Lord Paul Myners, City minister dies aged 73

Paul Myners, Baron Myners CBE.

Paul Myners, a Labour Minister and City of London grandee, has died at the age of 73.

Myners, began his career as a teacher and then a financial journalist at the Daily Telegraph on the Questor share tips column. He joined the ranks of the City as a fund manager at NM Rothschild and Sons, mostly in Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.  He then moved onto fund management group Gartmore, where he become chief executive for almost two decades.

Upon leaving he continued to make his mark, first with a review of institutional money management in 2001. Although only two pages of the tome was dedicated to broking, his recommendation to break the sacrosanct City tradition of soft commissions was one of the most hotly debated topics. This led to the changes in research payments and unbundling in MiFID II.

Later in his career, he held a series of prominent boardroom positions, including chair at NatWest, the Guardian Media Group and Marks & Spencer. It was during his time at the UK retail giant between 2004 and 2006 that Myners helped thwart a takeover bid from Topshop owner Sir Philip Green.

In 2008, Myners was appointed Financial Services Secretary to the Treasury in 2008, just two weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers In this role he helped the then Prime Minister Gordon Brown respond to the financial crisis which resulted in a £500 bn bailout package for the country’s banking system.

“I was confronted with a single item agenda: the banking system,” he said in a 2016 interview. “I just rest my case on the fact that the building was alight, but it didn’t burn down.”

Former Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Myners was “focused, driven and effective during crisis; irreverent and challenging during calm.”

The former prime minister paid tribute to his former colleague in the Guardian, saying, “After a successful career in finance he was persuaded in 2008 to enter public service and was a tower of strength, helping nationalise key banks and producing a plan to overcome the global financial crisis. His charitable work in his native Cornwall will be long remembered.”

Myners was appointed to the House of Lords in 2008 as a Labour peer, before moving to the crossbenches in 2014. He continued to raise the issues of the day and sent government ministers hundreds of questions on issues including Greensill Capital, which collapsed last year.

In his later years, Myners held the position of chancellor of the University of Exeter and chair of PR group Daniel J Edelman.

“His experience was truly unmatched and there are few people who bring such depth of knowledge and experience from the top of both the private and public sector,” Ed Williams, president and chief executive officer of Edelman EMEA, said in the statement. “Through his professional life, he led some of Britain’s largest and most cherished companies, and in government as a key figure helping to resolve the financial crisis.”

©Markets Media Europe 2021

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