Like many of our top football clubs, and the England cricket team, many of our major companies are run by foreigners – a 2008 survey by some headhunters found that a third of CEOs came from overseas (14 from the US, 10 from Continental Europe and Ireland and 10, like Carney, from the Commonwealth). The idea that you would search only from a pool of people with British accents would be regarded as very out-of-date. When the Government was looking for people to run the Olympic Games, it too ran a global search for talent. But the most key appointment was probably that of David Higgins, an Australian who was already in charge of the government regeneration agency, English Partnerships, who went to head up the Olympic Delivery Authority. Higgins brought with him experience of building the Olympic Village in Sydney. Recruiting the right people with the skills and experience to do the job was a key part of Games success – and the Treasury’s willingness then to sanction paying the international rate for top talent was crucial to their recruitment. David Higgins is now applying his skills to try to make the trains run on time at Network Rail. […]

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