Hakluyt CEO Chandra to lead Labour business

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By Creative Media News

  • Varun Chandra in talks for Downing Street role
  • Hakluyt CEO since 2019, ex-Lehman banker
  • Possible business liaison or investment minister

Varun Chandra, who has led the corporate intelligence firm since 2019, is in line for a key business liaison position at 10 Downing Street.

The CEO of Hakluyt, a corporate intelligence firm, is being considered for a prominent business position in Sir Keir Starmer’s emerging Labour cabinet.

Varun Chandra, Hakluyt’s managing partner since 2019, is in advanced talks about joining the government.

According to sources, he is expected to take on a top business liaison post in 10 Downing Street, similar to Lord Petitgas, the former Morgan Stanley banker who served in Rishi Sunak’s government.

Mr Chandra, like Lord Petitgas, is a former Lehman Brothers banker who later established Tony Blair’s regulated commercial operations.

Hakluyt is a privately owned organization that specializes in corporate intelligence for clients, which has grown increasingly profitable given the complicated geopolitical landscape that global corporations face.

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On Tuesday, Labour sources stressed that Mr Chandra’s role had yet to be confirmed and that he could yet take an alternate position, such as Lord Johnson’s investment minister post in the last government.

While the latter position would include peerage, it remains to be whether the Downing Street business liaison role would do the same.

Lord Hague, the former Tory leader and foreign secretary, chairs Hakluyt’s international advisory board, and the firm employs Olly Robbins, Theresa May’s main Brexit negotiator.

If he does join the government, Mr Chandra must sell his stake in Hakluyt or put it in a blind trust or similar structure.

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