At last, a non-banking organisation that appears positively welcoming to ex-bankers. The Shareholder Executive, that branch of the government that manages the state’s shareholdings in the likes of Channel Four and Northern Rock, is replete with City types: 11 of the 14 members of its senior team have their origins in investment banks.
Chief executive Stephen Lovegrove says two thirds of the people that the 50-strong Shareholder Exec has hired from outside the civil service were previously working in banking. “We have people who were analysts, associates, VPs and managing directors,” he tells us.
As far as we can determine from consulting the fairly opaque Civil Service careers site, the Shareholder Exec (part of the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform) doesn’t have an overwhelming need for specific staff right now.
However, it may do soon – according to Financial News, it will be tasked with managing the government’s stakes in UK banks should any of them decide to accept its kind offer of cash.
Lovegrove declined to comment on whether this is the case, but did say that the Shareholder Exec is “constantly on the lookout for interesting candidates”, and needs to be “light on its feet when it comes to hiring”, because it doesn’t always have control over its workload.
If Shareholder Executive jobs come up, bankers with an urge to work in the public sector would do well to apply, as they don’t appear particularly welcome elsewhere in the machinery of state.
James Greengrass, a consultant at search firm Rockpools, which specialises in public sector placements, says he hasn’t moved any bankers at all into the civil service and that there would be “a fair amount of resistance” to anyone who dared try. “Bankers would need to be very squeaky clean, with a good track record, and able to show they’re not tarnished in any way,” he warns.