BEIS picks new Competition and Markets Authority chair

The appointment will end an 18-month search for a new permanent chair
Marcus Bokkerink. Photo: BEIS

By Tevye Markson

01 Jun 2022

The business secretary has picked a former senior partner at one of the world's biggest consulting firms as the new chair of the Competition and Markets Authority.

Marcus Bokkerink, who retired from Boston Consulting Group in 2020, has been chosen as the department’s preferred candidate for the role.

The appointment will end an 18-month search for a new permanent chair.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “Marcus will make an excellent addition to the CMA team, bolstering its work to promote competition and innovation to help grow our economy and ensure the best deals for consumers.

“There are many opportunities on the horizon and his appointment will help us to seize them.”

Lord Andrew Tyrie, the last permanent holder of the role, stepped down in September 2020, with a recruitment campaign to replace him launched in December that year.

But ministers opted not to appoint any of the candidates interviewed by the recruitment panel. Instead, Jonathan Scott, a non-executive director at the CMA, was named as interim chair in October 2020 and then asked to stay on for another year in October.

The vacancy was used as an example of "unnecessary and avoidable delays" in making public appointments by public appointments commissioner Peter Riddell in comments to then-Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove last year.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee will now hold a public pre-appointment hearing to report on Bokkerink’s suitability for the role.

Kwarteng will not have to follow the committee’s advice but ministers must consider the committee’s views before deciding whether to proceed with the appointment.

Bokkerink has 30 years of experience advising corporate executive teams and boards on strategies to build competitive advantage and harness digital technologies, with a particular focus on industries that interact directly with consumers.

Since retiring in December 2020 from his role as managing director and senior Partner at BCG, he has focused on investing in start-ups and challenger brands and mentoring the entrepreneurs who lead them.

He has also worked as a senior advisor to BCG and a strategic advisor to a small number of corporates.

Bokkerink said: “The CMA is a leader among its peers in promoting effective competition and protecting consumers. I am delighted to be asked to work with the outstanding team there and the bard to help it fulfil its expanded responsibilities.”

In January, CMA chief executive Andrea Coscelli announced his plans to leave the regulator when his current appointment period ends in July.

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