Ministerial role

Commercial Secretary to the Treasury


The Commercial Secretary is responsible for:

  • UK productivity
  • City devolution, including Northern Powerhouse
  • infrastructure policy, including working with Infrastructure and Projects Authority and National Infrastructure Commission
  • corporate finance, including public corporations, public private partnerships, PFI, and sales of government assets
  • better regulation and competition policy
  • industrial strategy
  • working with the rest of government to promote the UK as a destination for foreign direct investment
  • housing and planning
  • The Royal Mint
  • Crown Estate and the Royal Household

Current role holder: Lord O’Neill of Gatley

Jim O’Neill worked for Goldman Sachs from 1995 until April 2013, spending most of his time there as Chief Economist. He chaired the Cities Growth Commission in the UK until October 2014 when it provided its final recommendations. Jim is currently chairing a formal Review into AMR (anti-microbial resistance), which will make recommendations on how to solve this global challenge in spring 2016.

Jim is Honorary Chair of Economics at Manchester University. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the international economic think tank, Bruegel, and on the economic advisory board to the IFC, the investing arm of the World Bank. He is one of the founding trustees of the UK educational charity, SHINE and serves on the board of ‘Teach for All’ and a number of other charities specialising in education. In September 2013 he became a Non-Executive Director of the Department of Education.

Jim earned BA and MA degrees in economics from Sheffield University in 1978 and a PhD from the University of Surrey in 1982. He has honorary degrees from the Institute of Education, University of London, for his educational philanthropy; City University for his services to banking and finance; and Sheffield University in recognition of his contribution to international economics.

Previous holders of this role

  1. Lord Deighton

    • 2013 to 2015
  2. Lord Sassoon of Ashley Park

    • 2010 to 2013


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  1. Northern Powerhouse minister begins first tour since appointment

    • News story
  2. New £180 million fund to accelerate energy research across the Midlands Engine

    • News story
  3. Sajid Javid meeting workers and managers at Port Talbot today

    • Press release
  4. New National Infrastructure Delivery Plan gets Britain building

    • News story
  5. Chinese summit looks to unlock investment for Northern Powerhouse

    • Press release
  6. Liverpool devolution deal boosts the Northern Powerhouse

    • News story
  7. Chancellor opens book on more than £24 billion of Northern Powerhouse investment opportunities in China

    • News story
  8. Chancellor to use China trip to boost global support for Northern Powerhouse

    • News story
  9. Government boost for Northern Powerhouse

    • News story
  10. UK signs founding Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

    • News story