And the man heavily backed for the job is Sir Ronald Cohen, the retired co-founder of
Gordon Brown already employs Cohen as a foreign policy adviser. And he is a director of the
This appointment could have much wider repercussions for the Labour Party. Labour, hence the name, has been traditionally funded by labour unions and these are still by far the largest donators. Unions have been locked in battle with private equity houses for months and will not appreciate Cohen’s circle of friends donating to their beloved Labour Party. In fact they have already been complaining prompting cabinet member, Peter Hain, to speak out and welcome donations to the Labour Party despite the union’s anger. Clearly Brown realises he needs to diversify his investor base.
The UK private equity industry is currently facing the most intense political and regulatory scrutiny it has ever witnessed. Despite Brown’s rhetoric at union rallies about doing away with unfair tax privileges for private equity, which he signed into law in 2003 by the way, he seems to be quite a fan of the industry and its players.