In cooperation with the Mill Reef Club
Context and why this was important
We met to discuss the state of the global economy and its implications for global finance and the Transatlantic community, exploring in particular the potential impact of technology, China and Brexit. We asked if another financial crisis was on the cards, what tools were available to deal with it and what finance could do to sustain growth, progress and democracy.
Dr Lawrence H. Summers, former US Secretary of the Treasury and Lord Hill, former European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, co-chaired and John Micklethwait, editor in chief, Bloomberg provided concluding comments. We had strong representation from the UK and US across the financial sector. We mostly lacked Chinese voices and although we had European financial expertise it was largely from the British perspective with one or two exceptions.
The global economy and its vulnerabilities
Dr Summers led a discussion of “secular stagnation”, his shorthand for today’s unusual financial conditions. Although we were at a positive point in the economic cycle and global growth had recovered to a degree, we were forgetting that what in previous periods would have been extraordinary emergency measures remained in place. The economic accelerator pedal was still pressed to the floor. Interest rates remained close to zero or in fact negative. In the US, tax cuts had further benefitted business. Major corporations were paying close to zero corporation tax through a variety of measures and could access additional capital at very low cost. But a bonanza of investment and gains in productivity had not yet resulted. There was no apparent prospect of hitting a 2 percent inflation target.
Possible causes for these unusual conditions were proposed and discussed. There was chronic saving over investment with businesses and individuals amassing large piles of cash. There was much more money than sufficiently attractive investment opportunities. Alternative explanations were that people were anticipating crisis or planning for longer lifetimes. Either way, this was leading to the current concentration of wealth rather than its distribution. Perhaps the most important underlying cause was the virtualisation and “demassification” of the economy. Physical assets were becoming smaller and cheaper – for example the progression from mainframe computers to smart phones and the Cloud. Businesses that needed fewer people due to automation could make do with smaller offices. People’s preferences (in the US at least) were shifting from suburban large houses to urban apartments.
Meanwhile, new areas of work were being automated. The “middle offices” of asset managers was one white collar example, through the use of new software. It might make sense to re-shore factories, but this would be because the costs of automated production by robots would be similar at home in the West as abroad. The re-shored factories would not be returning with jobs (note that this was contested in Ditchley’s 2017 conference on the future of manufacturing, with leaders of manufacturing arguing that modern manufacturing produced jobs in design, distribution, logistics, marketing and advertising rather than on the factory floor).
To address all this would require a coordination of fiscal and monetary policy which was not yet evident, with central banks and Treasuries diverging in approach and incentives. It would require an expense of political capital and political coordination across party lines that was not currently viable in most western capitals. All this made us very vulnerable to a downturn in the global economy and without the standard monetary tool – raising interest rates – at our disposal. Other risks were gathering – extended confrontation with China; European and British introspection over the sustainability of the euro, and Brexit. Although the under capitalisation of institutions that was exposed by the 2008 financial crisis had been addressed, liquidity would still be an issue in a future crisis and, despite what the stress tests said, a number of institutions would be vulnerable, with a risk of contagion.
Thinking was urgently needed to develop radical centrist treatments both for conditions now and to deal with the vulnerability of the global financial system and consequently the global economy to a downturn or crisis. The problem was that this demanded change and human beings arguably “only change in response to pain”. We may have to face renewed pain before we do what is necessary. These points echoed throughout the discussion.
In 2008, the massive financial stimulus package put in place by the US had global effect due to the role of the dollar as the global reserve currency – “German banks were saved by the Fed”. It was not a given that this would happen now. As explored below, there was no sign yet of China being ready to play a stabilising global role in tandem and comparisons were made with the 1920s depression during the transition from one global economic hegemony to another, when the UK was willing to take action but not able and the US able but not willing. There was an increased risk that in the aftermath of the next financial crisis we would not be able to avert a prolonged depression as was avoided in 2008.
“Our problem is China’s strength, not China’s cheating” was a statement contested at the edges but not overturned in its essence. Participants had abundant anecdotal evidence of Chinese malfeasance on joint ventures, intellectual property and access to markets. But the consensus was that the correct response to China was western economic renewal through increased innovation and productivity, combined with greater wariness and vigilance, rather than simply exclusion, protection and punishment. That said, there was no doubt about the popularity of President Trump’s tough stance on China and almost every presidential candidate would run on the basis of the President not being tough enough, rather than too tough. China’s lobby in the US had evaporated with surprising speed and across the world, apart from Russia. China was winning few genuine friends despite the large investments of the belt and road initiative.
