank, and earlier this month launched the first sale from the English student loan book, with UKGI heavily involved in both.

Anthony Odgers, UKGI's deputy chief executive and the former head of Deutsche Bank's Restructuring Advisory Group, is leaving the civil service in May to become Cambridge University's first ever chief financial officer, and, ahead of his departure the organisation has starting the search for a new director to join its existing management team.

The team is currently made up of four directors, including ex-Morgan Stanley investment banker Justin Manson, and according to a job specification posted online, the new director will be expected to provide "effective and visible leadership across UKGI", including drawing up strategies for government-owned businesses and reviewing business cases for potential government investments.

The new hire will, the Treasury says, play "a full role in the corporate management and leadership of UKGI as a member of the Board and Senior Management Team", and will be expected to demonstrate corporate finance experience "gained at a senior level", as well as the ability to build "effective partnerships with board members, accounting officers and ministers".

Perhaps in a nod to the sometimes controversial nature of privatisations, the job ad also says the successful candidate must have "the ability to make unpopular decisions and defend them at the highest level within HM Treasury and government departments".

According to the person specification, the successful candidate can expect to command a salary of around £125,000 for a 42-hour-a-week commitment. Applicants have until March 1 to throw their hat into the ring, with interviews slated for mid-April.

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