Graham Bishop is renowned for his vision, and the courage to propose radical ideas, yet ground them in a mastery of the technical details of the financial system …… to the extent that he has even been referred to as a one-man think tank. His influence at the meeting point of politics, economics and finance has built up since the early 1990s, when he pointed out to the Maastricht Treaty negotiators that government debt would have a fundamentally different quality in a common currency. He went on to play a key role in designing the changeover to the euro, both of national currencies and of Europe’s capital markets.
His influence continues to this day: as Rapporteur of ELEC’s insightful plan for a Euro-T-bill Fund, which would have profound political implications for the euro area, and for Britain, if implemented; as a member of the Liberal Democrats Europe Working Group; and with his 'Brussels for Breakfast' meetings in the City of London (now approaching the 80th event) – which is attended by a wide array of senior officials and government affairs specialists from major financial institutions. Such pro bono activities illuminate Graham’s consultancy services as his deep knowledge of Europe’s financial system is integrated with his understanding of EU economic and budgetary policy-making – whilst set within the necessary framework of democratic accountability.
Graham’s interests have spanned financial markets, economic/budgetary policy and democracy for several decades. These interests involved him with the European Commission: membership of the Maas Committee in 1994/5 (preparing the changeover to the single currency); 1998/9 Financial Services Strategy Group (creating the Financial Services Action Plan) and the Giovannini Group. The European Parliament nominated him as one of its two members of the first Inter-Institutional Monitoring Group and he is a Board member of the Kangaroo Group. He has been a Special Advisor to the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee and to the House of Lords European Committee.
This mixture of themes has dominated his work on monetary union since his time at Salomon Brothers/Citigroup once the “1992” Single Market programme began to achieve political and commercial momentum in the late 1980’s.
The technical nature of the financial system has changed dramatically and the political impact of modern financial markets is now undoubted. The impact of financial institutions and the structure of financial markets all played their role in the original drive towards the Single Currency. Will they now maintain the euro – or fracture it? Graham Bishop believes that market discipline has a vital role in maintaining fiscal sovereignty – again re-inforcing the interaction of monetary union and political sovereignty. These long-standing interests are at the heart of his consultancy work.
European Commission: Mr Bishop was a member of the Commission's Consultative Group on the Impact of the Euro on Capital Markets (the Giovannini Group). He was a Member of the Commission's Strategy Group on Financial Services (1998 – creating the Financial Services Action Plan) and the Committee of Independent Experts on the preparation of the changeover to the single currency (1994/5).
European Parliament: He was nominated by the European Parliament to be one of its two members of the first Inter-Institutional Monitoring Group, as foreseen by the Lamfalussy Report, and was Rapporteur for the spring 2003 and November 2004 Reports.
Kangaroo Group: Elected to the Board in 2005 and re-elected in 2007, 2009 and 2011.
House of Commons: Mr Bishop was a Special Advisor to the Treasury Select Committee in its examination in 2003 of the implications for United Kingdom membership of the Single Currency. He advised the Treasury Committee on the corresponding reports in 1998 and 1996.
House of Lords: He was a Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union in its 2003 inquiry into The Barriers to Competition in the Internal Market for Financial Services.
Liberal Democrats: He is a member of the party's Europe Working Group and served on the previous Europe Group and the Globalisation Group.
City of London: Mr Bishop is a Freeman of the City and was Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders for 2010/11.
He is a Council Member, Federal Trust; a member of the European League for Economic Co-operation (ELEC) - British Section; During the debates on UK membership of EMU, he was a Council Member of both Britain in Europe and City in Europe; Chairman, London Investment Banking Association (LIBA) Committee on converting London's capital markets to the single currency; and Deputy Chairman of the Kingsdown Enquiry of the Action Centre for Europe (ACE) on the implications of EMU for Britain (1995 and 1997 update). He participates in studies and meetings of research institutes such as Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation (CSFI); SUERF and ELEC.
Mr Bishop graduated from Sheffield University in 1972 with a degree in Jurisprudence and worked for UK stockbrokers, Phillips & Drew, as an international economist with particular reference to equity markets. In 1979, he joined S G Warburg to manage pension fund portfolios. His emphasis moved from European equity markets to bonds and currencies, culminating in a move to Salomon Brothers/Citigroup in 1983. Initially, his economic commentaries covered the bond and currency markets of Europe. He authored Citigroup research on the issues surrounding monetary union after it became a serious possibility in 1988. As Adviser on European Financial Affairs at Citigroup in London, he reported to the Co-Chief Executives in Europe.