Tony Blair's son tapped for UK government diversity task force

Oscar Williams-Grut
·Senior City Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·3-min read
Euan Blair during the Progress annual conference, at TUC Congress House, central London.
Euan Blair during the Progress annual conference, at TUC Congress House, central London. Photo: PA

The son of former UK prime Minister Tony Blair has been appointed to a new government task force aiming to improve socio-economic diversity in financial services.

Euan Blair, 37, is among 30 appointees announced on Monday to the new task force set up the government last November.

The group aims to "challenge the lack of career progression for those coming from non-professional backgrounds and to explore the intersections with other protected characteristics, including gender and race."

The City of London Corporation, which is running the group on behalf of the government, said 18% of the task force members were from black, asian or minority ethnic background (BAME) and 50% were women. 41% are from "non-professional" backgrounds, defined based on the occupation of the candidate's parents at age 14.

Blair celebrated his 14th birthday in Downing Street, where his father had taken up residence less than a year before.

Yale-educated Blair now runs Multiverse, an education startup that offers an alternative to university education through a combination of apprenticeships and professional coaching.

Multiverse, which Blair founded in 2016, raised $44m (£31m) from investors in January. The deal valued the company at $200m. Tatler said Blair was "very likely richer than his father" after the transaction.

Euan, far left, stood next to father Tony Blair in front of 10 Downing Street as Blair and his family said goodbye to media in central London, on 27 June 2007. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images
Euan, far left, stood next to father Tony Blair in front of 10 Downing Street as Blair and his family said goodbye to media in central London, on 27 June 2007. Photo: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Multiverse helps companies recruit more diverse talent. 36% of its apprentices are from socio-economically disadvantaged background. Just over half are from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds and just over half are women. The Financial Times reported that Multiverse works with over 300 businesses across Europe, including Facebook (FB), Morgan Stanley, and KPMG.

"Apprenticeships will be a valuable tool to explore when it comes to improving social mobility," a spokesperson for the City of London Corporation said.

Asked about Blair's appointment, the spokesperson said "a fair and transparent process was applied with appointments to the task force coming from wide range of diverse backgrounds."

Other members of the task force include: Sarah Atkinson, chief executive at Social Mobility Foundation; KPMG vice-chair Richard Iferenta, who was recently named the tenth most influential black person in the UK; AXA Health chief executive Tracy Garrad; and Mizuho International president and chief executive Suneel Bakhshi, one of the most senior Asian people in the City.

“We are delighted to have the support of a great group of individuals, whose experience and knowledge will be vital to making the task-force’s work a success," said the City of London's Catherine McGuinness, who chairs the task force.

John Glen, economic secretary to the Treasury, said: “We must tackle the socioeconomic barriers that still prevent talented people from reaching their potential. It’s not just right for society, it’s right for our firms, who will benefit through greater diversity of thought and experience in their leadership teams.

"I am confident this task force will inspire the solutions and commitments from management teams that we need to deliver meaningful change.”