City policy chief McGuinness’s 2022 exit triggers succession race

One of the most powerful jobs in the Square Mile will come up for grabs next year when Catherine McGuinness steps down as chair of the City of London Corporation’s policy and resources committee.

Sky News understands that Chris Hayward, the committee’s deputy chair, is expected to succeed Ms McGuinness in the role following an election to be held next May.

The leadership transition, which will come at the end of Ms McGuinness’ five-year term, will come at a crucial time for London as a financial centre, as the Corporation attempts to drive a sustainable post-pandemic recovery.

The transition will come at the end of Catherine McGuinness’s five-year term

Mr Hayward, an experienced figure in the property industry, is said by senior City figures to be the likeliest successor to Ms McGuinness.

The policy and resources committee plays a crucial role in shaping the Corporation’s approach to the City’s powerhouse industry of financial and professional services.

Its chair is one of the most visible advocates for those industries, and plays an important role in promoting the City internationally.

According to a post-COVID recovery plan it published this year, the committee wants the City to be a bigger engine of growth in areas such as green finance and the creative industries.

The City was especially badly hit by the pandemic because of the proportion of people who commute there to work during the week.

Future flexible working practices are likely to have a permanent impact on its daily population, although there are hopes among officials that the long-term effect can be mitigated through initiatives to improve the area’s hospitality and cultural offerings.

The City of London Corporation has been contacted for comment.

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