Press release

Competition Commission announces new members

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson today announced eighteen new members of the Competition Commission.

The members are:

Lesley Ainsworth, Marisa Cassoni, Sarah Chambers, John Harley, Rosalind Hedley-Miller, Michael Hutchings, Ray King, John Krumins, Professor Stephen Littlechild, Jill May, Andrew Popham, Gavin Robert, Jayne Scott, Dr Graham Sharp, Bob Spedding, Jon Stern, Tim Tutton, and John Wotton,

Consumer Minister Jo Swinson said:

I am pleased to announce these appointments. These are experienced people with strong international reputations. They will bring new experience and expertise to the Competition Commission and will further ensure its reputation as a world-class competition authority.

Roger Witcomb, Chairman of the Competition Commission (CC) said:

I’m delighted to welcome such a top quality intake of Members to the Competition Commission and I look forward to working with them. It’s a very positive sign that such high calibre people can be attracted by the chance to use the expertise and judgment they’ve gained elsewhere in the most important competition cases.

Panel members are selected and appointed for their experience, ability and diversity of skills in competition economics, law, finance and industry.

The Competition Commission is an independent public body which carries out in-depth inquiries into mergers, markets and the regulation of the major regulated industries.

Each inquiry the CC makes use of at least three members who are usually led by the CC Chairman or a Deputy Chairman. On 1 April 2014, the Competition Commission and the OFT will come together to form a single Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). Following extensive consultation, in March 2011 the government published its proposals to reform and streamline the UK’s competition regime, including creation of the CMA.

Notes to Editors

1.The new panel members have all been appointed for two years, and will be paid according to the amount of time that they spend working for the Commission, based on a daily rate of £350. The appointments carry no right of pension, gratuity or allowance on its termination.

2.The appointment is nominally for two years and will end at the point at which the Commission is abolished, along with the OFT, on 1 April 2014, and the Competition and Markets Authority assumes the functions of both organisations as the UK’s single unitary Competition Authority.

3.The appointments have been made in accordance with the Office of the Commissioner for Public Appointments (OCPA) Code of Practice.

4.All appointments are made on merit, and political activity plays no part in the selection process. However, in accordance with the original Nolan recommendations, there is a requirement for appointees’ political activity to be made public. None of the new members are politically active.

5.Biographies

  • Lesley Ainsworth has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 July 2013 to 31 March 2015. She is a solicitor and has been a partner in international law firm Hogan Lovells for 25 years, specialising in EU and UK competition law. She has practised in London, Brussels and New York and led the competition practice in the firm’s London office for many years.

  • Marisa Cassoni has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1st April 2013 to 31 March 2015. She is a chartered accountant and finance professional with more than thirty five years of experience. Her early career was initially in audit but she progressed into advisory services including corporate finance, investigations and restructuring across a variety of industries and jurisdictions in the eighties. She moved into commerce joining the Prudential Group in London in the mid eighties where she progressed through a series of senior finance roles to the Finance Director of the UK Division. Between 2001 and 2005 she was the finance director of the former Post Office subsequently the Royal Mail. She left to join the John Lewis Partnership in 2006 as their finance director and retired last year. She has also held a number of non executive director positions in a variety of industries and has sat on regulatory and not for profit charitable boards.

  • Sarah Chambers has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member and a Specialist Panel member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. She is an expert in economic regulation, and in consumer and competition policy. Until 31st January 2013 she was a senior civil servant, most recently as a Director at the Department of Energy & Climate Change. Between 2008 and 2011 she was Director of Consumer & Competition Policy at the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, where she led major reviews of the competition regime and prepared for the transformation of the landscape of consumer institutions. She was Chief Executive of Postcomm, the postal services regulator, between 2004 and 2008. Before that she held various senior roles at the Department of Trade & Industry. She is currently a panellist for the Judicial Appointments Commission, and a member of the Bar Standards Board and the Civil Aviation Authority Consumer Panel. Sarah is also on the Advisory Board of the ESRC Centre for Competition Policy at the University of East Anglia.

  • John Harley has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He was a Partner at PWC until June 2000 when he became a Partner at Ernst & Young until his retirement in February 2011. His last three roles at Ernst & Young were European Head of TMT, Global Head of Client Strategy and finally Global Head of Private Equity. He is Deputy Chair of the University of Brighton and is a member of HEFCE’s Audit Committee. He is Chairman of Groundwork (London) and sits on Groundwork’s UK Board where he chairs their Finance & Audit Committee. He also acts as a Senior Advisor to Alvarez & Marsal and chairs the Kent Investors’ Network, a group of angel investors.

