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The CBI became approachable

FSA chairman in waiting Adair Turner is widely credited with building a friendly relationship between the Confederation of British Industry and New Labour during his time as CBI director general.

Turner spent four years at the CBI between 1995 and 1999 and his time there was broadly judged a success. The Manufacturing, Science and Finance Union said at the time of his departure that the CBI was seen by the unions as being more approachable.

The role involved formulating policy on behalf of the 250,000 public and private companies and 150 trade associations that belong to the CBI. He communicated the policy to financial leaders, the UK and foreign governments, the European Commission and the media.

In January this year, Turner was appointed the first chairman of the new Committee on Climate Change, set up to achieve a low-carbon economy in the UK. The Climate Change Bill, being pushed forward by the committee, puts into statute the UK’s targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 26-32 per cent by 2020 and by at least 60 per cent by 2050.

Turner is expected to step down from the committee in early 2009. Key Financial Consultants Limited senior consultant Lee Rawding says the more time Turner can spend running the FSA the better. He says: “Turner is well known and it will be interesting to see what direction he takes the RDR in the coming months and years.”

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