Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey to pick successor to economist

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey will soon make possibly the most consequential hiring decision of his tenure as he picks a successor to outgoing Chief Economist Andy Haldane, Bloomberg reports.

The appointment is the only Monetary Policy Committee member that the central bank chief oversees himself, with all others selected by the Treasury.

The winning candidate will not only manage a major forecasting operation, but can also expect to become one of the BOE’s most public faces as its leading in-house intellectual.

For Bailey, the bank’s 121st consecutive white, male governor, the selection will also reveal his determination to combat the lack of diversity within its upper echelons. Institutions from the International Monetary Fund to the World Bank and OECD have already blazed a trail there with female chief economist appointments.

“They are really looking for the absolute perfect influential economist that can lead and add diversity,” said Sanjay Raja, U.K. economist at Deutsche Bank AG. “Only a handful of candidates will genuinely meet the criteria.”

Raja says they might include three former BOE officials: current Treasury Chief Economist Clare Lombardelli, Jagjit Chadha, director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, and Rain Newton-Smith, chief economist at the Confederation of British Industry.

There’s no obvious internal candidate, even though the last two incumbents, Haldane and Spencer Dale, won the job through promotion.

With headhunters searching far and wide, a surprise winner, perhaps from U.S. academia, can’t be excluded.

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