  • Rosalind Hedley-Miller has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member and a Specialist Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. She is a Managing Director of Commerzbank AG, where she has responsibility for the M&A Advisory department in London. She has worked at Commerzbank or its predecessor companies for over 30 years, having joined Kleinwort Benson from Schroders in 1979. She has previously been a non-executive director of Bejam Group and of TV-am. She has also been a member of the Industrial Development Advisory Board, an external member of the Finance Committee of the Oxford University Press and a trustee of the Rhodes Trust.

  • Michael Hutchings has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is an English solicitor with substantial experience in advising clients on UK and EU competition law. He worked for many years as a partner with a large law firm (Lovells, now HoganLovells), including four years running their Brussels office, where he advised clients on all aspects of EU law. Since then, he has been practising as an independent solicitor, specialising in competition law. He chairs a philanthropic foundation that makes substantial investments in charitable projects in East Africa. He was for many years closely involved with a leading international law institute, the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He was awarded an OBE in 2005 for services to international law

  • Ray King has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He was Chief Executive of Bupa Ltd between 2008 and 2012, having previously served as CFO since 2001. After studying Chemistry at Queens, Belfast, in 1974 he qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PWC. Until joining Bupa, he worked in senior financial and CFO roles in a range of industries including chemicals, utilities, IT and Drinks. Between 2004 and 2009 he was a non-executive director of Friends Provident plc where he also chaired the Audit Committee. He is currently a member of the Audit and Assurance Council of the FRC.

  • John Krumins has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is a banker with over 20 years experience in mergers and acquisitions in domestic and international markets. He has also worked extensively on capital raising and restructuring, in both the debt and equity markets, having held senior positions with Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Societe Generale. In his earlier career he worked as a management consultant for Strategic Planning Associates, focusing on the telecommunications, consumer and services sectors. He holds a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

  • Professor Stephen Littlechild has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member and a Specialist Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham, and Fellow, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. He is also an international consultant on competition, privatisation and regulation in the utility sector. He advised the UK government on the regulation of the privatised industries during the 1980s and has advised the World Bank, governments, regulatory agencies and regulated companies in many countries. He was the first Director General of Electricity Supply and head of the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) from 1989-98. Previously he was Professor of Commerce at the University of Birmingham (1975-89) and Member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission (1983-89). He has also been an Expert Member of the Airport Price Control Advisory Group of the Civil Aviation Authority (2005-9), and Commissioner at Postcomm (2008-11).

  • Jill May has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. She has worked as an investment banker for UBS and for S.G.Warburg & Co Ltd (acquired by the UBS Group in 1995) for 23 years and is an experienced mergers and acquisitions professional. At UBS she was Chairman of the UBS women’s network, All Bar None UK and was responsible for driving a number of diversity initiatives. She was a Trustee of the UBS Pension Fund from 2007 to 2010. She is on the Council of the National Trust, on the Council of Durham University and was Chairman of the 2012 Cancer Research Carol Concert at St Paul’s Cathedral. She is also a Non-Executive Director of Langham Industries.

  • Andrew Popham has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is a Chartered Accountant. From 1987 to 2012 he was a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, most recently as global head of compliance. From 2006 to 2010 he worked in Tokyo and Hong Kong as risk, quality and regulatory leader for PwC’s Asia-Pacific region. Before moving to Asia he was Vice President of FEE, the European Federation of Accountants, and a member of the UK Financial Reporting Review Panel. He is an external member of the audit committees of the National Trust and of SOAS, University of London.

  • Gavin Robert has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 May 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is a solicitor with over 20 years experience in EU/UK competition law, and has been a partner for 14 years with international law firm Linklaters (from which he retires as a partner in April 2013). He will teach a module on international merger control as part of the University of Cambridge Masters in Corporate Law programme from 2013-14

  • Jayne Scott has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. She has extensive experience as a non-executive director, currently holding Ministerial appointments with the Marine Management Organisation and the Professional Standards Authority. She was previously a non executive director and Audit Committee Chair of Ofgem, and Deputy Chairman of ENTRUST. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant, having worked for Price Waterhouse Coopers, Lothian Health Board and Fife Health Board. She won the Scottish Finance Director of the Year Award for the public sector in 1998. She now has her own consultancy company, the Scott Ross Partnership, which focuses on the health and education sectors.

