Senior Economic Adviser
- BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, University of Oxford
- MSc Economics, University of Warwick
Why did you choose Capital Economics?
After working at the Bank of England for 18 months, I was attracted to working for a smaller company. I can make a far more noticeable contribution here on a day-to-day basis. Also, it has been fascinating watching the company grow and being part of its success. When I joined, I was the ninth employee. Now the company has well over 100 employees and offices in five different countries!
Capital Economics’ strong reputation was also a big draw. Despite the fact that it is a relatively small company, its economics teams are generally larger than those in any investment bank. For example, when I was Chief UK Economist, we had three people on the UK team, in addition to our UK property economists, whereas many banks have only one UK economist. This allows us to produce more thorough and in-depth research, which I find very satisfying.
What do you most enjoy about your job, and what drives you?
I really enjoy the mix of work – being able to keep up to date with current economic developments, but also having the chance to do some more detailed research. I also like the direct contact with clients and the media. We often appear on TV or radio at short notice, or talk to journalists about a current economic topic. I get particular satisfaction when I have managed to investigate, understand and analyse a tricky issue, and then write about it in a way that non-economists will understand. That was a real challenge when the Bank of England started quantitative easing – a term few people had even heard of before – in 2009.
Another attraction of Capital Economics is that the work/life balance is good. We work intensively and are well rewarded, but do not have to put in the extremely long hours which are the norm in some City institutions. And for the past couple of years I have worked three days a week, which allows me to balance my family and work commitments.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of a career as an economist?
I would read as much about “real-life” economics as possible. Economics degrees tend to lack much application to the real world. Reading in the daily newspapers about when the Bank of England will raise interest rates, the government’s policies on housing, and the US-China trade war, will give you a clear idea of the type of issues that an economist tends to think about on a day-to-day basis.