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Chief investment officer role mooted in Manchester

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The Greater Manchester Combined Authority is to appoint a new finance chief to coordinate efforts to boost the region’s economy, under plans seen by LGC reveal.

The new ‘investment officer’ would be responsible for managing the many disparate funding streams flowing into the region, according to papers due to be considered by the GMCA today.

Its investment budget includes £110m of available funding in the ‘Greater Manchester investment fund’ a pool of cash earmarked for supporting economic growth projects across the region. The region expects this investment fund to top £300m in the next few years, following receipt of around £200m in European regional development money for 2014-20.

The postholder would be expected to provide ‘overall strategic leadership’ to a new core investment team, the papers add. “This senior post will have thre responsibility to drive the strategy and projects for GM investment and would be supported by the core team.

“The candidate will bring the market skills needed to price risk and appraise projects, represent GM to a wide range of stakeholders and support individual local authorites in pipeline development.”

The new post is part of a broader shake-up of the combined authority’s approach to its investment strategy which is being considered at a meeting today. GMCA papers point to “significant challenges” across a region which had suffered a ‘deeper and more prolonged’ impact from the recession than previous thought.

Traditional lenders had adopted a ‘highly conservative’ approach lending, making it difficult for businesses to access the finance they needed to help boost the region’s economy.

“The challenge for GM is not only to provide the conditions that will foster and support the creation of new jobs in the region, but also to enable GM residents to access the new opportunities as they arise.

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