  • Dr Graham Sharp has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is a Commissioner of the Gambling Commission and a member of the Accounts Commission for Scotland. He worked in the City for many years as a corporate financier where he was on the Board of Samuel Montagu & Co. After a number of years building a property investment company which he co-founded he entered academic life where he carried out research in corporate strategy focussing on the financial services sector. He then returned to corporate finance advising a number of companies based in Asia on expansion in Europe.

  • Bob Spedding has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He graduated with a law degree from Warwick University in 1975 and qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1978. He retired in 2011 after 25 years as a partner in KPMG where he worked with a wide range of organisations providing audit, transaction and advisory services. His final role at KPMG was as Head of Advisory Risk Management for KPMG Europe LLP. He has been a member of the Audit Committee for The Law Society since 2008 and Chair of The Audit Committee since 2010. He is a non-executive director, Chair of the Audit Committee and Member of the Remuneration Committee for the Coal Authority.

  • Jon Stern has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member and a Specialist Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is a Senior Visiting Fellow and a founder member of the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy (CCRP) in the Department of Economics at City University London, of which he was also Research Director. He has been a Senior Advisor at CEPA (Cambridge Economic Policy Associates) and is an Associate Researcher at EPRG, Cambridge. He was Associate Director of the Regulation Initiative at the London Business School from 1999-2004. Since 1989, he has worked extensively as an economic consultant and before that he spent over 15 years as an economist in the UK Government Economic Service. He is currently a member of the ORR academic panel. He has been a member of academic economist panels convened by Ofwat and Ofgem. He also regularly works as an economist peer reviewer for a range of institutions, including Defra and the FSA Consumer Panel.

  • Tim Tutton has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He is an expert in economic regulation, especially in the energy sector. He is currently an independent economic consultant and an Adjunct Professor in the Energy Futures Lab at Imperial College. Previously, he has been Director of Regulation at National Grid, Director of UK Utility Regulation at PwC and a Senior Adviser at Oxera.

  • John Wotton has been appointed as a Reporting Panel Member from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2015. He has practised as a City solicitor throughout his career specialising in corporate and commercial law, with a principal focus on EU and competition law, public procurement law and media regulation. He joined Allen & Overy on leaving law school and retired at the end of 2012 after serving the firm for 37 years as an articled clerk, assistant solicitor, partner and consultant. He served a President of the Law Society of England & Wales in 2011-12, after holding a number of other positions in the Society and now chairs the Society’s Education & Training Committee. He is a member of the Co-operation & Competition Panel for NHS-funded Services and the Court of the City of London Solicitors’ Company.

6.The Competition Commission is a statutory body set up by the Competition Act 1998 and replaced the old Monopolies and Mergers Commission. The Commission conducts in-depth inquiries into mergers, markets and the regulation of the major regulated industries. In most merger and market references the Commission is responsible for making decisions on the competition questions and for making and implementing decisions on appropriate remedies. Every inquiry is undertaken in response to a reference made to it by another authority, usually the Office of Fair Trading. The Commission has no power to conduct inquiries on its own initiative.

7.The Commission consists of a chairman, three deputy chairmen, four non-executive directors and around 31 Panel Members. There is a CEO and 164 staff. Eighteen of the current Panel Members appointments end 31 March 2013, hence the appointment of a large number of new members.

Reporting Panel Members are appointed to the Commission under paragraph 2(1)(b) of schedule 7 the Competition Act 1998.

8.Specialist Panel Members are appointed to the Commission under section 104 of the Utilities Act 2000, section 194(1) of the Communications Act 2003 and Article 15(9) of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992 for the purpose of the exercise by the Commission of any of its functions under or by virtue of the following regulations:

(a) any of the sections 23B to 23G(4) or section 41E of the Electricity Act 1986 (b) any of the sections 11C to 11H or section 56C of the Gas Act 1989 (c) section 12,14, 16A, 17K or 17P of the Water Industry Act 1991 (d) article 3 or 9 of the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2005 (e) section 193 of the Communications Act 2003 (f) article 15 of the Electricity (Northern Ireland) Order 1992

To see the government’s policy paper go to ‘Growth, competition and the competition regime: government response to consultation’.

9.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.