The UK Green Investment Bank (UK GIB) moved a step closer to opening for business today after the appointment of its first top directors and formation of its public company.
Lord Smith of Kelvin will be the new Chair of UK Green Investment Bank plc. Currently Chair of SSE and The Weir Group, he has a strong financial services background, chairing the group set up by the Financial Reporting Council in 2003 to clarify the role of audit committees.
Sir Adrian Montague has been appointed as Deputy Chair and Senior Independent Director. Sir Adrian, who is chair of companies including 3i and Anglian Water Group, has been chairing the GIB Advisory Group and has been closely involved with the development of the bank.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "The UK GIB is a major new innovation vital to securing investment in what is one of the great challenges of our age, the decarbonisation of our energy supply. It has found two candidates of outstanding calibre well suited to leading the bank through its important early phase."
Lord Smith is one of Scotland's leading business figures and was knighted in 1999 for services to the National Museums of Scotland, and holds honorary degrees from the universities of Edinburgh (1999), Glasgow (2001) and Paisley (2003).
He is a member of the Council of Economic Advisors to the First Minister of Scotland, Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland and chairs The Smith Group, which studies opportunity pathways for young people not in education, employment or training.
He became a member of the House of Lords in 2008 as an Independent Crossbench Peer.
Following his appointment, he said: “It is a pleasure to be asked by the Business Secretary to chair this groundbreaking institution. I look forward to working with Sir Adrian Montague and can’t wait to get started.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg added: "Lord Smith and Sir Adrian bring significant expertise and strong track records of delivery.
"Britain is already a powerhouse in green industries, but we are still not tapping all of our potential. I am determined that the Government will do everything it can to support this burgeoning sector and set the UK firmly on course towards a green and growing economy. The UK GIB will play a key part in this."
Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: “The UK GIB is set to play an essential part as we build and invest in a greener future. This is a UK institution headquartered in Edinburgh supported by a strong team in London and the news that Lord Smith and Sir Adrian Montague have been appointed is another step towards the bank opening for business.
“They bring a wealth of experience to the roles and will bring that to bear as we look to encourage private sector investment in key energy projects.”
The newly formed Board will begin the recruitment of the company’s other directors and senior executive team shortly; with a view to having the UK GIB fully operational this autumn, subject to state aid approval from the European Commission.
Following these appointments, the Advisory Group chaired by Sir Adrian Montague will be disbanded.
The UK GIB will be based in Edinburgh and London. Its headquarters will be located in Edinburgh, with an office in London. This arrangement will enable a greater commercial reach nationally than could be achieved from one location.
Legislation has also now been introduced, under the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill, to set the Bank’s green purpose, embed its independence and make funding provision for the Bank.