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Top City economist appointed to direct Mayor’s economic strategy


The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has today appointed Gerard Lyons, former Chief Economist and Group Head of Global Research at Standard Chartered as his Chief Economic Adviser.

Gerard Lyons is a recognised expert on the global and UK economy and during his 13 years at Standard Chartered he has held a range of senior roles on the bank’s committees. He was previously Chief Economist and Executive Director at DKB International and Chief UK Economist at Swiss Bank Corporation.

Mr Lyons has been a regular speaker at major domestic and world financial conferences and meetings, including the annual meeting of the IMF, the annual and spring meetings of the Institute for International Finance, the World Economic Forum in Davos and at many high profile events here in the UK.

He is a respected forecaster on the global economy. In August 2008, the month before the collapse of Lehman’s Brothers, he was one of only two UK economists then predicting an imminent deep recession for the UK, forecasting a GDP fall of 1.6 per cent versus a consensus rise of 0.9 per cent. He was ranked number one forecaster globally by Bloomberg (out of over 360) in 2010 and 2011. Last December, against the consensus, he predicted both the UK and euro area would both be in recession this year

He will provide the Mayor with strategic advice and intelligence on the economic outlook for London and the wider UK, as well as Europe, the emerging economies, and the United States, in an effort to ensure the right policies are in place to support the capital’s businesses and maintain its economic strength and global competitiveness now and in the future.

As part of this role, he will be available to offer strategic advice to the Mayor, the Deputy Mayor for Business and Enterprise, and the business and economic teams as they seek to deliver on the Mayor’s jobs and growth priorities and drive forward apprenticeships and skills programmes.

Mr Lyons will particularly focus on London’s world leading financial services sector and the current economic and financial developments in the City in order to maintain its position as the world’s leading financial centre.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “Gerard has decades of experience analysing the economic outlook at all levels and is renowned for his forecasting to major institutions in the City and on the international stage. It is increasingly evident that if London’s businesses are to stay ahead of the game and compete in the global market, we need the best strategies and policies informed by the very best overarching economic advice. I believe that Gerard will bring that expertise to my excellent team at City Hall.”

Gerard Lyons said: “It is a great honour to have been asked by the Mayor to advise him on economic issues and to help contribute to the continued success of London as it positions itself in the changing global economy"

Notes to editors

Gerard Lyons stepped down as Standard Chartered’s Chief Economist and Group Head of Global Research earlier this month. He will take up the position of Chief Economic Adviser to the Mayor on 2nd January 2013 and will be paid £127,200 pa and will work for 29.6 hours per week.

2. The Mayor is entitled to make up to 12 appointments under section 67 (1) (a and b) of the GLA Act 1999, often referred to as the ten plus two (10+2). The Mayor has appointed Mr Lyons as one of the 10.

3. Mr Lyons began his career as an economist with Chase Manhattan in the City in 1985.

Prior to his role at Standard Chartered he was Chief Economist and Executive Director at DKB International and Consultant to the Dai-Ichi Kangyo Bank Tokyo between 1990 and 1999 and Chief UK Economist at Swiss Bank Corporation between 1986 and 1990

Mr Lyons has twice topped the Sunday Times annual forecasting table in the past decade and was widely credited with accurate predictions ahead of the financial crisis. His Standard Chartered team was rated by Bloomberg the number one global forecaster in 2010 and 2011.

In 2000 he co-authored the ’Report of the Commission on the £ Sterling’ for the then leader of the UK Opposition, William Hague, and in 2006 he produced ’The Qatar 2020 Report’ for the Emir.

He is currently chair of TheCityUK’s Independent Economists Group, and has been Vice Chairman of the 48 Group Club - focused on strengthening China-UK relations - since 2009. He has also attended meetings of the Panel of Economic Advisors to the Mayor of London.

Mr Lyons has testified before several UK Parliamentary Committees, the US Senate Banking Committee, and the US Congressional Foreign Affairs Committee, and he has spoken at the EU China Summit in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Mr Lyons has written widely on domestic and international economic issues.


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