Gavyn Davies

Gavyn Davies

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Gavyn Davies, OBE
Order of the British Empire
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of the United Kingdom. The Order comprises five classes in civil and military divisions...

 (born 27 November 1950) was the chairman of the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 from 2001 until 2004, a former Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

 banker and a former economic advisor to the British Government. On 28 January 2004 he announced that he was resigning his BBC post following the publication of the Hutton Inquiry
Hutton Inquiry
The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee...

 report which heavily criticised the organisation.

Early life and business career


Davies was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge and Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College, Oxford
Balliol College , founded in 1263, is one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford in England but founded by a family with strong Scottish connections....

. He worked in Harold Wilson's Policy Unit from 1974–76 and then as an economic advisor to James Callaghan
James Callaghan
Leonard James Callaghan, Baron Callaghan of Cardiff, KG, PC , was a British Labour politician, who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1979 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1976 to 1980...

 from 1976-1979. Afterwards he had stints as Chief Economist at Simon & Coates and Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational bulge bracket investment banking and securities firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients...

. He was later promoted to international managing director for the bank. During this time he also served as one of the Chancellor of the Exchequer
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

's "wise men" during the 1992-1997 Parliament.

BBC period


In 1999 he chaired an inquiry into the future funding of the BBC. His suggestions - to sell off a portion of BBC Worldwide (the corporation's commercial wing) and to raise the television licence
Television licence
A television licence is an official licence required in many countries for the reception of television broadcasts...

 fee by around 20% in order to fund new digital channels - were swiftly rejected by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee.

In January 2001 he was appointed a vice-chairman of the BBC. He was promoted to chairman just 10 months later for a five-year term. In January 2004, he resigned after the publication of the Hutton Inquiry
Hutton Inquiry
The Hutton Inquiry was a 2003 judicial inquiry in the UK chaired by Lord Hutton, who was appointed by the Labour government to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of David Kelly, a biological warfare expert and former UN weapons inspector in Iraq.On 18 July 2003, Kelly, an employee...

. It heavily criticised the BBC's news reporting that Davies had supported. In his resignation statement he said he was "happy to accept ... ultimate responsibility" for everything the BBC does. However, he raised questions about the conclusions of Lord Hutton, including the question of the use of unverifiable sources and possible threats to the freedom of the press.

Davies has in the past donated part of his wealth to the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 of whom he had been a long-term supporter. His appointment as BBC chairman sparked allegations of cronyism
Cronyism
Cronyism is partiality to long-standing friends, especially by appointing them to positions of authority, regardless of their qualifications. Hence, cronyism is contrary in practice and principle to meritocracy....

 from Opposition political parties - Davies' wife Sue Nye
Sue Nye
Susan Jane Nye, Baroness Nye is the former Director of Government Relations and former diary secretary to ex-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown....

 was a private secretary of Prime Minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

 Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 and the pair are known to be good friends. Defenders of the appointment pointed out that Davies had been selected by a panel independent of Government. It has been suggested that the behaviour of Davies and Greg Dyke
Greg Dyke
Gregory "Greg" Dyke is a British media executive, journalist and broadcaster. Since the 1960s, Dyke has a long career in the UK in print and then broadcast journalism. He is credited with introducing 'tabloid' television to British broadcasting, and reviving the ratings of TV-am...

 during the David Kelly affair was in part due to a wish to demonstrate their independence of government. Since his resignation, he has become somewhat of a critic of the then Labour government.

Post BBC career


In 2005 he set up a $1.35 Billion hedge fund
Hedge fund
A hedge fund is a private pool of capital actively managed by an investment adviser. Hedge funds are only open for investment to a limited number of accredited or qualified investors who meet criteria set by regulators. These investors can be institutions, such as pension funds, university...

 to invest in macroeconomic situations. He wrote a weekly column on mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

, Gavyn Davies does the maths, on Thursdays for the The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

newspaper.

He is currently working as a founding partner of Active Private Equity and Prisma Capital Partners, as well as Chairman of Fulcrum Asset Management.

Since August 2010 he has written a blog on macroeconomics
Macroeconomics
Macroeconomics is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of the whole economy. This includes a national, regional, or global economy...

 for the Financial Times
Financial Times
The Financial Times is an international business newspaper. It is a morning daily newspaper published in London and printed in 24 cities around the world. Its primary rival is the Wall Street Journal, published in New York City....

.