Where are they Now ? Shriti Vadera, shy unassuming Brown adviser gets
the chop Title and sidelined new job
Apparently her work on advsing privatisation - especially with the South African Governement, equipped her as an expert in structuring public private partnerships. Then in April 1999 her big chance came when she was appointed as a special adviser to Gordon Brown and became a member of the Treasury's Council of Economic Advisers.
It was in this role she was involved with the privatisation of Qinetiq and the London Underground - in which the FT reported that as the Treasury's central point of contact between officials and the City, she was reported to be adamant that control of the Tube should not stay in public hands.
Lewis Moonie (Who he? Ed.) was a Defence Minister in 2001 (he famously told the BBC overall battle plan in Iraq is proceeding as it was designed.) -when he announced that, what was the old defence and research establishment (DRE) would be re-created as QinetiQ - a UK company in which the MOD would retain a special "Golden Share" - 2 years later US Private Equity firm Carlyle Group (who employed John Major at the time) acquired a 33.8% share in the company for £42m. Prior to stock market flotation, ownership was split between the MoD (56%), Carlyle Group (31%) and staff (13%) - in which the current Chairman Sir John Chisholm who was then CEO held a whopping slice.
newly very rich, Sir John replaced our old friend Lady Dame Jane Pauline Neville Jones (AKA Baroness Newsnight) as Chairman in September 2005.
Initially the public who owned this wonderful outfit were told the benficient US based Carlyle Group was expected to invest for three to five years, after which a stock exchange float would take place.
With an intital price of 200p per share the company IPO'd on 10th Ffebruary 2006 - an intital market value of some £1.3 BN and Carlyle a capital gain of some 780%( BBC - John reid defends this rip-off)
Quite what the role of Shriti was in all this is not publicly known , although the National Audit Office did run a rule over the transactions and nothing further has been said.
It was however the horrid bungling by Stephen Byers (now where is HE now ?) who strangled Railtrack (privatised under a Tory administration) and forced the company into administration that the charmless Ms Vadera's name first became public .
Pre - trail disclosures of company documents including minutes of meetings attended by ex investment banker Ms Vadera and a number of embarrassing (and apparently mis-typed and badly written) e-mails written by her. Dismissing the interests of small private shareholders of Railtrack, many of them old-age pensioners whose savings were invested in the company, as "grannies" who might, in the collapse of their company, "lose their blouses" which is indeed what happened. (see FT)
She also dismissed the privatised passenger train operating companies as "thinly-capitalised equity profiteers of the worst kind" which was also very accurate.
Now that Gordon is called prime Minister this harridan had to be found a job and she has been appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for International Development - as she isn't a Parliamentary lady (with little prospect of becoming one by the elected route) Gordon has awarded her a Baronetcy to sit alongside Baroness Neville James of Newsnight... and it it is rumoured Lord Mandelson of Matelot Villas.
Quite what the Department for International Development and there clients will make of her will no doubt be the subject of much discussion in the months to come.
This link will take you to a fascinating presentation Shriti gave to Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in January 2004 where they speak of her in ..well ... they speak about her. (there is also her Powerpoint presentation and audio file)