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Leadsom’s CV leaves 3 unanswered questions

by Sam Ashworth-Hayes | 06.07.2016

Andrea Leadsom has made much of her financial experience both to explain that the economy wouldn’t take a hit if we quit the EU and justify why she should now be prime minister. It turns out that her experience may not be nearly as impressive as she claimed.

Speaking to Buzzfeed during the campaign about the effect of Brexit, Leadsom said: “My best expectation, with my 30 years of financial experience, is that there will not be an economic impact.”  

Since she became a candidate to be prime minister, Leadsom has continued to boast about her experience – though now, oddly enough, talking about 25 years rather than 30. For example, she told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I’ve been in financial services for 25 years before coming into parliament, running enormous teams, small teams, running start-up businesses, being part of a huge bank.”

Meanwhile, as long ago as 2010 Leadsom told the Treasury Select Committee that she was “running the investment team at Barclays” at the time of the Baring crisis.

Invesco Perpetual years

However, a former colleague at Invesco Perpetual, where Leadsom worked from 1999 to 2009 just before she became a politician, says that “she had no-one reporting to her”, “did not manage any teams, large or small, and she certainly did not manage any funds”.

Robert Stephens, writing in Reaction, continued:

“Last week, at my prompting, she corrected her CV with Wikipedia and Who’sWho, changing her title from the obviously incorrect Chief Investment Officer to the titles of Senior Investment Officer and Head of Corporate Governance.

“Her actual job was to work (sometimes part-time) on ‘special projects’, mostly for the Chief Investment Officer. These included for example negotiating pay terms for senior fund managers. Towards the end of her time, she advised on a couple of governance issues. As I understand it she had no-one reporting to her in either role, so the words Senior and Head are, one might say, superfluous.”

The Times reports that:

“Mrs Leadsom’s spokesman said that she had no involvement with investments at Invesco Perpetual and that ‘job titles can convey misapprehensions’. He said: ‘It looks as though the issue is that anyone who reads Andrea’s CV and attaches a lot of weight to that particular role may actually be under some slight misapprehension as to what it was she actually did.’”

Before Perpetual

The Times also reported that:

“In her previous job, at an investment fund run by her brother-in-law, Mrs Leadsom was registered as the marketing director. The MP claimed to hold the role of managing director at De Putron Fund Management Ltd from 1997 to 1999. Documents at Companies House, however, show that she was registered as its marketing director and worked there for 13 months from 1998.”

Before she joined her brother-in-law’s firm, Leadsom worked at Barclays and its investment banking offshoot, BZW.  The Guardian says it contacted “several senior City sources” who worked at BZW and Barclays during the time Leadsom was there, “but could find none who could recall her spell at the bank”. Stephens wrote that her job at Barclays/BZW “was a largely administrative one.”

Leadsom’s new CV

Reaction reports a spokesman for Andrea Leadsom saying: “It is both surprising and disappointing that The Times based a significant part of a Leading Article on a single, uncorroborated, letter without giving Mrs Leadsom the opportunity to respond to the allegations made in that letter. Her CV, which we will be publishing later this morning, comprehensively disproves the letter’s assertions.”

Leadsom2

The CV has now been published on the Reaction website. But it does not comprehensively disprove either Stephens’ or The Times’ assertions. It is a set of bullet points, listing the firms where she worked, but giving precious little of what roles she performed. The CV, as well as some of other statements made by Leadsom and her allies, leave three main unanswered questions about her purported financial experience.

  1. During which period was she running “enormous” teams?
  1. Was she running the investment team at Barclays at the time of the Barings crisis?
  1. Was she De Putron Fund Management’s managing director? And, if so, was she running the business?

InFacts gave Leadsom the opportunity to respond to these questions. She didn’t take it.

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Edited by Hugo Dixon

6 Responses to “Leadsom’s CV leaves 3 unanswered questions”

  • It’s all rather puzzling. If I remember rightly, an editorial in the Sunday Times had recommended its readers to vote Leave, on the assumption that, as first suggested by Boris Johnson, there would be no need to invoke Article 50 in a hurry, and there would be time for the EU to think again and renegotiate.

    And here we have Mrs Leadsom, supposedly horrified that Mr Johnson decided to pull out, but proposing a radically different approach to invoke Article 50 as soon as possible.

    And here too we have Mr Johnson giving her his support.

    How can you rely on the judgment of either of them?

  • Someone would have to be mad to press the Article 50 big red button. “Germany says so” is not a good enough reason why the UK cannot have separate bilateral negotiations with the EU outside the Treaty of Lisbon framework – we can insist upon them on the basis that Article 50 is unworkable. As Leadsom professes to have worked in corporate governance she should know this ….. or maybe she didn’t and just made the tea.

  • Just noticed that Andrea Leadsom says in her CV she was a trainee broker at the London Metal Exchange between 1985-1987, the same time as NIgel Farage was working there. I wonder if they ever met ?