Tuesday 21 November 2017

London life won't be so cosy for Chisholm in new post

AS he heads back to the UK, Comreg chairman Alex Chisholm will be no doubt content to have wrapped up his five-year tenure with the pre-Christmas 4G auction that led to a near €1bn bonanza for the Exchequer.

He'll be leaving the role in March and will then take up the role of chief executive of the UK Competition and Markets Authority – a big step up in terms of profile for the Oxford graduate.

Married to author Eliza Pakenham, a granddaughter of the Earl and Countess of Longford, 'Chis', as his wife calls him, noted some years back that he was more "analytical" than his spouse. He also sang Dublin's praises. The couple moved to the capital around 1999 when he was first offered a job here.

"We love living in Dublin, and it's a much nicer city to live in than London, as it's much cosier and friendlier."

But being a regulator or a competition tsar rarely wins friends. The history graduate will have his work cut out at the UK agency.

Its creation was announced last year by the UK government following a radical revamp. It takes over the powers of the Office of Fair Trading and the Competition Commission and will have significant and extensive powers beyond those already in place.

As such, Mr Chisholm will preside over an impressive fiefdom whose activities will be closely monitored by the press, politicians and industry. London might well be far from cosy.

Irish Independent

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