2015 POLICY DISCUSSIONS

EPF Advisory Council Dinner with Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP

Thursday 3 December 2015

The European Policy Forum’s latest Advisory Council meeting took place on Thursday 3 December and our guest was Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, the former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal Democrats.  

 

The discussion provided the opportunity to explore with Nick his perceptions of the lessons of the coalition government as well as his assessment of the upcoming political situation and the roles of the Labour Party, the SNP as well the Liberal Democrats. The discussion also gave us the opportunity to explore with him approaches to the referendum on the European Union.

Special Roundtable with Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Highways England

Tuesday 24 November 2015

The Forum was delighted to welcome Jim O’Sullivan, recently appointed Chief Executive of Highways England, for a special roundtable to follow up the themes set by Colin Matthews at Hartwell House and explore next steps in Highways England’s strategy and development.  

 

With transport high up the policy agenda and the transformed status of Highways England proving a significant new model the opportunity to exchange ideas with Jim O’Sullivan about his plans and approaches as Chief Executive was very much appreciated by the Forum.

Special Discussion Dinner with Margrethe Vestager, European Commissioner for Competition

Thursday 19 November 2015

On 19 November a special discussion dinner was held in London with the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager. The discussion dinner provided an opportunity for competition experts in London to meet and discuss approaches to European competition law and policy with the Commissioner, whose interventions have already made a significant impact in the European and international market.  

Special Roundtable with Tony Meggs, CEO of the Major Projects Authority

Tuesday 17 November 2015

The government’s Major Projects Authority, provides a new level of transparency about major government projects, seeks to build project delivery skills and capability; and clarifies roles and makes individuals accountable for delivery. The government attaches high importance to the work of the Authority which covers 188 projects with a combined life cost of £489 billion.

 

Tony Meggs, the Chief Executive of the Major Projects Authority, kindly joined a special roundtable of The Infrastructure Forum to exchange perspectives on the MPAs work and plans with our network.

2015 Cumberland Lodge Financial Services Summit

Thursday 12 to Friday 13 November

The 2015 Cumberland Lodge Policy Summit was held under the title “Financial Services- Structural and Market Changes Ahead”. The event was chaired by Ashley Alder, Chief Executive of the Securities and Futures Commission, Hong Kong and had had an especial focus on standards in the banking sector and we were particularly pleased that Dame Colette Bowe, the Chair of the Banking Standards Board and Dame Minouche Shafik, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, joined us together with two senior bank chairman, Lord Blackwell of Lloyds Banking Group plc and Douglas Flint CBE of HSBC Holdings plc.    

 

Other speakers included Yves Mersch, member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, Dr Adam Farkas, Executive Director of the European Banking Authority; Dr Steven Maijoor, Chair of European Securities and Markets Authority; Michael Cole-Fontayn, Chairman EMEA of BNY Mellon and Chairman of Afme; David Benson, Vice Chairman, Risk and Regulatory Affairs of Nomura Holdings plc; Stefan Bischel, Member of the Executive Board at Banque Cantonale Vaudoise, Switzerland, Alexander Schindler, Chairman of the European Fund and Asset Management Association and Sameer Gulati, Principal at McKinsey & Company, Inc.

Special Discussion Dinner with Sergio Ermotti

Monday 9 November 2015

The European Policy Forum in conjunction with The City of London hsoted a discussion dinner with Sergio Ermotti, Group Chief Executive Officer of UBS Group AG.  

 

The dinner provided an opportunity to discuss how banks have managed to correct some of the problems which have affected the sector; how they will tackle the remaining challenges; and how the European and international financial services market may develop in the context of continuing regulatory intervention, from the perspective of a leading international banker with a successful record of introducing change.

Cities and Regions Working Group: Lessons on financing infrastructure from the nations

Wednesday 4 November 2015

The Infrastructure Forum’s Cities and Regions Working Group gathered to explore the lessons learnt from innovative financing methods and structures found in Scotland and Wales that might be applied to help kick-start the development of crucial projects in sub-central areas. We were joined by Barry White, Chief Executive of Scottish Futures Trust, and Steve Davies, Head of Financial Innovation in the Welsh Government.