There was debate about how much of a challenge China represented to American supremacy, both military and economic. Much of the language used was similar to that used over concerns about Japan in the 1980s and about Russia over the space race and Sputnik. But the majority view was that this time was different. This was not just a question of scale. There were many things that China was doing right. It was still getting great people to go into government and although there was widespread quiet criticism of aspects of President Xi’s rule, political cohesion was still strong and China’s return to greatness and sustained economic growth appreciated. China’s ability to plan centrally and for the long term also had distinctive advantages in an age of technological platforms determined by standards and regulations, with 5G a powerful example. China had a sophisticated view of the world and was integrated with it in contrast to the isolation of the Soviet Union. What some saw as a failure to develop a traditional financial sector was seen by others as powerful innovation enabled by a lack of a legacy sector. China was leading on the integration of banking and payments with communications through apps like WeChat which might replace traditional banking altogether.
Despite its strengths China had numerous vulnerabilities and would not necessarily be resilient when faced with economic shocks. The regime appears to be planning for this with its emphasis on security and surveillance. President Xi was not primarily interested in the economy and the standing committee had few economic specialists. (Comment: a current Chinese joke is that the two people most historically interested in the Chinese economy are Deng Xiaoping and Donald Trump). Apart from 5G and mobile payments, many of the technological areas where China leads had a link to control and surveillance. There were risks to the Chinese economic miracle from increasing Party control and intrusion into Chinese business. Might we be approaching a Yukos moment, when President Vladimir Putin reasserted his personal control over Russia’s oligarchs? Would the anti-corruption drive go too far? Jack Ma of Ali Baba was cited as an example, having been (it was alleged) forced to step back from leadership of the company and to give up his personal ownership of Ali Baba’s technology. At the heart of China’s potential weakness was the unanswered question of whether China could grow a vibrant modern internal market whilst keeping such tight political control. Some saw continued elite interest in education for children and assets abroad as evidence of hedging on future stability, whilst others noted that foreign educated Chinese now tended to return home (“the turtles” as the Chinese called them) as the opportunities were greater.
At the strategic level, China appeared to have determined for now that it wanted to be the dominant power in the Indo-Pacific but, as yet, with the exception of development of capabilities in the Arctic, there was no sign that it aspired to replace the US at the global level. There was not a consensus view on how effective the belt and road initiative would be in generating new long-term trading partners. The intention seemed to some extent to be to keep China’s excess construction workers busily employed. On the other hand, China’s pursuit of assets in southern Europe was noted, with the example given of the Piraeus harbour and Portuguese utilities.
For its part, the US was not ready to concede hegemony in the Indo-Pacific to China. There was a debate over how hard to push back but there was close to American consensus that the time to confront China on behaviours was now, not in ten years’ time. It was unlikely that China would ever again be allowed to buy into American semi-conductor technologies. There was a big difference between having access to the patented information and having the detailed know-how to produce chips at scale and quality. Chinese PhD applications were being scrutinised much more carefully and universities were being urged to be more restrictive. As a result, China was increasingly drawing on Russian technology, especially for military applications. Energy supply, especially gas, was seen as a powerful lever against China but it might be premature to apply it, and ‘up the ante’ too much.
Of interest for the global economy against this background of rising tensions between the US and China, was the particular relationship between China and the dollar. Sixty percent of global trade is conducted in dollars and the dollar remains the world’s reserve currency. The euro was unlikely to challenge it any time soon given concerns about a future Eurozone crisis centred around Italy. The yuan was also ruled out as China would not want to open its capital markets sufficiently. This meant that the US would remain the lender of last resort even as its share of the global economy shrank in relative terms. In one sense this was good for the US but in another it raised questions, as highlighted above, on the Fed’s ability to respond to a global financial crisis in the decisive way it did in 2008. China was seen as opaque, its figures on growth unreliable, with the belief that real growth is now much lower than in the past. For some, all this deepened uncertainty about the stability of the global economy.
