Paul Myners, “tour de force” in the financial crisis, dies at the age of 73 | Paul Myners

Paul Myners, the city great and former labor minister appointed to the government to deal with the 2008 financial crisis, has died aged 73.

Considered an influential figure in both the square mile and politics for his time advising former Prime Minister Gordon Brown on the historic bailout of Britain’s banking system, Baron Myners, of Truro in the county of Cornwall, passed away in the early hours of this Morning.

His family confirmed in a statement that Myners had “passed away peacefully” at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital in London.

Adopted from a Bath orphanage by a Cornish couple aged three, he started out as a teacher at a city center school, then became a financial reporter for the Daily Telegraph before moving into finance with the famous London investment bank NM Rothschild.

Myners was chairman of the Guardian Media Group (GMG), publisher of the Guardian and Observer newspapers, between 2000 and 2008 when he resigned to take up his post as a minister in Brown’s government as the global financial system imploded.

The former prime minister paid tribute to Myners, describing him as a “tour de force” during the crisis.

“My thoughts are with Paul’s family,” Brown said. “After a successful career in finance [he] was persuaded in 2008 to enter public service and was a tour de force, helping to nationalize key banks and producing a plan to overcome the global financial crisis. His charity work in his native Cornwall will be long remembered.

Just 20 days after taking office as city minister, Myners was thrust deep to help orchestrate the bailout of Brown’s bank, which led to the taxpayer taking multi-billion dollar equity stakes. books in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group after its merger with HBOS.

Nick Macpherson, the former permanent secretary to the Treasury, said the drafting at Myners had been an “inspired appointment” during the emergency. “He played a leading role in resolving the financial crisis. Brilliant. Mercurial. Irreverent. Full of business sense. It was a privilege to know him. »

Carolyn McCall, the chief executive of ITV who ran GMG when Myners was chairman, said he would be “dearly missed”.

“Paul was terrific with a brilliant brain, an entrepreneurial spirit and a prodigious work ethic. He didn’t suffer from fools at all, was a badass and had a fearsome sense of humor. I loved working with him and learned a lot when he chaired GMG.

GMG Chairman Neil Berkett said: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of Paul Myners. As Chairman, he successfully led Guardian Media Group through a period of great change in our industry.

Earlier in his career, Myners had been chairman and former chief executive of fund manager City Gartmore, where he made a name for himself in finance after transforming the firm into a multibillion-pound investment house. Under his leadership, its funds grew from £1.2 billion in 1985 to £75 billion in 2001.

In 2000, he held non-executive directorships at several companies, including chairmanship of Marks & Spencer during a tense period when the high street stalwart faced a potential offer from retailer Philip Green.

Stuart Rose, whom Myners parachuted in as managing director of M&S in 2004 to revitalize the ailing main street stalwart, said he had lost his best friend.

“He was a rare breed. Without overdoing it, how can I describe it? He was truly a beacon in a sea of ​​mediocrity,” said the Tory peer, who is now chairman of Asda.

“He stood out, he was a man of immense wisdom. Intellectually very strong, a self made man humble and loyal to the core. In this world around us today in business and life public, he had a huge moral compass, he instinctively knew what was right and wrong and stood up for the little man.

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Myners refused to open formal talks on an M&S sale when approached by Green, before the former Arcadia retail mogul dropped his multibillion-pound bid for the company in 2004.

“He was irreverently funny. He could absolutely make you laugh out loud, but he could also be ruthless,” Rose said.

Myners was also instrumental in compiling a landmark government review of institutional investing and chaired the Low Pay Commission. He entered the House of Lords in 2008 after being made a life peer and remained on the Labor benches until 2014 when he became an interbank peer. He was appointed chairman of the UK branch of international public relations firm Edelman in 2015, a position he held until his death.

“Few people bring such a depth of knowledge and experience to the top of the private and public sectors, and Paul has always done so with a strong social and moral conscience,” said Ed Williams, president of Edelman in Europe. “He also brought fun and laughs and was able to transition effortlessly from automatons to pop culture. I want to pay tribute to his incredible contribution to public life over many decades.

Myners is survived by his five children and five grandchildren. In a statement, the family said: “With great sadness we announce the loss of our beloved father Lord Paul Myners (1948-2022). He passed away peacefully in the early hours of this morning (Sunday) at the Chelsea & Westminster Hospital. He will be missed deeply and in our hearts forever.”

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