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Jim O’Neill speaker

Jim O’Neill

speaker location icon London, UK

Commercial Secretary to HM Treasury (2015-2016)

Chair, Chatham House

Former Chief Economist at Goldman Sachs & creator of the BRICs acronym

Lord Jim O’Neill is renowned economist, policy adviser, author and commentator on the economy.  He is currently the Chairman of Chatham House.

He stepped down from Government, having been Commercial Secretary to the Treasury from May 2015 until September 2016. During that time, and since Spring 2014, Lord O’Neill had chaired a formal Review into AMR (antimicrobial resistance) reporting its final recommendations in May 2016, and contributed to high level agreement at the UN in September.  Until October 2014, Jim chaired the Cities Growth Commission in the UK, when it provided its final recommendations, which formed the impetus for the government’s policy on devolution as well as the concept of the Northern Powerhouse.

Jim worked for Goldman Sachs from 1995 until April 2013, he was their Chief Economist for many years, later becoming their Chairman in 2010.  Before 1995, Jim had worked for Swiss Bank Corporation, Marine Midland Bank and Bank of America, starting in the City in 1982.

Jim is the creator of the well known acronym “BRIC” and has conducted much research about these and other emerging economies. He has published various books on the topic, and in early 2014 made a documentary series for the BBC entitled MINT:The Next Economic Giants. He writes frequently on these and many other international economic and financial topics for leading international media.

He is one of the founding trustees of the UK educational charity, SHINE, and following his move into government, he became their lifetime President.

Jim has served on many educational foundation boards, as well as having served on the boards of a number of international organisations and think tanks.  Jim served as a non-executive director of Manchester United before it returned to private ownership in 2005. He is the Honorary Chair of Economics at Manchester University.

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, from City University for his services to banking and finance, and from Sheffield University in recognition of his contribution to international economics.

Our Comment

"As well as being an internationally respected economist, Jim is also an active supporter of educational charities. He is one of the founding trustees of the UK educational charity, SHINE. Jim also serves on the Advisory Board of the Educational Endowment Foundation (EEF), and is on the boards of the Sutton Trust, Teach for All and a number of other charities specialising in education. In September 2013, Jim became a Non-Executive Director of the Department of Education in the UK. Jim is currently the Chairman of Chatham House. A well-known football fan, Jim previously served as a non-executive director of Manchester United before it returned to private ownership in 2005."

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