Brexit, the UK and Europe
Lord Hill led a discussion on the implications of Brexit for both the UK and Europe. The future financial services relationship between the UK and Europe was not yet at all clear with the draft agreement, itself not yet accepted by the British parliament of course, only containing a few headlines. For most financial services players, Brexit was a second order issue at present, trumped by frustration with political paralysis and fear, justified or otherwise, of a radical Labour government. The main government players were split with the Bank of England and Treasury not of the same mind. We were in a political mess – the result of dishonesty during the referendum campaign and lots of wishful thinking. A British general election was likely at some point in the next few months in order to try to break the deadlock. Mrs May in the meantime was likely to continue to try to get her deal through [note: since overtaken by events], with a strange dependency on bad news for the Conservatives as the most likely means of persuading the Euro-sceptic rebels in her party to come around. A vote for some form of the deal was just about possible but remained unlikely.
The major states in Europe knew that the EU needed a capital markets capability that it lacked, as an alternative to London. But, at present, its development looked politically impossible. It was equally politically unacceptable, however, for the Eurozone to remain dependent on the City. There was a risk that frustrated continental regulators could impose death on the City by a thousand cuts, with precise knowledge of what small changes would hurt most. The UK would have no locus to challenge or to shape the regulations for as long as we remained in limbo between full membership of the EU and the exit. Even after we had left, we should not place too much confidence on “equivalence” (acceptance of another system by EU financial regulators) – this was firstly a political judgement and not just a technical process.
Most of those present were convinced that a Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn would be bad for financial services, given the ideological assumption that financial services had little social value and drove inequality. Views of the impact of likely Labour policies on the British economy ranged from near neutral to disastrous but there would not be much wider effect on the global economy. Labour policies were expected to include a wealth tax, a fiscal transaction tax, greater taxes on high incomes and so on. Labour might seek to bring the Bank of England back under political control. The departure of financial institutions and talent from London would be accelerated. A flight of capital would result in capital controls being imposed with tough sanctions against any institutions which helped circumvent them.
Attacks on the City were expected to be popular because of the legacy of 2008. John McDonnell, as a potential chancellor, was seen as clever, impressive and determined but also ultimately wrong because of the existence of an integrated global financial system and the impossibility of escaping it to build socialism in a single country whilst maintaining reasonable prosperity. A fiscal crisis should be expected. There was a hypothetical discussion of whether a Labour government in fiscal trouble would be more likely to accept Chinese financial support than support from the US and/or the IMF. If Labour continued to gain in the polls, pressure in the Conservatives would grow for a new prime minister. If, as would be likely, a strong Brexit supporter was chosen to replace Mrs May, the Conservatives would probably split, with a Remain faction joining the Independent group (now known as Change UK). As yet, however, this faction was ineffectual and without a real leader. No matter what the pressures, not much was going to happen until the UK had worked through its political paralysis and collective identity crisis. (This might take some years, but we will call when we are done.)
Interestingly, no one in the group spoke up loudly for avoiding or revoking Brexit. Disastrous as it might be, most accepted it had to happen for political consensus to be rebuilt and lasting divisions across the country averted. There was concern that if Scotland were to leave the Union then the tension between the London-dominated South and the marginalised feeling North of England would grow.
In contrast to this somewhat gloomy line of thought, there was close to consensus in this largely Anglo-Saxon group that the prospects for the EU were worse post-Brexit, with financial crisis more likely in the EU than in the UK. At the core of this judgement is the unlikelihood, with both Merkel and Macron weakened, of the promised exchange of French domestic reform for German financial integration. Some were admiring of Merkel and Mario Draghi’s collective performance, others foresaw Merkel giving Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer a “hospital pass”, with a difficult future ahead for Germany, including concerns about the automobile industry and the possibility that Italy’s long run of defying predictions of disaster would come to an end with dire consequences for the euro. Merkel and the Germans generally were criticised as tone deaf, not understanding that what they saw as principled support for financial discipline was seen in the rest of the EU as naked German self-interest and a refusal to share the economic benefits accrued from membership of the euro. Without the UK and with President Trump in the White House, the EU would move further toward collaborative capitalism with strong French influence over finance. This would lead to tension with the small northern states, which had long used the UK as a shield and excuse, and eventually with Germany.
The way out for both the UK and the EU was probably some form of concentric circles but there was a long political road to travel to get there and lots of obstacles in the way.
Even if the UK did extract itself from the EU, the path to a purer liberal form of capitalism advocated by some was not straightforward and would run counter to the concerns of many who had voted for Brexit on the basis of protection of local economies and local identities. There was little prospect of the UK becoming a Singapore-style economy. We would continue to adhere to international standards in finance.
