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Govt names new guidance body chief

The chair of Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, John Govett, has been appointed as the first chief executive of the government’s Single Financial Guidance Body.

The Department for Work and Pensions says Govett will assume the post in October for a term of four and a half years.

The new guidance body brings together Pension Wise, the Money Advice Service and the Pensions Advisory Service and is expected to launch this winter.

Govett joins former FSA chief executive Hector Sants on the guidance body’s senior leadership team. Hants will serve as chairman, it was revealed in May.

According to a job advert posted online in April, Govett will receive a salary of £175,000 a year for the role, which is lower than the £185,000 salary of former MAS chief executive Caroline Rookes.

Work and pensions secretary Esther McVey says: “I’m delighted to welcome John Govett as the first chief executive of the single finance guidance body. John has extensive experience and knowledge from across a range of public and private organisations which make him the ideal candidate to establish this crucial new body.”

Govett spent nine years as the chief executive of not-for-profit skills and employment group Ixion Holdings, and was previously the managing director of Surrey County Council.

Commenting on his appointment, he says: “The new organisation will become a leader in its field, where we will strive to equip those in need of help with the money and pensions guidance and debt advice that they need to engage confidently with financial services.”

At a roundtable last month, FCA strategy and competition director Christopher Woolard said the regulator expects the chief executive to lead the prioritisation of informing consumers about the protection the Financial Services Compensation Scheme provides.

Of his priorities, Govett says: “The key for the SFGB will be to focus on those services our customers need, with a joined-up partnership approach with the wider industry.”

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