The Treasury has launched a search to replace the outgoing chair of UK Government Investments (UKGI), the Whitehall agency responsible for taxpayer investments.
Headhunting firm Odgers Berndtson has kicked off a search to find Robert Swannell’s successor, Sky News reported, with the current UKGI head set to step down after seven years at the helm.
UKGI manages taxpayers’ money across a portfolio of 17 businesses, including Channel 4, Highways England, HM Land Registry and the British Business Bank.
Last Friday, the organisation completed the sale of £1.1bn in Natwest Group shares, selling the stock back to the banking group. The sale slimmed UKGI’s shareholding in Natwest down from 61.7 per cent to 59.8 per cent.
UKGI was formed in 2016 from the merger of the Shareholder Executive and UK Financial Investments, which was set up in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to manage the public’s stakes in Britain’s bailed-out banks.
The appointment of Swannell’s successor is expected to be signed off by chancellor Rishi Sunak, with a closing date for applications set for mid-April.
The role, which entails a salary of £40,000, will act “as a bridge between Whitehall and the City”, according to the job posting. It will only require six days of work per month, with the appointment set for an initial term of three years.
UKGI is expected to undergo a “period of growth”, as it “expands its size and its remit in order to provide corporate finance advice to government as it unwinds its interventions in response to the pandemic”, according to the Treasury.
UKGI was approached for comment.