Inequality, localism and internationalism, meritocracy and aristocracy
Everyone acknowledged the increasing damage to politics and social cohesion being wrought by growing inequality and a widespread sense of inequality of opportunity and unfairness in society. The financial roots were clear – the tendency of modern economic processes to concentrate wealth; chronic saving instead of investment; the changes being wrought on the job market by automation and AI. The electorate had been told – forcefully and repeatedly – that a rising tide of prosperity would raise all boats. Globally it had, of course, but at the local level in the West it hadn’t and those left behind were feeling betrayed and then angry as they saw the internationally connected and financially sophisticated continue to get richer.
Added to this for some was a sense that the values of a fast-evolving urban elite were being imposed on a slower changing suburban and rural hinterland. Social mores were part of this but especially immigration and fear of immigration. It was noted that meritocracy was originally a term coined in the 1950s to criticise the rise of a new elite. The American sporting analogy offered up was of people who had been “born on third base but who thought they had hit a triple”. Aristocrats generally knew they had been lucky. Meritocrats tended to forget the luck and to focus on their merit. Another factor was that aristocrats tended to be rooted in communities, whereas meritocrats tended to leave them behind. Increasingly, this extended to choice of life partner. More and more, people were choosing partners from their own social background with fewer opportunities to meet people from elsewhere. Where there was variety was in the international mix – London boy marries New York girl. This was adding to the separation of the international city (and City) and the rest of the country.
(Comment: it would be interesting to compare and contrast rural and urban DNA genomes to see if they are diverging yet, as they surely will over time.)
The irony of this group discussing all this at Mill Reef was not lost on any of us but also it was noted that Mill Reef, like Ditchley, was strongly linked to its local community, providing good quality local jobs for generations. The new problem was not necessarily the fact of inequalities in wealth, which have always been with us, but the breaking of connections between a richer international class and a poorer national class.
Technology and capital markets
Concerns over the possible unintended effects of technology in finance contended with appreciation of the efficiencies and convenience it was delivering. “The algorithms had won”, with trading now dominated by software. Combined with the domination of passive index tracking investment, however, this looked like “an accident waiting to happen”. There were fears that “circuit breakers” were insufficient and that, even with limits set on trading losses, flash crashes could happen more frequently. The proliferation and diversification of markets was creating “dark pools of capital” and often institutions did not know how leveraged they actually were. These dark pools of capital could also make anti-money laundering and sanctions more difficult and lead to contagion from one market to another that could be hard to predict and hard to track. The patchwork of technologies underpinning modern markets had been assembled in magpie style by financial institutions. There might be hidden vulnerabilities and risks. The first division of AI researchers (e.g. Google’s DeepMind) were not really concentrating on finance and it was unlikely that the technology itself would deliver sufficient safety nets in the near term
Close to zero or negative interest rates meant vast sums looking for yield. This was driving increased acceptance of risk and acceptance of delayed returns: private equity and venture capital were looking more alike in some ways, for example with large outlays of investment on fibre optic infrastructure projects. But the objective of such investments was often only eventual single digit percentage yield as opposed to venture capital’s pursuit of only 1000 percent returns.
With so much capital stored and ready to invest, fewer companies were going to the public markets for funds whilst private equity expanded. The number of listed companies was down 40-50 percent and the equities driving the underlying growth or decline of indexes and passive investments built on them might be quite few in number which could mean an underlying fragility for these investments. The trend towards private equity looked set to continue with large companies now using cash piles to set up investment funds separate to their main business. Comcast for example had established a $5 billion fund. This move to private markets was likely reinforcing the concentration of wealth in fewer hands.
Technology and banking
The analysis of banking and the impact of technology was radically different on the two sides of the Atlantic. The gloomy British and European perspective was that banking was a rapidly declining business with profits and consequently talent draining away. The basic banking proposition was undermined when it cost banks money to hold deposits. Payments meanwhile had been disrupted by the technology companies and transaction costs reduced to zero. No major corporation would go to a bank for lending when better rates were available elsewhere. This meant that banks were only making money from extending credit to higher risk borrowers. Another increasing source of costs was high levels of regulation and the demand that banks know their customers and bear the regulatory risks of money laundering. The banks were now “extensions of law enforcement”. The natural decline of banks in the market was only being slowed by politicians and regulators who wanted to retain banks as emblematic national champions and sources of middle-class jobs. BNP was cited as one such. Completing this pessimistic view, the US was seen from Europe as having lost its innovative lead in banking and the Chinese merger of communications and payment and credit services representing the future. US banks were said to be thriving only because customers, for cultural reasons, continued to accept high charges for basic banking services, whilst retail fintech remained underdeveloped.
