Lord (Jim) O'Neill

Lord (Jim) O'Neill

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Former Chairman, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

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As Commercial Secretary to the Treasury, Jim was responsible for making projects like the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ viable. He then led the review into the global threat of antimicrobial resistant viruses. Previously he served as the acclaimed chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, and as their Chief Economist. In 2001 he predicted that the then G7 countries would no longer be the drivers of the world economy; coining the ‘BRICs’ acronym, he argued that globalisation would bring a new era. He considers what makes an economy thrive, whether at home or on a global scale, and the outlook for the future of business.


Jim O’Neill served as the Government’s Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and is the former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He has also served as Goldman Sachs’ head of Global Economics, Commodities and Strategy Research and has led reviews into regional investment and development, and into global antibiotic research.

Jim is the creator of the acronym BRICs. Together with his colleagues, he has published much research about BRICs, which has become synonymous with the emergence of Brazil, Russia, India and China as the growth opportunities of the future. A great deal of this research was compiled in the best-selling
The Growth Map: Economic Opportunity in the BRICs and Beyond. He later went on to coin the term MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) when studying the next set of potential growth markets.

As Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Jim was chiefly charged with making regional financial devolution, and ideas such as the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ a viable project. He considered how to move areas like transport, planning and housing into local control, and the impact on regional economies. He also led the Government review in to the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance analysing the problem and potential solutions to this international threat.

A regular contributor to the media on all matters economic and business, Jim’s opinions are regularly sought by BBC TV and radio, Sky, and a host of newspapers and specialist business media. A member of the board of the European policy think-tank the Itinera Institute, Jim has also been on the board of the Bruegel think-tank since its creation. He is a member of the UK-India Round Table and the UKIBC. and chairman and one of the founding trustees of the London-based charity SHINE.

Jim previously served as a non-executive director of Manchester United before it returned to private ownership. He was an active member of the Red Knights, the investment group which attempted to wrestle the club from its US owners, the Glazer family.

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