Special Roundtable with Rt Hon Oliver Letwin

Thursday 29 October

The Infrastructure Forum was pleased to welcome Rt Hon Oliver Letwin MP who joined us for a roundtable on Thursday 29 October.   

 

Oliver spoke about the organisation of Whitehall, the introduction of private sector skills and approaches and the development of the theory and practice of economic regulation and our policy and machinery of government interaction with the European Union.

Local Devolution Infrastructure Finance

Wednesday 21 October 2015

Issues of local finance for infrastructure projects are high up the policy agenda. Against this background we were delighted to be joined at a special dinner discussion with Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the Local Capital Finance Company.  

 

The discussion dinner gave us the opportunity to examine new approaches to local devolution and infrastructure finance whilst learning from insights produced in a new report prepared by Tim Pugh of BLP for The Infrastructure Forum which looks at means of unlocking projects across a wide range of areas which have been developed so far and the possibilities for the future.

Market Structure Group with Sir David Omand

Monday 19 October 2015

Sir David Omand GCB, the former Head of GCHQ, kindly led a discussion dinner which explored the dimensions of innovation, resilience and cyber security in banking technology. Sir David Omand was joined by Professor John Kay, the distinguished economist and Financial Times columnist; Paul Williams, Head of Sector Resilience at the Bank of England; and Bob Ferguson, Head of Project Innovate at the Financial Conduct Authority.  

European Referendum Discussion Dinner with Janerik Larsson and Peter Kellner

Wednesday 14 October 2015

With some expecting the British in/out referendum on the European Union to be held as soon as June 2016 the Forum held a timely discussion to examine the current trends in public opinion, the development of information and the general outlook on the key issues which will arise in the renegotiation exercise in which the Prime Minister is engaged.  

 

We were joined by Janerik Larsson, former Vice President of the Swedish CBI, who was responsible for the successful Swedish Yes to Europe referendum and Peter Kellner, President of YouGov.

Energy Working Group: EU's Energy Union Strategy

Monday 14 September 2015

In the wake of the progress of the EU’s Energy Union strategy, The Infrastructure Forum’s Energy Working Group met to address the intersections and fault lines between UK and EU energy policy, as well as the UK’s role in impacting upon EU energy policy in light of the proposed EU referendum.  

 

Martin Crouch, Senior Partner at Ofgem, led the discussion. As the Senior Partner, Electricity Transmission, Martin leads the team responsible for regulating the electricity and gas transmission networks and also has a co-ordination and leadership role on European issues across the organisation - representing the UK on the ACER Board of Regulators and serving as chair of the ACER and CEER Electricity Working Groups.

2015 Hartwell House Infrastructure Policy Summit

Thursday 2 and Friday 3 July 2015

The 2015 summit allowed participants to assess the outlook for UK infrastructure policy following the General Election and the changes in both personnel and policy has and will result from it.  Among the themes addressed were airport policy, energy market reform, financial devolution and the role of cities and regions as well as the impact of technology on infrastructure and development in procuring network infrastructure.

 

Speakers included:

John Manzoni, Chief Executive of the Civil Service  Rt Hon Lord Adonis, Adviser to the Labour Party’s Policy Review on Industrial Strategy; Sir Amyas Morse, KCB Comptroller and Auditor General, National Audit Office; Sir Peter Gershon, Chairman of National Grid; David Gray, Chairman of Ofgem; Paul Massara, Chief Executive Officer of RWE npower; Steve Allen, Managing Director, Finance of Transport for London; Colin Matthews, Chairman of the Highways Agency; Philip Rutnam, Permanent Secretary at the Department for Transport; Sir John Armitt on behalf of the Airports Commission; Mike Putnam, President and CEO, Skanska UK and Dr David Quarmby, the transport and infrastructure expert

International Regulators Special Dinner Discussion on Global Financial Reform

Thursday 18 June

The European Financial Forum was delighted to convene a special discussion dinner on 18th June 2015. Kindly hosted by Nomura, senior international regulators and market participants addressed global financial reform and cooperation, including cross- border financial services regulation and IOSCO’s ongoing work.