This view was rigorously contested from the US side, citing JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley and others as standard bearers. Most European banks did not understand the American investment banking market and the crucial role that senior relationships played in getting deals done. Banks remained a huge business in the US and were evolving not dying. They continued to play a vital role in the economy by ensuring liquidity.
Responses – not necessarily consensus but ideas arising
The Americans, whilst recognising their own continuing political crisis, attempted a transfusion of optimism to the pessimistic Brits and Europeans. No one did capital markets like New York and London, and London was magically placed geographically to benefit from a global economy that was still growing, albeit not at the rate we would like. Europe is going to struggle to develop its own capital markets and so will still need London. The UK should double down on London as a global financial capital.
There was renewed energy and interest around the “Anglosphere”: the US, the UK, Canada, Australasia, India and the rest of the Commonwealth. Having a shared language and democratic institutions based on the same traditions and legal DNA would be a huge advantage in the modern economy in which finance, technology and communications were merging. The shared mountain of data in English would be a great basis for AI development. Without forgetting or alienating the EU, the UK should look to work with the US to lead development of the Anglosphere as a counterweight to the rise of China economically.
On the US and the UK relationship, it was proposed that the UK did not need to seek a full free trade agreement. Instead the UK could get a significant part of the benefits and avoid the pitfalls by working piecemeal, focusing on the harmonisation of industries where this would be relatively straightforward. Candidate areas were energy, fintech, wealth management, and research and development. The UK was urged to remember its strengths: still leaders in finance, still the second country in NATO alongside the US; still the second country in leading the West; and still trusted more than others by Washington. It was added that the US and the UK still held the prize of being the countries most hated by autocrats. It was alleged that it is still much more difficult for authoritarian regimes to lobby, bribe and influence in the US and the UK than in other western capitals.
Politically blocking the growth potential of Transatlantic capital markets, and the finance industry more broadly, was anger at growing inequality and unfairness in society. Deep political hostility towards finance persisted, especially in Europe. Measures had to be taken to address the root causes. Large corporations had to pay at least the same rates of tax as small. Anti-trust measures might be necessary to prevent effective monopolies although the suitability of traditional anti-trust measures for the technology sector was disputed. More had to be done on tax havens and tax evasion.
More had to be done to restore the basic coherence of society. A concept of national service in different forms would help. War memorials in English churchyards (and I imagine for Vietnam too) carried the names of conscripted rich and poor alike. More recent discretionary wars had largely been fought by professional soldiers with the poorer sections of society disproportionately represented.
On the UK and Europe then, concentric circles – a close integrating core using the euro and a looser affiliated group – looked to be the longer-term answer. That this ought to be American policy was argued by some present.
In the end, opinion remained split between optimists – largely American in this group – and pessimists – largely British and European. The optimists anticipated a hike in productivity and a shift upwards in market confidence. This would balance out some of the inequalities produced in developed countries by globalisation and the technological revolution. Faced with China, we had to “get going”, drive innovation and productivity and win back market share and create entirely new markets. We could do it and, despite the discrepancy in scale, the challenge from China would be bested and America would continue to remain the essential power.
The pessimists had not given up on the West but saw internal change as necessary and that this would only come following “pain” for international elites. Things would likely get worse before they could get better. This might mean more political polarisation, nationalism and populism on the right and more radical (and likely unsustainable) economic policies and populism on the left.
There was a sense for some that more radical solutions were thus needed from the political centre. We should pursue initiatives to improve education and to drive more innovation and gains in productivity for sure. But we should also explore what we could do differently to share out these gains more equitably. Basic minimum income might not make economic sense but what other policies could deliver some of its benefits, and direct subsidies to individual members of society, with more manageable costs? As AI and automation replaced blue collar and white collar jobs alike, we could not rely on growth to deliver new jobs. New forms of employment would emerge, but it was not at all clear that there would be the same mix of skilled and semi-skilled work as in the past or that the new labour marketplace would have the large middle classes that underpinned stable democracies. It was clear that we needed to expand our economic tool kit not only to drive growth now but also to deal with future financial crises that could deepen the problem.
