London’s new mayor Boris Johnson has appointed private equity executive Tim Parker as his deputy mayor and chairman of London’s transport agency amidst protests from trade unions.
The criticism is fuelled by Parker’s history as chief executive at UK vehicle recovery company, the AA. Under the ownership of Permira and CVC Capital Partners, Parker oversaw the cutting of approximately a third of the AA’s workforce, which sparked a union campaign against the entire private equity industry.
Paul Kenny, the general secretary of the GMB, said: “This is a scary moment for London’s commuters. Tim Parker is one of the multi-millionaire elite private equity buccaneers who asset-stripped the AA by cutting jobs and cutting services and raising prices to customers.”
Despite the opposition Tim Parker argues that he sees “wonderful opportunities to transform the infrastructure of London and deliver better services to Londoners”.
This is not the first of the UK business elite that Johnson has handpicked to drive his new mayoral run – Harvey McGrath, previously an executive at hedge fund Man Group, was appointed as interim chairman of the London Development Agency.