Chris Grigg CBE has been appointed chair of the new UK Infrastructure Bank for an initial three-year term. The chair role is a part time position – and Grigg will serve an initial three-year tenure with possible reappointment for one further three-year term.
He starts the job on Tuesday 4 May and the bank will launch in an interim form later in the Spring. Grigg has held a range of leadership roles including chief executive of Barclays Commercial Bank and, most recently, at British Land, a property development and investment company.
The UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB) – headquartered in Leeds – will receive an initial £12bn of capital and £10bn of government guarantees, which will enable it to unlock more than £40bn of financing for key projects across the UK.
It will prioritise investment in projects that help tackle climate change, helping the UK to meet its net zero target by 2050, and level up the country by supporting regional and local economic growth.
UK government financial secretary Jesse Norman said: “I am delighted that Chris Grigg has agreed to serve as chair of the new UK Infrastructure Bank. He brings a great deal of useful experience to this important role, and I look forward to working closely with him.”
Grigg, who will lead the bank’s board and set the strategic direction of the organisation during an initial three-year term, said: “It is a great privilege to be the inaugural chair of the UK Infrastructure Bank. I am excited to lead this organisation as we build it from the ground up and ensure it provides vital financing for the UK infrastructure market and local authorities to support the transition to net zero and spread economic opportunity across the whole of the UK. I look forward to getting started.”
Sir John Armitt, chair of the National Infrastructure Commission, said: “I am pleased to congratulate Chris Grigg on his appointment as chair of the UK Infrastructure Bank. This is a key milestone for the new organisation, which we expect will play a major role in catalysing the investment needed for post-pandemic recovery, reaching net zero and enabling all parts of the UK to meet their long term growth potential. It’s a great appointment and I look forward to working closely with Chris to help further these aims.”
Grigg was selected following what ministers have described as a fair and open competition, after the role was advertised on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website for one month. He confirmed that he has not undertaken any political activity within the previous five years including donating to, or canvassing on behalf of, any political party.
He previously served as interim senior advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the Bank since December 2020; this was a part time and unpaid role.
Alongside serving as chair of the bank, Grigg is also a senior independent director on the board of BAE Systems. This was declared from the outset of the process and was not considered a conflict of interest for taking up the role of chair at UKIB by the selection panel or ministers. He has also signed a legal letter of appointment confirming that any confidential information he receives as chair cannot be disclosed and can only be used for the purposes of the bank.
There were 21 applications for the position, of which six candidates were shortlisted for interview.
An advisory assessment panel chaired by Charles Roxburgh (second permanent secretary, HM treasury) and also consisting of Sir John Armitt (chair, National Infrastructure Commission and National Express Group) and Bernadette Kelly (permanent secretary, Department for Transport) interviewed a number of candidates and made recommendations to the financial secretary to the treasury and chancellor, which informed the selection decision.