This Note reflects the Director’s personal impressions of the conference. No participant is in any way committed to its content or expression.
The Rt Hon the Lord Hill of Oareford CBE
Life Peer, House of Lords; Senior Advisor, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (2017‑); Independent National Director, Times Newspapers; Senior Adviser, UBS; Senior Adviser, Deloitte; Trustee, Teach First; Board Member, Centre for Policy Studies. Formerly: European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union (2014‑16); Leader of the House of Lords and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (2013‑14); Undersecretary of State for Schools (2010‑13). Chairman of the Council of Management of The Ditchley Foundation.
Dr Lawrence H. Summers
President Emeritus and Charles W. Eliot University Professor, Harvard University. Formerly: Vice President of development economics and Chief Economist, World Bank; Undersecretary of the Treasury for International Affairs; Director, National Economic Council (2009‑11); Secretary of the Treasury (1999‑2001).
Mr Charles Vaughan
Principal, Thiel Capital.
Mr Bobby Vedral
Founder, Macro Eagle Ltd, London; Commissioner of the German Economic Council (UK). Formerly: Partner, Securities Division, Goldman Sachs, London (2009‑18); Managing Director, UniCredit (2005‑09); Director, Deutsche Bank (2002‑05 & 1997‑2001).
Mr Diego Kuschnir
Partner, and Portfolio Manager in the Asset Management business, Perella Weinberg Partners LP, New York. Formerly: Co‑Founder and Portfolio Manager, EQC Capital; Director, Barclays Capital.
Dr Andrei Illarionov
Senior Fellow, Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, Cato Institute, Washington, DC. Formerly: Chief Economic Adviser of Russian President Vladimir Putin (2000‑05); President Putin's personal representative in the G‑8; Chief Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, Viktor Chernomyrdin (1993‑94); Founder (1994) and Director, Institute of Economic Analysis.
Dr Pinar Emirdag
Head, Digital Product Development and Innovation, State Street (2017‑); Chief Editor, Financial Blockchains, Frontiers in Blockchains (2018‑); Member, Industry Liaison Board, Department of Computing, Imperial College (2017‑); Member, Scientific Advisory Board, UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies (2017‑). Formerly: Non-Executive Director, Clearmatics; Head, Business Development, Cash & Derivatives, London Stock Exchange; Head, Business Development, Electronic Execution, Citi.
Mr Michael Birshan
Senior Partner, McKinsey & Company, London (leads the Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa); council member, McKinsey Global Institute; Governor, Royal College of Art; advisory council member, King's Business School; Fellow, Royal Society of Arts.
Mr Dominic Casserley
Senior Advisor, Warburg Pincus LLC, New York. Formerly: President and deputy CEO, Willis Towers Watson (2016); CEO, Willis Group Holdings (2013‑16); McKinsey & Co. (1983‑2013 in various roles including Managing Partner, Greater China Office, Managing Partner, UK Office and leader of McKinsey's European banking practice); Member, Prime Minister's Business Council for Britain (2008‑10).
Mr Miles Celic
Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, London (2016‑); member, HM Treasury Financial Services Trade and Investment Board; member of the board of UK Finance. Formerly: Director of Group Strategic Communications, Prudential; Director of Group Public Affairs & Policy, Prudential; Head of Political Engagement, HSBC.
Mr John Cryan
Chairman, XCyber Group Limited; Non‑Executive Director, Man group. Formerly: CEO, formerly co‑CEO, Deutsche Bank AG (2016‑18); President for Europe, Temasek; Group Chief Financial Officer, UBS AG.
Mr Anatole Kaletsky
Co‑Chairman and Chief Economist, Gavekal Dragonomics, Hong Kong and Beijing; international economic commentator, Project Syndicate network; board member, Open Society Foundations and JPMorgan Emerging Markets Investment Trust; honorary Doctor of Science, University of Buckingham; author, 'Capitalism 4.0' (2009; nominated for Samuel Johnson Prize); 'The Costs of Default' (1985). Formerly: economic journalist and columnist, The Economist, Financial Times, London Times, Reuters, New York Times (London, Washington, New York, Moscow); first Chairman (current board member), Institute for New Economic Thinking; member, Royal Economic Society's governing council (1998‑2001).