Special Roundtable with Andy Rose, Chief Executive, Homes and Communities Agency

Wednesday 27 May 2015

The Forum welcomed Andy Rose, from the Homes and Communities Agency to discuss government policy on housing. Housing supply, the debate around decentralisation and devolution and the difference between policy and delivery were all discussed. 

Financing Projects Locally

Monday 18 May

On Monday 18 May, The Infrastructure Forum’s Cities and Regions Working group, Chaired by Steve Cooper, Vice-President, Europe, of Skanska, was delighted to welcome Sir Merrick Cockell, Chair of the UK Municipal Bond Agency and Darra Singh OBE, Chair of the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance, to a special roundtable discussion on the future prospects for sub-central financing of infrastructure projects.  

 

The rise of localism, the disconnect between spending and accountability, the role of devolution and how reform is currently not radical enough were all discussed. In addition, tax and business rates, and how they interact with local governments were debated by members of the group. 

Special Roundtable with John Kingman, Second Permanent Secretary, HM Treasury

Monday 11 May 2015

HM Treasury has important responsibilities in a number of areas of interest to EPF’s Regulatory Best Practice Group. These include its engagement with competition policy, the development of economic regulation, approaches to infrastructure investment and measures concerning markets and consumers.  

 

John Kingman, Second Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury responsible for what has been called the “economic ministry side” of the Treasury, joined us to discuss HM Treasury perspectives on these and related issues.

European Policy Forum Council Meeting and Dinner with the US Ambassador to the European Union Anthony L. Gardner

Thursday 30 April

This dinner discussion provided an excellent opportunity to discuss the development of the EU, its relations with the United States, TTIP, the future role of the United Kingdom in Europe. The continuing debate around the Eurozone, Greece and the role of Europe’s banks were also discussed. 

The Infrastructure Forum Advisory Council dinner discussion with Sir John Armitt CBE

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Sir John Armitt’s proposals for an Infrastructure Commission have attracted wide interest and support amongst our network. His working group recently concluded a consultation exercise on how The Armitt Proposals might be streamlined and aligned more closely with the existing National Infrastructure Plan structure. This dinner provided an excellent opportunity to discuss a wide range of long term and strategic issues across the sectors.

Market Structure Group dinner discussion with Olivier Guersent, Deputy Director General, DG Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union

Monday 16 March 2015

This dinner provided an opportunity to discuss current policy issues including reducing capacity of banks to finance projects, arising from a number of causes, and the corresponding opportunities opening up for pension funds, insurers, private equity and hedge funds to strengthen their contribution of capital.

Special Roundtable with Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister of State for Transport

Monday 19 January 2015

John Hayes MP joined a special roundtable of The Infrastructure Forum to examine future roads policy and financing.  

 

Roads are of interest to many of our network, and the delivery plan for 2015/16 to 2019/20 sets out national priorities and plans for the strategic road network; replaces the Highways Agency with a new strategic highways company intended to transform it into a world class infrastructure company; and creates a new highways monitor charged with ensuring that public money is well spent and the Highways Authority delivers efficiencies.

Special Roundtable with Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Tourism, Energy and Enterprise in the Scottish Government

Monday 12 January 2015

Fergus Ewing MSP is a long standing leader of the SNP, who has been responsible for developing policy on business, legal and taxation matters.  His visit coincided with the developing debate on devolution of policy and finance in the rest of the United Kingdom.  

 

The roundtable provided an excellent opportunity for those in our network with Scottish interests and investments and also those concerned about the development of policy on devolved matters to exchange perspectives with an experienced and well informed Scottish Minister.

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