Jan 24 2022

In memory of Paul Myners (1948-2022)

LSE is deeply saddened by the death of Paul Myners, Lord Myners, who died aged 73 on January 16.

The former Marks and Spencer chairman and City minister in Gordon Brown’s government, joined LSE in 2015 as Chair of the Court of Governors and Council. He used his business and financial skills to ensure that the School remained financially robust and to underpin its strategic aims. In particular, he supported the School’s ambitious campus development, including the Centre Building and the Marshall Building. He also oversaw a review of School governance and management structures to reinforce effective management and oversight.

A bold and colourful character from humble beginnings, he was committed to the role of education in facilitating social mobility. He supported the vision of the school to engage, to modernise, to attract the best students and academics, and to compete internationally with the world’s top universities.

In an interview with the Financial Times published in 2016, Lord Myners said he found his work with LSE very fulfilling and that he enjoyed interacting with students on campus. He explained how he relished going to the School’s Garrick restaurant to speak with them to find out how their experiences could be further improved.

He combined his posts at LSE with several financial roles, including positions at RIT Capital Partners, Autonomous Research and Cevian Capital, and at Edelman, the PR firm.

His distinguished and varied career began with short stints as a teacher and a journalist. He moved into the financial sector in 1974 as a junior portfolio manager at N M Rothschild & Sons and was appointed to the board just three years later. He then became CEO of the pension fund manager Gartmore in 1985 and its Chair in 1987, spending the majority of his City career there until 2001. He was awarded a CBE in 2001.

From 2004 to 2008 he chaired the Tate, presiding over a period of considerable development in both the collection and the fabric of the galleries themselves. He was the Chair of Marks and Spencer from 2004-06. Other past chairmanships include the Guardian Media Group, Land Securities and the Low Pay Commission. He was also a member of the Court of the Bank of England from 2004-2008. These chairmanships were relinquished when he was created a Life Peer in 2008 and became Gordon Brown’s City minister, responsible for overseeing the financial services sector during the global financial crisis, including leading the historic bank rescue package. He sat in the House of Lords as a Labour peer until 2014, resigning to become a non-affiliated member before joining the crossbench group in 2015. In 2016, he became University Chancellor of the University of Exeter.

Outside business and public service, he was a passionate supporter of Chelsea Football Club.

Gordon Brown led tributes to Lord Myners: “After a successful career in finance, he was persuaded in 2008 to enter public service and was a tower of strength, helping nationalise key banks and producing a plan to overcome the global financial crisis. His charitable work in his native Cornwall will be long remembered.”

Written by Alan Elias JP, former Vice Chair and Acting Chair of Court and Council.

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2 Responses to In memory of Paul Myners (1948-2022)

  1. Martin Loughlin says:

    I was saddened to hear of Paul Myners’ sudden and untimely death last month. Appointed Chair of LSE’s Council at a critical moment in its history, he took up the task energetically and with considerable verve. Having lost many of its senior officers in quick succession and with a Director who by 2015 was losing the confidence of the academic staff, the School desperately needed clear and confident leadership. Paul did not disappoint.

    Quickly acquiring a sense of how the School was functioning, he set about strengthening its system of strategic governance and supporting its management team. That this was done so speedily and efficiently was entirely down to his charismatic leadership. But apparently not efficiently enough. Paul already had a reputation as a maverick from his many successful years in the world of finance and unfortunately we were to experience that side of his character when, frustrated with what he perceived to be the slow pace of change, in 2016 he abruptly threw in the towel. This was a great shame. Without his drive, the governance review he had set in train was quickly brought to a conclusion without having been worked through as diligently as was required, and we continue to live with that legacy under our present governance and managerial arrangements. With respect to his LSE sojourn, Paul was a star in the firmament: he shone brightly, offered us a clear orientation but, alas, burned out too quickly. For those of us who had the privilege of working with him over this all too short period I’ve no doubt that he will be remembered fondly for his sharp intellect, sound advice and, above all, as someone who was a pleasure to work with.

    Martin Loughlin, Professor of Public Law
    VCAB/Council Member 2013-16.

  2. Diane Wilde says:

    A strong, tough, and good man…he is the kind of person who should stay on this planet for longer….Diane Wilde…ex fund manager and head of Gartmore Scotland

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