Richard Sharp (BBC chairman)
Richard Simon Sharp (born 8 February 1956) is the current Chairman of the BBC, a role he has held since February 2021. A former banker, he worked at JP Morgan for eight years, and then for 23 years at Goldman Sachs. Sharp was an advisor to Boris Johnson during his tenure as London Mayor, and to Rishi Sunak as Chancellor. He has donated more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party.
|Chairman of the BBC|
|Assumed office |
10 February 2021
|Preceded by||David Clementi|
Richard Simon Sharp
8 February 1956
|Spouse(s)||Victoria Hull (divorced)|
|Parents||Eric Sharp, Baron Sharp of Grimsdyke|
|Relatives||Victoria Sharp (sister)|
|Education||Merchant Taylors' School|
Christ Church, Oxford
Richard Sharp was born on 8 February 1956, in London. He is the son of Eric Sharp, Baron Sharp of Grimsdyke, who was chairman of Cable & Wireless plc from 1980 to 1990. His twin sister, Dame Victoria Sharp, is president of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court in England and Wales.
Sharp worked for JP Morgan for eight years. He then worked for Goldman Sachs for 23 years, rising to chairman of its principal investment business in Europe, before leaving in 2007. He was Rishi Sunak's boss when they both worked for Goldman Sachs, was an advisor to Boris Johnson when he was Mayor of London, and acted as an unpaid adviser to Sunak on the UK's economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was a member of the Bank of England's Financial Policy Committee from 2013 to 2019. In 2014, he joined the property investment company RoundShield Partners, where he was a senior member until February 2021, when The Guardian approached the firm for comment. RoundShield advised and managed a fund that provided a £50m loan to Caridon, which has been accused of "cramming homeless and low-income families into former office blocks".
Sharp was chairman of the Royal Academy of Arts from 2007 to 2012. In January 2021, it was announced that he would be the next chairman of the BBC, succeeding David Clementi who was due to leave the position in February 2021. Speaking shortly after his appointment, Sharp told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that he planned to give his £160,000 BBC salary to charity. Controversy surrounded his appointment as it was revealed that not only had he donated more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party, but that he was also formerly the director of the Centre for Policy Studies, a think tank with historical links to the Conservative Party. Critics have pointed out that a person who holds such a position as that of BBC chairman should be politically impartial. The appointment followed that of Tim Davie, a former Conservative Party councillor, to the role of Director-General.
In 1987, Richard Sharp married Victoria Hull, an American and fellow Goldman Sachs banker, in Connecticut. They have three children together. In October 2008, the couple were living in Kensington, and had an estimated net worth of £500 million. They divorced, and some time after 2014, Hull married British investment banker Sir Simon Robey.
Sharp has given more than £400,000 to the Conservative Party, and £35,000 to the Quilliam think tank via his charity, the Sharp Foundation. When asked why he donated to Quilliam, Sharp said he was impressed by founder Maajid Nawaz's "efforts to combat radicalism and extremism". He is Jewish.
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