Howard Davies (economist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Sir Howard Davies
Howard Davies at the World Economic Forum Summit on the Global Agenda 2008.jpg
Davies in 2008
Chairman of NatWest Group
Assumed office
1 September 2015
Personal details
Born (1951-02-12) 12 February 1951 (age 70)
Blackley, Manchester, England
Alma materMemorial University
Merton College, Oxford
Stanford Business School

Sir Howard John Davies (born 12 February 1951) is a British economist and author, who is the chairman of NatWest Group and the former director of the London School of Economics.[1]

He was the first chairman of the Financial Services Authority. Davies was chairman of the Phoenix Group and, until July 2015, chaired the UK Airports Commission.[1] In February 2015, he was appointed chairman of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, taking up the role from September 2015. RBS Group was re-named NatWest Group in 2020.

Since 2011 he has been a Professor at the Paris School of International Affairs, part of Sciences Po. He teaches Masters courses on financial regulation and central banking.

Early life[edit]

Howard Davies born in Blackley, Manchester England.[citation needed]

He was educated at Bowker Vale County Primary School and the Manchester Grammar School, where he was the founder Editor of The Mancunian, before going as an exchange student to the Memorial University of Newfoundland and to Merton College, University of Oxford, where he gained a master of arts degree in modern history and modern languages. He edited the Cherwell newspaper in 1972.[citation needed]

On graduation from Oxford he joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, working the Western European Department on bilateral relations with Scandinavia, Italy, Austria and the Holy See. In 1974 he became Private Secretary To HM Ambassador in Paris, working for Sir Edward Tomkins and Sir Nicholas Henderson. From 1976 he was on secondment to HM Treasury, where he worked on Nationalised Industry Policy and Aerospace finding (civil and military). He was responsible for the UK participation in the Concorde, Airbus and Tornado programmes, in particular. In 1979 he was awarded a Harkness Fellowship to attend the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California where he obtained a master of science degree in management sciences.[2] In 1980 he returned to HM Treasury where he was Principal, Monetary Policy, from 1980-1982.[citation needed]


Davies was employed by McKinsey and Company from 1982 to 1987.[3] From 1985–86 he was Special Advisor to Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson. From 1987–92 he was Controller of the Audit Commission. In 1992 he was appointed Director General of the Confederation of British Industry, a position he held until 1995, when he was appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of England. In 1997 Davies was appointed Executive Chairman of the newly established Financial Services Authority, regulating the whole of the UK financial services industry, serving until 2003.[1]

From 2003 to 2011 Davies was Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science. He stepped down from the position on 3 March 2011 following concern over the institution's decision to accept funding from a foundation controlled by the Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi's son, Saif, and other LSE Libya Links.[4][5][6]

Davies was a non-executive director of GKN between 1989 and 1995, and a member of the International Advisory Board of National Westminster Bank from 1991–95. From 1995–2004 he was founder chairman of Employers Forum on Age, a body formed to oppose ageism at work. From 2002–10 he was a Trustee of the Tate Gallery (where he was interim chair 2008-09), and was a member of the governing body of the Royal Academy of Music from 2004–13. He is Patron of Working Families, a campaigning charity which supports the rights of parents in the workplace. In 2004 he was elected to an Honorary Fellowship of Merton College, Oxford and became an independent director of Morgan Stanley, where he chaired the board's risk committee. From 2006–10, Davies was a non-executive director of Paternoster Ltd. Since 2003, he has held membership in the advisory board of the China Banking Regulatory Commission, and, since 2012, has chaired the advisory board of the China Securities Regulatory Commission. He became chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group in September 2015.[citation needed]

In 2009 Davies was appointed as advisor to the Investment Strategy Committee of GIC Private Limited, formerly known as Government of Singapore Investment Corporation. Two years later he joined its International Advisory Board. He resigned from both positions in September 2012, on appointment to the chair of the Airports Commission (GIC Private Limited is a part owner of Heathrow). In 2010 he became a non-executive Director of Prudential plc, and Chair of the Risk Committee, a role he performed until May 2020. In 2011, he joined the board of the Royal National Theatre, where he was chairman of finance for 4 years. From 2012 to 2015 Davies was a member of the advisory board of the SWIFT Institute. Davies is a council member of the Asian Bureau of Finance and Economic Research in Singapore.[7] In December 2020 he was appointed Chairman of Inigo Ltd, an insurance company in the Lloyds of London market.[citation needed]


Insignia of Knight Bachelor

Davies chaired the judges of the Man Booker Prize for fiction in 2007. He was appointed chairman of the trustees of the London Library in November 2015.[8]

He was a character in the David Hare play The Power of Yes which premiered at the London National Theatre in October 2009.[9]


Davies was appointed a Knight Bachelor in 2000.[citation needed]


  • Davies, Howard (2006). Chancellors' Tales : Managing the British Economy. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-3885-0.
  • ———————; Green, David (2008). Global Financial Regulation: The Essential Guide. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-4349-6.
  • ———————; Green, David (2010). Banking on the Future: The Fall and Rise of Central Banking. Princeton: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-13864-0.
  • ——————— (2010). The Financial Crisis: Who Is To Blame?. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-5164-4.
  • ——————— (2015). Can Financial Markets Be Controlled?. Cambridge: Polity Press. ISBN 978-0-7456-8830-5.

Davies writes regularly for The Financial Times, Times Higher Education, Project Syndicate[10] and Management Today.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Davies is married to Prue Keely, and has two sons.[11]

He is a supporter of Manchester City Football Club and the Lancashire County Cricket Club. He plays cricket for Barnes Common and Powerstock and Hooke cricket clubs.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "Sir Howard Davies profile". Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  2. ^ a b Bloxham, Andy (4 March 2011). "Sir Howard Davies profile: distinguished economist with impressive CV". The Telegraph. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  3. ^ "Howard Davies, Alessandro Profumo and Peter Sands to Participate in WSJ's Future of Finance Initiative". Mckinsey & Co. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  4. ^ Davies, Howard. "LSE Director steps down". London School of Economics and Political Science.
  5. ^ Davies, Howard. "The Latest Qaddafi Casualty Is The Head of the London School of Economics". Business Insider.
  6. ^ Davies, Howard. "Institutions Scramble to Determine Libya Entanglements". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ "Council & Executive Committee". Asian Bureau of Finance And Economic Research. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
  8. ^ "Trustees". London Library. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  9. ^ "Howard Davies on watching himself in 'The Power of Yes'". Management Today. Retrieved 1 April 2016.
  10. ^ Davies, Howard (26 December 2016). "The Threat To Global Banking Standards". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  11. ^ "Howard Davies, Sir". Personally Speaking Bureau. Retrieved 3 May 2015.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Anthony Giddens
Director of the London School of Economics
Succeeded by
Judith Rees
Business positions
Preceded by
John Banham
Director of the Confederation of British Industry
Succeeded by
Adair Turner