Mr Samuel Lowe
Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Reform, London; Member, Her Majesty's Government's Strategic Trade Advisory Group (2019‑); co‑founder, UK Trade Forum; Visiting Research Fellow, The Policy Institute, King's College London. Formerly: Trade and Brexit Policy Lead, Friends of the Earth.
Mr Tim Luke
Vice Chairman, Technology, Media and Telecom Group, Barclays Capital, New York; Business Ambassador for Finance and Technology for the UK Prime Minister (2014‑); Board, Tech City UK. Formerly: Senior Adviser on Business, Trade and Innovation to the UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, No 10 Downing Street (2011‑14); Global Head, Technology Equity Research, Lehman Brothers and Barclays, New York.
Mr John Micklethwait CBE
Editor‑in‑Chief, Bloomberg News (2015‑); author, ‘The Fourth Revolution: The Global Race to Reinvent the State’ (Penguin, 2015). Formerly: The Economist (1987‑2015): Editor‑in‑Chief, (2006‑15); Chase Manhattan, London.
Sir Paul Tucker
Chair, Systematic Risk Council; Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School; President, National Institute of Economic and Social Research. Formerly: Bank of England (1980‑2013): Deputy Governor (2009‑13). Member, steering committee, G20 Financial Stability Board (chaired its Committee on the Resolution of Cross‑Border Banks); Member, Board of Directors, Bank for International Settlements; Chair, Basel Committee for Payment and Settlement Systems (2012‑13). A Governor, The Ditchley Foundation.
Dr Alex Curtis
Head of School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Wallingford, Connecticut.
Ms Elizabeth Linder
Executive Director, Global Communications and External Affairs, Beautiful Destinations (2018‑); Senior Consulting Fellow, Chatham House (2017‑); Chair, Kinross House Meetings (2016‑); Founder, Conversational Century (2016‑). Formerly: Facebook spokesperson and founder of the Politics and Government division EMEA (2008‑16) and Google/YouTube Global Communications and Public Affairs (2007‑08). A member of the Ditchley Foundation Programme Committee.
Mrs Melissa Wong Bethell
Managing Partner, Atairos Europe.
Mr Peter Bass
Chairman and CEO, Quberu; Chairman & CEO, Ember, Inc. Formerly: Managing Director, Promontory Financial Group, LLC, Washington, DC; Executive Assistant to the National Security Adviser, The White House; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Energy, Sanctions and Commodities; Senior Adviser, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of State; Vice President, Chief of Staff to President and co‑COO, Goldman Sachs & Co.; Treasurer and Trustee, Freedom House; Treasurer and Director, The American Ditchley Foundation.
Ambassador (Ret) Nicholas Burns
Harvard Kennedy School: Goodman Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations. Formerly: Member, Secretary of State John Kerry's Foreign Affairs Policy Board, U.S. Department of State (2014‑17); Under‑Secretary of State for Political Affairs, U.S. Department of State (2005‑08); U.S. Ambassador to NATO (2001‑05); to Greece (1997‑2001); Spokesman, U.S. Department of State (1995‑97); Senior Director for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia Affairs, Special Assistant to President Clinton and Director for Soviet Affairs in the Administration of President George H.W. Bush, National Security Council (1990‑95). Vice Chair, The American Ditchley Foundation.
Ms Barbara Byrne
Board Member, CBS Corporation; member, The Council on Foreign Relations and The Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. Formerly: Vice Chairman, Investment Banking, Barclays (2008‑17); Vice Chairman, Lehman Brothers (1980‑2008).
Mr Mario Calvo‑Platero
Veteran journalist and media executive; guarantor and Editor‑in‑Chief, New York Times International, Italian Edition; columnist, La Stampa (Turin daily); contributor , Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Views; corporate advisor for European companies active in the U.S. and vice versa; Chairman, Palazzo Strozzi Foundation USA. Formerly: White House correspondent, Il Sole 24 Ore (Italian daily).
Mr Michael Carr
Goldman, Sachs & Co., New York (1998‑): Global co‑Head of Mergers and Acquisitions Group, Investment Banking Division (IBD) (2015‑); member, IBD Executive Committee. Formerly: Head of Mergers & Acquisitions for the Americas (2011‑15); co‑Head, Industrials and Natural Resources Group (2004‑11); Head of Investment Banking for Asia (ex Japan), Hong Kong (2000‑04); Partner, Mergers and Acquisitions Department, IBD; managing director and Head, Global Mergers and Acquisitions Group, Salomon Brothers Inc.
