Competition & Markets Authority, Chair

Body: Competition & Markets Authority
Appointing Department: Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sector: Business, Finance & Skills
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: Annual remuneration package of £106,666 per annum, plus reasonable expenses.
Time Requirements: The CMA Chair will typically be expected to work around 2 days per week. The Chair will be required to attend Board meetings in London and Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast. There will be occasional international travel.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications


  • Panel Sift

    Weeks commencing 22/02/21

  • Informal conversations / referencing

    Weeks commencing 08/03/21 and 15/03/21

  • Senior staff engagement

    Weeks commencing 22/03/21 and 29/03/21

  • Final Interview Date

    Week commencing 12/04/21

  • Pre-Appointment Hearing with BEIS Select Committee

    May / June 2021 TBC

  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

  • Jaee Samant

    Panel Chair

    Director General, Markets Frameworks, Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy • Departmental Official

    Show more information

  • Phil Duffy

    Director General, Growth and Productivity, HM Treasury • Departmental Official

    Show more information

  • Perdita Fraser

    University of Edinburgh governing body, adviser to Ashoka UK, a partner of SJF & Co • Senior Independent Panel Member

    Show more information

Vacancy Description

The Organisation:

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is the UK’s primary competition and consumer body. It promotes competition for the benefit of consumers, and the UK business environment, both within the UK and internationally, and its aim is to ensure that markets work well for consumers, businesses and the economy.

The CMA is a non-Ministerial department which was established by the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 on 1 April 2014. The CMA has staff in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

The BEIS Secretary of State sets the policy framework for competition which gives the CMA powers to investigate mergers, breaches of the Competition Act 1998 (CA98) prohibitions, poorly functioning markets and to protect consumers from unfair trading practices. The CMA also considers appeals against the economic regulators’ decisions. Larger cross-border EU cases are currently enforced by the European Commission and following the end of the transition period the CMA will take on more of these cases.

The CMA is directly funded by Her Majesty’s Treasury and is accountable to Parliament. Once in each Parliament, a Strategic Steer to the CMA is published by the Government outlining the key focuses and challenges for competition. Sponsorship for the organisation is shared between HM Treasury (funding) and BEIS (policy).

The Competition and Markets Authority, Chair:

The new Chair will lead an effective Board, setting the strategy for the organisation to meet new challenges including supporting the UK economy to grow post-coronavirus pandemic and taking more, and more complex, cases previously heard by the European Commission.

The non-executive Chair, together with the non-executive members of the Board, will bring appropriate challenge to the decisions made by the executive in running the organisation. The Chair must work effectively with the CMA’s Chief Executive, executive team, non-executive members, and the CMA’s panel of independent competition and consumer experts. In doing so, the Chair will need to gain and retain the confidence of a wide range of stakeholders including Government, business, consumer groups, competition specialists and other international competition authorities.

The CMA Board currently consists of a Chair, five non-executive members and other members including the CMA Chief Executive and Executive Directors. Two of the non-executive members are also members of the CMA’s independent decision-making Panel.

The Board establishes the overall strategic direction of the CMA within the policy framework laid down under the Act. The Board ensures that the CMA as a statutory body fulfils its statutory duties and functions. It considers the opinions and reports of the CMA Accounting Officer and oversees the appropriate use of public funds.

As the Chair, you will have the following responsibilities:

  • Providing effective leadership and strategic direction to form a cohesive and focused Board – enabling a high standard of discussion and debate and facilitating collaborative working;
  • Maintaining an open and productive relationship with the Chief Executive and the executive team, providing appropriate challenge and support in achieving the objectives of the CMA;
  • Working effectively with the Chair of the CMA Panel and Inquiry Chairs, recognising that the Panel must make its decisions independently of the Board;
  • Enabling the Board to take consistent, proportionate and fair decisions, ensuring that the Board has the information necessary to perform its tasks, including relevant views from Ministers and other stakeholders;
  • Working with the Chief Executive to influence, and collaborate with, key stakeholders, including Ministers, business, voluntary and community bodies and regulators, making the case for sound competition and consumer protection practices;
  • Steering the organisation towards one which has the capability to oversee firms operating in digital and tech markets and the operational and technical challenges which that presents;
  • Ensuring the Board is guided by and sets high standards of propriety for the organisation, including the efficient and effective use of staff and resources; and
  • Ensuring appropriate evaluation of the performance of the Board and individual members, working with the Board and Senior Independent Member to ensure it has an appropriate and diverse range of skills, and that workloads are effectively managed.

Person Specification

It is essential that your application demonstrates substantial evidence of achievement in the following areas:

Essential Criteria

  • An ability to provide effective leadership of the Board, develop consensus and empower challenge, and to drive forward a clear strategic vision during a time of significant change.
  • Excellent analytical skills, judgement and sound decision-making are required, and the ability to develop and implement robust governance arrangements.
  • Awareness, knowledge and understanding of business and markets.
  • Good understanding of how large organisations operate.
  • A strong commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.
  • The ability to inspire dedication, pace and innovation, ensuring the development, sustainability and high performance of the Board as a whole and of individual members.
  • Excellent influencing and communication skills, including the ability to command trust and confidence at all levels, engage successfully with external audiences and build relationships internationally.

Although direct experience of competition or consumer issues would be welcome, we encourage applications from individuals with any relevant experience and background, including but not limited to competition, consumer, regulation, digital, retail, financial services or other environments.

Additional Information

Selection Process

Applications will be sifted by the assessment panel and a shortlist of candidates for interview will be drawn up. Candidates shortlisted for interview will then follow a 3-part selection process:

  • You will have a ‘fireside chat’ with the CEO or Chair of the CMA. Feedback will be shared with the Chair of the interview panel.
  • You will be invited to attend a staff engagement exercise with participants from the CMA, BEIS and HMT. The session will be observed by a psychologist and a report will be provide to the interview panel.
  • You will have a formal interview with a panel of 3 interviewers comprising questions and discussion. 

If you are shortlisted for the role, due diligence checks will be carried out and your referees are likely to be contacted.

This appointment is subject to pre-appointment scrutiny by the BEIS Select Committee.

Pre-appointment scrutiny is an important part of the appointment process for some of the most significant public appointments made by Ministers. It is designed to provide an added level of scrutiny to verify that the recruitment meets the principles set out in the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

The pre-appointment scrutiny aspect of the appointment has two parts.

First, information concerning the appointment and the Minister’s preferred candidate will be shared with the relevant select committee. As part of this process you will need to be content for your name and your CV to be shared with the select committee as the Government’s preferred candidate. You may also be required to complete a pre-appointment hearing questionnaire which could include, among other things:

  • declarations of any relevant potential conflicts of interest;
  • what you see as the priorities and key risks for the organisation;
  • questions about how you would lead the board and work with stakeholders;
  • your commitment to standards in public life and how you would handle being in the public eye.

Normally any information provided to the select committee by the Government or a candidate will be published.

Second, it is likely that the select committee will decide to call the Government’s preferred candidate to a public hearing before the select committee to answer questions relating to their suitability to the role. You would not be expected to have an in-depth technical knowledge of how the body works or an exact plan of what you would do in the role, however you will be expected to provide a credible representation of your understanding of the work of the body and what your role in its future would be.

The proposed date for a pre-appointment hearing is yet to be confirmed but is expected to be in May or June 2021.

You will be asked to prepare some identification documents if you are invited to an interview – further information will be provided at that stage.

BEIS GDPR Privacy Notice
Conflicts of interest
CMA Appendix I - Personal Details Conflict of Interest and Diversity Monitoring Form
Return to Search