There’s plenty of change in our Power Hundred

David Hellier
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INTRODUCING our City A.M./CityJet Power Hundred list for 2011 one is struck by the number of new entrants – 43 in all.

Admittedly the last list was put together a couple of years ago, but there really have been dramatic changes since then.

The biggest difference is the political landscape. Gone are the big beasts of New Labour, such as Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson, who have respectively departed to the worlds of the back benches and business consultancy.

Gone are some of the bankers, such as Eric Daniels and Sir Victor Blank, who presided over a disastrous period for the UK banking sector.

And also gone is the always illuminating Adair Turner, who is still around as chairman of the Financial Services Authority but whose future in the new regulatory set-up that is being brought in by the new government is uncertain.

Our readers’ competition, in which we asked readers to name their three most powerful people, came up with some interesting names. Some suggested personalities such as Angela Merkel, the German chancellor; Martha Lane Fox, the internet champion; Metro Bank founder Vernon Hill; shadow chancellor Alan Johnson; and the owner of Arcadia and government adviser on saving money, Sir Philip Green.

Spookily enough, and reassuringly, the readers’ top three choices are the same as ours, although in a slightly different order.

Readers plumped for Barclays’ new boss Bob Diamond, followed by Bank of England governor Mervyn King, and then chancellor George Osborne.

Osborne is third in our list too, although King is our most powerful man in the City, whereas the incoming Barclays boss comes in at number two.

King’s position at the top of the City A.M. list, reflects his growing stature as a consequence of the financial crisis. In 2011, the Bank will be taking on more and more of the banking regulation from the Financial Services Authority and King will also retain control over interest rate policy.

King’s not without enemies, both political, and from within the ranks at the Bank. But it is he, who was gutsy enough to travel to the lions’ den of the Trades Union Congress earlier this year to explain the background to the cuts.

What to do with Business Secretary Vince Cable?
That’s a question many coalition MPs have been asking after his embarrassing comments to a couple of undercover reporters were published over the past 24 hours. But it’s also a question we asked several times during the compilation of our list.

He makes it onto the list, just, but would have been far higher had he not yesterday been stripped of some of his responsibilities.