Investments  

NS&I boss Ian Ackerley to step down next year

NS&I boss Ian Ackerley to step down next year
Outgoing NS&I chief executive Ian Ackerley

National Savings & Investments chief executive Ian Ackerley will step down next year, after being at the helm of the state-owned savings bank for six years.

He will step down in March 2023, following two three-year-long runs as boss. Ackerley joined the organisation in 2017, after heading up Barclays’ UK retail investment business.

Ackerley also spent years at Virgin Money, Sun Life International, and McKinsey & Company where he started out as a consultant.

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Following the announcement of his departure today, HM Treasury will shortly begin the process of recruiting a new chief executive. 

Under Ackerley’s leadership, NS&I grew funds invested by savers from £147bn in 2017 to £209bn today. It has also managed to whittle down its efficiency ratio – a measure of how much it costs NS&I to manage each £100 of funds it holds – from 9.4p in 2017 to 6.8p.

The bank also launched green savings bonds under Ackerley. However, these have been branded a "flop" after receiving low levels of investment. This was despite the government then doubling the interest rate on the bonds to remedy a “lacklustre” launch.

Amidst this, NS&I has been working on the 'Rainbow' programme, something Ackerley’s successor will inherit. This programme will see NS&I move from a single public-private partnership to a multi-supplier operating model from 2024.

On his exit from the bank, Ackerley said today: “While the Covid-19 crisis brought its operational challenges, I’m proud that we delivered £38bn of additional government funding in the first six months of 2020-21 – more than we had raised in the previous three years put together and approximately equivalent to the cost of the first six months of the government’s furlough scheme.

“We have also grown NS&I’s broader support of government policy: launching green savings bonds in 2021, investment guaranteed growth bonds in 2017, delivering the Help to Save scheme, Help to Buy, Childcare Services; and the Mortgage Guarantee scheme.

“With NS&I’s Rainbow transformation underway, it is the right time for me to step down and hand over to my successor to take NS&I forward.”

NS&I’s chairperson, Ed Anderson, said Ackerley would leave with its Rainbow programme “well underway”. He added: “This will transform our business to ensure we continue to serve customers and taxpayers for many years to come.”

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com