Tuesday, July 05, 2016

Was Andrea Leadsom really a City high-flyer?

When leadership candidates appear from almost nowhere, it is often an idea to cast a sceptical eye over their CVs.

Iain Duncan Smith, for instance, originally claimed that he had attended the University of Perugia in Italy. A Newsnight investigation revealed that this was a considerable exaggeration.

Now some people are questioning the picture that Andrea Leadsom has allowed to be painted of herself. Was she really a City high-flyer before she turned to politics?

Robert Stephens politely suggests she was not:
Her job at Barclays/BZW 1993-1997 was a largely administrative one, “Financial Institutions Director” meaning the maintenance of contractual relationships with other banks. 
Her job as Managing Director of De Putron Fund Management,1997-1999 seems to have involved setting up the onshore shell of her brother-in-law’s offshore investment company. 
But her job at Perpetual/Invesco Perpetual, 1999-2009, is particularly worthy of closer inspection. I was a fellow employee throughout her time there. Last week, at my prompting, she corrected her CV with Wikipedia and Who’s Who, changing her title from the obviously incorrect Chief Investment Officer to the titles of Senior Investment Officer and Head of Corporate Governance. 
Her actual job was to work (sometimes part-time) on "special projects", mostly for the Chief Investment Officer. These included for example negotiating pay terms for senior fund managers. Towards the end of her time, she advised on a couple of governance issues. 
As I understand it she had no-one reporting to her in either role, so the words Senior and Head are, one might say, superfluous.

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