WHEN the financial history of the UK in the early 21st century comes to be written Baroness Shriti Vadera’s should feature prominently.
Appreciation of her skills and talent for managing the deepest financial crises (in 2008) – since the Wall Street collapse of the late 1920s is only just getting going as the history of that period comes to be properly assessed.
Today, Vadera’s intellect and judgement are still much valued – she is the chair of Prudential since January 2021.
The company, one of Britain’s largest financial outfits, announced in February that its next chief executive would be based in Asia for the first time – no longer in Europe.
At the time of going to press, Mike Wells had announced his decision to step down after seven years and is set to leave at end of March 2022. Vadera thanked Wells for his service at the company and said Prudential’s focus on Asia made sense for both its CEO and chief financial officer positions to be based there. The company sees Asia, especially China, as the main focus of its growth strategy for the future. The UK arm is part of M&G plc.
She started her career as a City investment banker, moved into the Treasury and wound up as a very significant figure during the financial crash of 2008, working closely with prime minister Gordon Brown and is widely credited with helping to rescue the UK economy from freefall at the time.
Shortly after the crisis, she assumed a new role as a minister advising the G20 (of countries with the most advanced economies).
In 2010, she left government and was non-executive director on the boards of pharma giants AstraZeneca and natural resources conglomerate BHP before being appointed the first non-executive chair of a high street bank