Mr Jacques Chappuis
Global Head of Distribution and co‑Head, Solutions and Multi‑Asset Group, Morgan Stanley Investment Management; member, Morgan Stanley Management Committee and Investment Management Operating Committee; member, New York Board of Advisors, Teach For America. Formerly: Head of Investment Solutions, The Carlyle Group (2013‑16); senior leadership roles, Morgan Stanley's Investment Management and Wealth Management businesses, including as Head of Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners (2006‑13); Head of Alternative Investments, Global Wealth Management Group, Citigroup; managing director, Citigroup Alternative Investments; consultant, Boston Consulting Group; investment banker, Bankers Trust Company.
Mr Timothy Dana
Group Head of Corporate Development, GAM Holding AG. (2015‑). Formerly: Managing Director, Citigroup Global Markets (2011‑15); senior positions including Managing Director in financial institutions M&A, Lazard, New York (1998‑2011); Salomon Smith Barney and predecessors (1993‑98); special assistant, Executive Office of the President, Washington DC (1992‑93).
Mr Stephen Glascock
Founder (1998) and President, Anbau Enterprises, New York; member, Industry Advisory Board, MS Real Estate Development, Columbia University: Director, International Yacht Restoration School, Newport, RI; Treasurer, van Beuren Charitable Foundation Newport, RI; member, The Naval War College, Newport, RI. Formerly: Senior Project Manager, New York City‑based construction management company.
Mr Andrew Gundlach
Board of Directors (2003‑), First Eagle Holdings (formerly Arnhold and S. Bleichroeder Holdings) and Portfolio Manager (2006‑), First Eagle Investment Management LLC, New York; Boards/investment committees of various non‑profit institutions, including: member, Council on Foreign Relations; Trustee, American Academy in Berlin; Board of Overseers, Columbia Business School (formerly adjunct faculty member and lecturer in Value Investing). Formerly: Founding partner, Artemis Advisors (sold to XL Capital); investment banking departments of Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan.
Mr Ralph H. Isham
Founder and Managing Director, GH Venture Partners LLC; Director, Decision Q; Chair, Institute for War and Peace Reporting; Director, East West Institute. Formerly: The Boston Consulting Group; Strategic Planning Associates (Mercer Consulting acquiree); Director, American Stock Exchange.
Mr Cary A. Koplin
Managing Director, Investment Management Division, Neuberger Berman, LLC (2000‑). Formerly: Managing Director, Schroder Wertheim & Co. Inc./Wertheim & Co. (1966‑2000). President, The American Ditchley Foundation.
Ms Jami Miscik
CEO, Kissinger Associates Inc. (2009‑); Board of Directors: Morgan Stanley, In‑Q‑Tel, Council on Foreign Relations, General Motors. Formerly: President, Kissinger Associates (2009‑15); Member (2009‑17) and Co‑Chair (2014‑17), President's Intelligence Board; Board of Directors, EMC Corporation (2009‑16); Global Head of Sovereign Risk, Lehman Brothers (2005‑08); Deputy Director for Intelligence, CIA (2002‑05); Director Intelligence Programs, National Security Council (1995‑96). Vice Chair, The American Ditchley Foundation.
Mr David Modesett
President, Vega Energy Partners, Ltd, Houston.
Ms Nuala O'Connor
President and CEO, Center for Democracy and Technology, Washington, DC; member, Council on Foreign Relations; advisory board member, Kekst CNC. Formerly: Vice President of Compliance and Consumer Trust, Amazon.com; Global Privacy Leader, General Electric; Deputy General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer, Emerging Technologies, DoubleClick; Chief Privacy Officer and Chief Counsel for Technology, U.S. Department of Commerce; (first) Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security.
Dr Alfred Z. Spector
Chief Technology Officer, Two Sigma Investments LP, New York; Council, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; member, National Academy of Engineering. Formerly: Vice President of Research and Special Initiatives, Google, Inc. (2008‑15); Vice President of Strategy and Technology, IBM's Software Business; Vice President of Services and Software Research, IBM; Founder and CEO, Transarc Corporation.
Ambassador David Thorne
Vice Chairman, Adviser Investments, Inc.; Member of the Board, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Formerly: Senior Advisor to Secretary of State John Kerry (2013‑17); U.S. Ambassador to Italy and San Marino (2009‑13); co‑founder, Adviser Investments. Member of the Board of the American Ditchley Foundation.