Ex-Reuters adviser hired by venture capital group

The British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (BVCA) has named Simon Walker, ex-comms secretary to the Queen, as its chief executive.

Walker: new BVCA chief executive
Walker: new BVCA chief executive

Walker, senior adviser to the chairman and CEO of the Reuters Group, will be charged with improving the image of the venture capital industry, severely under fire from unions, media and MPs over the past few months.

Having appeared on the Conservative Party’s 100-strong list of priority candidates last year, Walker had looked poised to pursue a car­eer in politics. The BVCA managed to change his mind after an inten­sive search that had also sounded out Lehman Brothers comms chief and former Financial Times editor Andrew Gowers.

Earlier this year Walker changed his role at Reuters to become a full-time senior adviser to CEO Tom Glocer. Before Reuters, Walker was comms chief at Buckingham Palace and British Airways.

‘With his background in campaigning, journalism, Whitehall and Brussels and his broad experience of communications at some of the highest-profile institutions and companies in Britain, he has got just the mix of skills that we were looking for,’ said BVCA chairman Wol Kolade.

Sir David Walker (unrelated), a senior adviser at Morgan Stanley and former Bank of England director, heads the working group created by the BVCA. The report is a result of a £1m war-chest created by BVCA members to defend the ind­ustry against attacks and prove that it is doing all it can to appear less secretive.

Former BVCA comms dir­ector Mark Fox left the group earlier this year as part of a general overhaul, which saw Peter Linthwaite step down in June. Linthwaite was heavily criticised for his performance before the British parliament’s Treasury Select Committee.

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