The UK’s competition watchdog could be closing in on a new boss, with a leading city lawyer tipped as a major contender for the hot seat.
Ali Nikpay is one of a handful of candidates to have been interviewed to run the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the last fortnight, according to Sky News.
The partner at American law firm Gibson Dunn is reportedly in contention for the big job alongside rivals Sarah Cardell, the interim CEO, and Sheldon Mills, a senior executive at the Financial Conduct Authority.
City sources told the news agency Business Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg was taking an active interest in the recruitment process at a time of intense debate about the CMA’s direction.
Nikpay is a former executive at the competition authorities, and has held major roles such as senior director for merger decisions and senior director of its cartels and criminal enforcement division.
At Gibson Dunn, where he co-chairs the firm’s antitrust and competition group, he has overseen work for clients such as Asda, UBS and Viagogo.
The Financial Times reported in April that the Government was eager to name a female chief at the CMA.
Coscelli stepped down earlier this year, with the CMA’s leadership unclear ahead of the arrival of Marcus Bokkerink as its new chairman.