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Diversity-Focused Recruiter Chosen to Find the Next Governor of the Bank of England

By Matthew Dove (Senior Editor)

Sapphire Partners, an executive recruiter which champions diversity, has been selected to aid in the search for Mark Carney’s replacement as Governor of the Bank of England.

Since it was established in 1694, the UK’s central bank has appointed 120 governors, each and every one a white man. The inclusion of Sapphire Partners in the hunt for the 121st can therefore be viewed as a seachange at one of the nation’s old and most illustrious institutions. The headhunter’s partners are all female as is its advisory board (barring the presumably token hire of Bruce Rical!), which features notables like Cherie Booth and Pinky Lilani.

Candidates in the running for the position range from Steady Eddies like Andrew Bailey of the FCA to more left-field picks like LSE Director Dame Minouche Shafik. The BoE could even follow the American model by handing the keys to the kingdom to a Goldman Sachs lifer like Ben Broadbent.

With the BoE aiming for 35% of senior roles to be filled by women by 2020, TFT asked fintech thought leaders Ghela Boskovich and Louise Beaumont who they think is ideally suited for the top job on Threadneedle Street…

So, now that 120 old white dudes have held the position, who should be the 121st Governor of the Bank of England?

Ghela Boskovich (Founder of FemTechGlobal):

“Of the names being bantered about, a few interesting candidates pique my interest:

Shriti Vadera  (chair, Santander UK) or Nemat Shafik. Or why not import one from the US? Janet Yellen (former head of the Fed) or Raghuram Rajan (former governor of Bank of India, now at the University of Chicago).

All qualified, all experts, and not one of them an old white dude.”

Louise Beaumont (Exec Chair, Signoi):

“I’d pick Andy Haldane – because other than the obvious, he’d break the mould. He’s blessed with curiosity, independence of thought, and an actual voice: he’s taken it upon himself to expand his role to embrace data gathering and analysis; he’s been thoughtful about the productivity conundrum; and he’s willing to stand up and voice his own opinions, rather than be the grey man.”

With 60% of Sapphire’s placements over the past 4 years being women it would seem as though the odds are stacked in favour of the ladies in this particular case. Coupled with the fact that its managing director Kate Grussing considers the lack of women in top corporate roles “truly disgraceful, lame and lazy”, the chances of a progressive appointment seem all the more likely. That said, the final decision (to be confirmed in October) lies in the less than radical hands of Phil “The Spreadsheet” Hammond so don’t hold your breath just yet….

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