Jim O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley
|The Right Honourable
The Lord O'Neill of Gatley
|Commercial Secretary to the Treasury|
14 May 2015
|Preceded by||The Lord Deighton|
|Born||Terence James O'Neill
17 March 1957 
Manchester, United Kingdom
|Political party||Conservative Party|
|Alma mater||University of Sheffield
University of Surrey
|Known for||BRIC economic theory|
Terence James "Jim" O'Neill, Baron O'Neill of Gatley (born 17 March 1957), retiring chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, is a British economist best known for coining BRIC, the acronym that stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the four rapidly developing countries that have come to symbolise the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies. As of January 2014, he is an Honorary Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester.
After earning his Ph.D. in 1982 from the University of Surrey with a thesis titled An empirical investigation into the OPEC surplus and its disposal under the supervision of David Hawdon, Jim O'Neill began his career in finance working at Bank of America in 1982. From 1988 to 1991, he was in charge of the fixed income research group at Swiss Bank Corporation, and he served as SBC's chief of global research. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1997 and he was appointed as the head of global economics research in 2001, which is also when he published the seminal BRIC paper. No candidate yet has been named to replace him as Chief Economist.
In 2010, he was named Chairman of Goldman Sachs's Division of Asset Management, a newly created position in which O'Neill manages over $800 billion in assets by "leverag[ing]" his "global perspective on world markets". He continues to publish research regarding the global economy, in addition to coming up with innovative investment strategies for clients. His new appointment was regarded as a symbol of Goldman's "efforts to reposition itself for Wall Street's post-crisis era", one in which Goldman Sachs is "bullish" about the fact that emerging markets are "the future". In 2011, he was included in the 50 Most Influential ranking of Bloomberg Markets magazine.
In February 2013, the firm announced O'Neill's impending retirement, which took place two months later, in April 2013. He is a currently on the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Rising Powers at the University of Cambridge. O'Neill sits on the QFINANCE Strategic Advisory Board. He is also a member of the board of Bruegel, the European think tank for international economics. O'Neill is chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Advisory Board, which advises on the growth of the Greater Manchester economy. On 2 July 2014 he was appointed by UK Prime Minister David Cameron to head an international commission to investigate global antimicrobial resistance. On 28 May 2015 he was created a Life Peer as Baron O'Neill of Gatley, of Gatley in the County of Greater Manchester.
O'Neill claims not to commit to a specific financial ideology; instead, he is known for his "pragmatic, long-term" vision of currency markets. He improves upon traditional models of data analysis by incorporating elements that ultimately make them more accurate.
Foreign exchange markets
O'Neill has been called a "currency guru"; he has been hailed as "the top foreign-exchange economist anywhere in the world in the past decade". For example, in 2004 he accurately predicted that the euro would rise from $1.25 to $1.30 a year later; he was also right about the yen's rise in the mid-1990s. He was previously head of global economic research and commodities and strategy research at Goldman Sachs.
O'Neill coined the term MIKT for the countries of Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, and Turkey.
He has also coined the term MINT—Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey—in order to differentiate among the variety of emerging economies. He plans to group this quartet as "growth markets" within the overall BRIC nations. In January 2014, O'Neill presented a four-part documentary series on this subject for BBC Radio entitled MINT: The Next Economic Giants.
O'Neill grew up in Gatley and attended Burnage Comprehensive and Sheffield University, where he studied economics. He is a lifelong fan of Manchester United F.C. and served as a non-executive director from 2004 to 2005, before the club was returned to private ownership. On 2 March 2010, the Red Knights, a group of wealthy Manchester United fans believed to include O'Neill, confirmed interest in a possible takeover of the club.
- Next Eleven
- Emerging and growth-leading economies (EAGLEs)
- Emerging markets
- Goldman Sachs
- MINT (economics)
- Centre for Rising Powers, University of Cambridge
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