Alex Chisholm

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Alex Chisholm
Permanent Secretary of the
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Assumed office
5 September 2016
Prime MinisterTheresa May
Boris Johnson
MinisterGreg Clark
Andrea Leadsom
Preceded byMartin Donnelly
Personal details
Born (1968-01-02) 2 January 1968 (age 52)
ChildrenThree

Alex Chisholm (born 2 January 1968) is a British civil servant and regulator, who became Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in September 2016. Prior to that he was Joint Permanent Secretary for BEIS after moving from his position as Permanent Secretary of the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). Alex Chisholm was Chief executive of the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Chair of the Irish Commission for Communications Regulation, and has held senior positions in the media, technology and e-commerce industries. He is also Trustee and Deputy Chair of Breadline Africa, an international charity.[1]

Origins and education[edit]

Chisholm is the son of the late Dr Ian Chisholm FRCP, FRCPsych and Annabelle, daughter of the second Baron Windlesham.[2][3] He read History at Merton College, Oxford and obtained an MBA at INSEAD.[4]

Earlier career[edit]

Chisholm served for six years in the UK's Department of Trade & Industry and Office of Fair Trading, specialising in competition policy and the media, communications and financial services sectors. He then worked for three years for Pearson plc and the Financial Times, before spending some years working for technology companies, eCountries Inc and Ecceleration Ltd.[4] He also founded and for a number of years ran Heritage Bulbs, a company specialising in the provision of rare and historic bulbs.[5]

In 2007 Chisholm was appointed as a Commissioner of ComReg, becoming Chairperson in February 2010.

On 8 January 2013, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills announced his appointment as Chief executive of the new Competition and Markets Authority.[1][6]

In April 2013, Chisholm gave the 15th Burrell Competition Lecture, at Middle Temple Hall, entitled the "New Competition and Markets Authority: Aspirations and Challenges.” In May 2013, he addressed the Competition Section of the Law Society Annual Conference on “Delivering Choice and Growth through the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).[7] Chisholm addressed the ESRC Centre of Competition Policy Annual Conference, University of East Anglia, on "The UK Competition and Markets Authority: a new institution to tackle a new set of challenges” in June 2013.

CMA[edit]

The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA), which was formally launched on 1 October 2013 and became fully operational on 1 April 2014, brought together the bulk of the responsibilities of the former Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the former Competition Commission. Chisholm, after taking up his post, was responsible for merging these two bodies and for streamlining their operations.[8]

The CMA, under Chisholm's leadership, began by scrutinising the ecommerce market, looking at areas where entrants might have trouble competing with big established players; it focused on how to make government spending more efficient; it examined competition concerns relating to the banking sector; and, controversially,[9] it reviewed the energy sector.

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy[edit]

Having been appointed Permanent Secretary for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in September 2016, Chisholm was reported at the end of 2016 to have a salary of between £180,000 and £184,999 (a reduction from his salary at the CMA).[10]

Personal life[edit]

Chisholm is married to Eliza, daughter of the historian, Thomas Pakenham. The couple have three sons and live in London.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Alex Chisholm". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ Burke's Peerage, Windlesham.
  3. ^ Royal College of Physicians, Lives of the fellows (Munk's Roll), Ian Duncan Chisholm. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  4. ^ a b Department for Business, Innovation & Skills press release, 8 January 2013.
  5. ^ Sandy Mitchell, Meetings with remarkable bulbs, The Daily Telegraph, 11 September 2004 (accessed on 11 February 2013).
  6. ^ "New competition authority completes leadership team – Press releases". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Delivering Choice and Growth through the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) – Speeches". Government of the United Kingdom. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  8. ^ How we are revitalising the magic of markets to drive the growth we need, Alex Chisholm, 3 April 2014, CityAm [1]
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ ""High earners" data shows no 2016 pay rises for Manzoni or Heywood". Civil Service World, 23 December 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2018.