- Has been permanent secretary at the Treasury since 2005
- Was at helm during 2008 financial crisis and bank rescues
Nick Macpherson, the U.K.’s Treasury’s most senior official, is to retire in April after almost 11 years in the job.
Macpherson, 56, held the post of permanent secretary under Labour Chancellors of the Exchequer Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling and the present Conservative finance minister, George Osborne. His time at the helm covered one of the most turbulent periods in the Treasury’s history, with the financial crisis of 2008 leading the government to take some banks into public ownership.
“Nick has been one of the outstanding public servants of his generation,” Osborne said in an e-mailed statement Monday. “He has been at the helm of the Treasury during the most difficult decade of modern economic policy making and his advice to me has always been intelligent, candid and discreet.”
While British civil servants are supposed to be impartial, Macpherson was criticized by Scottish nationalists for intervening during the country’s independence referendum campaign of 2014. Macpherson argued that a currency union with an independent Scotland would be a bad idea for the rest of the U.K.
Cabinet Secretary Jeremy Heywood will be in charge of hiring his replacement, to start April 1.