I am a professional economist with thirty-five years of experience gained in the public sector, the City and consultancy, including stints at HM Treasury, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Capital Economics. I am now self-employed and work independently.
My last employment was as Chief Economist at the Institute of Economic Affairs, the educational charity and free-market think tank. I left that role in 2018, but I continue to donate my time and expertise to support the activities of the IEA, especially schools and university outreach, on a ‘pro bono’ basis.
In addition, I hold the honorary position of IEA Economics Fellow, am a member of the IEA’s Academic Advisory Council, and sit on the IEA’s Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC). These roles are all unpaid. (For more information on the IEA itself, including funding, try these FAQs.)
Previously, I was a Director, Chief Global Economist and Head of Commodities Research at the leading independent consultancy, Capital Economics, where I worked from 2004 to 2017. I regularly presented to clients across North America, Europe and Asia and was also a leading member of the Capital Economics team, headed by Roger Bootle, which won the £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize in 2012 (for the best plan to break up the euro).
I am frequently in the media, including TV and radio, and write for a variety of websites, newspapers and magazines. I have also provided expert testimony to many parliamentary select committees (on topics including the economic outlook, fiscal policy, the cost of living, international trade and Brexit), and have advised the OBR.
For those obsessed with such things, my previous career in City means that I am now fortunate enough to be financially independent. All my educational, policy and social media activities are therefore unpaid, including everything I do for the IEA, Speakers for Schools and the RSA.
I still earn some income from consultancy (mainly by providing economic input to the investment committees for two family trusts and a firm of chartered financial planners), and from writing and speaking engagements (including fees for articles published by the Telegraph and Spectator). I also have income from investments (which I do not actively manage).
And to avoid any doubt, I am ‘free from outside control; not subject to anyone else’s authority; not dependent on another for livelihood or subsistence; and am capable of thinking and acting for myself’. (Yes, I have just looked up ‘independent’ in the dictionary!)
I graduated with a first class honours degree in Economics from Cambridge University (Clare College) in 1987 and have further qualifications both in economics (an MPhil, also from Cambridge) and in law (the post-graduate diploma from the College of Law, gained when I was Head of Economics at what was then the Lord Chancellor’s Department).
In 2018, representing Cambridge, I won the annual ‘Clash of the Titans’ forecasting competition for professional economists, beating Dr Andrew Sentance (LSE) and Professor Patrick Minford (Oxford).
Aside from economics, my interests include running, cycling and fishing. I am also a Gooner.