Shriti Vadera, Baroness Vadera

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The Baroness Vadera

Shriti Vadera, Baroness Vadera.jpg
Personal details
Shriti Vadera

23 June 1962
Political partyLabour
Alma materSomerville College, Oxford

Shriti Vadera, Baroness Vadera, PC (born 23 June 1962) is a British investment banker and politician. Until September 2009, she was a government minister jointly for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Cabinet Office. She has been Chairwoman of Santander UK since March 2015, becoming the first woman to head a major British bank.

Early life[edit]

She was born in Uganda[1] in 1962 to Indian Gujarati parents.[2][3]

She is from a family who owned a small tea plantation but fled to India in 1972 following the Ugandan government's expulsion of Ugandan Asians, and then later to the UK.[4] She was educated at Northwood College before taking a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at Somerville College, Oxford.[2]

Private sector career[edit]

For over 14 years Vadera was employed at investment bank UBS Warburg, where her work included advising governments of developing countries, and debt relief and restructuring. She also played a role in the partial privatisation of South African Telecom.[4][5]

Government adviser and minister[edit]

Following his appointment as Prime Minister in June 2007, Gordon Brown appointed her as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Department for International Development.[6] As she was not a member of either of the Houses of Parliament, she was created a life peer on 11 July 2007 as Baroness Vadera, of Holland Park in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.[7] The Sunday Times reported that the Cabinet Secretary "flatly refus[ed] to allow her to cross the threshold of No 10 as policy enforcer" and "no Permanent Secretary could stand her" – although the Cabinet Secretary denied making these comments.[8]

Following criticism of her working style, Stephen Alambritis, of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “If the Civil Service is complaining about her, then probably more ministers should be like her; she gets things done.” [9]

After six months as a Minister in International Development, she was moved to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (now the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills). In October 2008, she also became a Parliamentary Secretary in the Cabinet Office.

On 14 January 2009 she gave an interview on ITV's Lunchtime News, which concluded:

Alastair Stewart: "Final and briefest thought possible – you're a former banker and business person yourself and now a minister – when will we see the green shoots of recovery?
Baroness Vadera: "Well, it's a very uncertain world right now globally but I wouldn't want to be the one predicting it. I am seeing a few green shoots but it's a little bit too early to say exactly how they'll grow."[10]

Her reply generated commentary from a number of sources, including shadow chancellor George Osborne and former chancellor Norman Lamont, who first used the phrase "green shoots" in 1991. Lamont said: "It is extremely premature to use a phrase like that."[10]

Later that year London's Evening Standard reported that Vadera was instrumental in the creation of an unprecedented banking rescue package.[11] On 24 September 2009, it was announced that she would be stepping down as minister to take up a new role advising the G20.[12]

As of May 2017, she has been on a leave of absence from the House of Lords since December 2011.[13]

Post-government career[edit]

In April 2010, the Financial Times reported that Vadera had taken up a consultancy to give strategic advice in restructuring Dubai World's US$26 billion debt.[14] In July, the Daily Telegraph reported Vadera had become consultant to Singaporean investment company Temasek.[15]

"The reason people like Shriti are getting these offers is because there are very few people who understand the international finance world and the geopolitical world at a time when the financial world clearly has some issues with the political world." said Martin Armstrong of recruitment consultants Somerton Partners.[15]

In December 2010, she was appointed to the Boards of BHP Billiton and AstraZeneca as a non-executive director.[16][17]

In December 2014, it was announced that she would become Non-Executive Chairman of Santander UK, replacing Terence Burns. She joined the board in January 2015 and succeeded Burns on 30 March 2015.[18]

In 2016, she was chosen as one of BBC's 100 Women[19]


  1. ^ "Shriti Vadera: A profile of the Business Minister nicknamed 'Shriti the Shriek'". The Telegraph. 15 January 2009. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b Helm, Toby; Beckford, Martin (3 November 2007). "Profile: Shriti Vadera". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 July 2009.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  3. ^ Dutt, Vijay; Canton, Naomi (24 June 2007). "Gujarati tipped for Brown's inner circle". Hindustan Times.
  4. ^ a b Teather, David (26 July 2008). "Saturday Interview: Shriti Vadera". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  5. ^ Sparrow, Andrew (15 January 2009). "Profile: Shriti Vadera". London: Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  6. ^ "Brown unveils new faces". Prime Minister's Office. 29 June 2007. Archived from the original on 1 July 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  7. ^ "No. 58392". The London Gazette. 16 July 2007. p. 10219.
  8. ^ Jenkins, Simon (8 July 2007). "Brown's brain and his hand are not always connected". London: The Times. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  9. ^ Webster, Philip (25 September 2009). "Baroness Vadera Shriti the Shriek has a temper but gets things done". The Times. London.
  10. ^ a b "'Green shoots' remarks defended". BBC News Online. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2009.
  11. ^ "How I helped rescue Britain from brink of bank disaster | News". Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  12. ^ "UK | UK Politics | Vadera stepping down as minister". BBC News. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  13. ^ "Baroness Vadera - UK Parliament". Retrieved 24 May 2017.
  14. ^ "Shriti Vadera's new consultancy role in Dubai | Westminster blog | Jim Pickard and Kiran Stacey share their views on the UK's political scene for the Financial Times –". 24 May 2010. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  15. ^ a b Tyler, Richard (4 July 2010). "Baroness Vadera advises Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek". London: Telegraph. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  16. ^ "BHP Billiton – Home". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  17. ^ "PLC appoints new Non-Executive Director". AstraZeneca. Retrieved 5 November 2011.
  18. ^ Morris, Stephen (12 December 2014). "Santander U.K. Names Shriti Vadera Chairman Replacing Burns". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  19. ^ 2016, BBC, Retrieved 26 November 2016

External links[edit]