City veteran Howard Covington to chair Britain's big data research facility the Alan Turing Institute

Jessica Morris
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The institute will focus on big data and algorithm research (Source: Getty)

Former City financier Howard Covington has been appointed as chair of Britain's big data research facility.

Covington will lead the London-based Alan Turing Institute, named after the famous mathematician who led a team of code breakers to break the enigma code at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.

Turing's machine is widely considered to be the first modern computer. Some academics say it shortened the war by two years, saving 14m lives.

The Alan Turning Institute will work to bolster Britain's expertise in big data as well as algorithm research.

"I am confident that it will prosper under Howard Covington's stewardship," Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC's chief executive, said.

Convington is a former City veteran whose career included roles such as director of SG Warburg, the investment banking predecessor of UBS; chief executive of the European investment banking business of Wasserstein Perell and chief executive of New Star Asset Management.

He's also chairman and an honorary fellow at the Isaac Newton Institute, a fellow of the Institute of Physics as well as a trustee of environmental law firm ClientEarth and the Science Museum.

"To be chosen as chair for the Alan Turing Institute is a great honour," Covington said.
"The Institute will enhance the UK's already strong academic reputation and help keep UK plc at the forefront of developments in big data."
The institute will be based in be based at the British Library at the centre of London’s knowledge quarter in King's Cross, Euston and Bloomsbury, and will partner over 35 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations.

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