BOE Deputy Governor Race Wide Open as Osborne Extends Shakeup

The search for a new deputy governor for the Bank of England enters the shortlist stage today with economists seeing no clear favorite to replace Charles Bean, the third top official to exit the central bank in less than a year.

The deadline for applications for the job, which offers an annual salary of 258,809 pounds ($423,000), is 5 p.m. today, according to the job posting on the Cabinet Office website. While bookmakers say BOE Chief Economist Spencer Dale is the favorite to take over from Bean, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne may repeat what he did when appointing Governor Mark Carney and look beyond the bank for a fresh approach.

“That there aren’t immediate candidates that spring to mind show how difficult it is,” Stewart Robertson, a London-based economist at Aviva Investors Ltd., which has about $447 billion under management, said in a telephone interview yesterday. “Having a counterweight to the governor is a very important thing. You need a good, solid person who’s prepared to speak out.”

The departure of Bean, 60, marks the latest move in a shakeup at the top of the three-century-old central bank. Carney was appointed in 2012 and replaced Mervyn King in July last year. Jon Cunliffe, a career civil servant, succeeded Paul Tucker as deputy governor for financial stability in November.

Osborne sidestepped the official process when he hired Carney, the first foreigner to run the BOE. The former Bank of Canada chief never applied for the role and was picked partly to help reshape the bank after its governing body criticized its hierarchical culture.

Gender Imbalance

Bean retires at the end of June and his replacement will serve a renewable five-year term, overseeing economic forecasting and analysis as well as the bank’s markets divisions.

Bookmaker Paddy Power Plc has Dale as the favorite to replace Bean at 5/4, meaning a winning 5-pound bet would yield a 4-pound profit. Chief Operating Officer Charlotte Hogg is at 4-1, Monetary Policy Committee member Ben Broadbent at 8-1 and BOE Executive Director for Markets Paul Fisher at 10-1. Monetary Policy Committee member David Miles is at 12-1.

There’s been no female member of the nine-member MPC since Kate Barker left the panel in 2010. Barker’s return has odds of 50-1, Paddy Power said. Lucrezia Reichlin, a professor at the London Business School, is at 10-1; Stanford University professor Anat Admati is at 14-1 and Sheila Dow, emeritus professor at the University of Stirling, is at 20-1. Diane Coyle, director of consultancy Enlightenment Economics, is given odds of 25-1.

Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be carried out in London this month by a panel including Nicholas Macpherson, the Treasury’s top civil servant, Treasury officials Sharon White and Dave Ramsden along with David Lees, chairman of the court of directors of the BOE.

“Finding the right candidate has become harder, the bar is higher,” said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank AG in London. “The nature of central banking has changed over recent years and now the deputy governor will have a much wider scope. Because the search process is quite onerous, the bank will need to cast its net wide.”

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.