Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has named former Boston Consulting Group partner Marcus Bokkerink as the preferred candidate to take over as chair of the UK’s competition watchdog today, as a two-year hunt for comes to a close.
Kwarteng said today that Bokkerink, who has three decades of experience advising corporate executives and boards, is slated to take on the Competition and Markets Authority chairmanship after former chair Andrew Tyrie was ousted in 2020 in a boardroom coup.
Bokkerink’s appointment will contradict earlier media reports that Phoenix Group boss Clive Bannister was set to take the reins of the regulator.
In a statement today, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said Bokkerink would make an “excellent addition” to the regulator and bolster its work in promoting competition.
Having stepped down from his role as Managing Director and Senior Partner at Boston Consulting Group in December 2020, Bokkerink has focused on investing in start-ups and challenger brands and mentoring the entrepreneurs who lead them.
He said today that he was “delighted to be asked to work with the outstanding team” at the CMA.
His appointment comes amid a turbulent period of boardroom turnover at the watchdog, as the government begins the hunt for a chief executive to replace outgoing boss Andrea Coscelli.
The delay to the appointment of a chair has hampered the hunt for a successor to Coscelli, who announced at the start of the year that he would be stepping down in July.
An interim chief executive is now set to be appointed, with the CMA’s general counsel Sarah Cardell leading the field of prospective candidates, according to sources cited by the FT.
The CMA is also gearing up for a period of increased responsibility as it increases scrutiny and enforcement of tech and social media giants’ operations in the UK. A new Digital Markets Unit has been set up at the watchdog and was widely expected to be earmarked for new powers in the Queen’s Speech.
Baroness Stowell of Beeston said any delay risked “stifling innovation” by allowing tech giants to dominate.