Bank of England Has Big Governing Job to Fill Before Carney Goes

(Bloomberg) -- Bank of England staff are close to finding out who will help the next governor settle in after Mark Carney steps down.

Anthony Habgood is due to retire in June as chairman of the Court of Directors, the BOE’s governing body. Interviews for his replacement have already been carried out, according to a job posting on the cabinet office website, which states that an announcement is pending.

The role usually goes to grandee of the City of London, the financial district. Habgood sits on the board of several large companies. His predecessor, David Lees, had served as chairman of sugar magnate Tate & Lyle. The bank has received criticism from lawmakers on the Treasury Committee for its lack of diversity.

The successful candidate -- of “undisputed integrity and standing” -- will lead the panel responsible for setting the bank’s strategy. The cabinet office describes the role, which comes with a salary of 48,000 pounds ($68,000) for about two days a week, as “pivotal” -- not least because the successful applicant will be expected to take the lead in ensuring a smooth transition when Carney leaves in June 2019.

The chair of the court is rarely in the news, though Habgood’s name featured last year when he was impersonated by an online prankster who briefly hoodwinked Carney.

Habgood also found himself embroiled in some controversies. Those included Deputy Governor Charlotte Hogg’s failure to declare a potential conflict of interest on her appointment, which ultimately led to her resignation, and investigating potential staff misconduct in currency-rigging and crisis liquidity auctions.

What It Takes to Head the BOE’s Court of Directors

Substantial experience of one or more of:
  • Playing a significant role either as chair or chief executive or equivalent of a major organization in a relevant area of public policy, the voluntary sector or a trade union
  • Chair (executive or non-executive) or CEO of a major financial services firm, a FTSE 100 company or a substantial multinational corporation
  • Building a successful enterprise of a significant size themselves

--U.K. Cabinet Office appointments website

The website states that “appointment to the Court is expected to commence in Spring 2018, with the successful candidate taking over as Chair on 1 July 2018.” The panel meets at least seven times a year, and other non-executive directors include UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis and former TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding. Appointments are made for up to four years and there is the possibility of reappointment at the end of the term.

Habgood is chairman of RELX Group Plc and Prequin Ltd. He previously held similar positions at Whitbread Plc and Bunzl Plc.

Carney is also a member of the Court, as are the bank’s deputy governors, making the ability to build and maintain “close and effective working partnerships with senior executives while holding non-executive positions” another sought-after quality.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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