Mervyn Davies, Baron Davies of Abersoch

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The Lord Davies of Abersoch
Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Business
In office
14 January 2009 – 11 May 2010
Prime MinisterGordon Brown
Preceded byGareth Thomas
Succeeded byMark Prisk
Member of the House of Lords
Lord Temporal
Assumed office
2 February 2009
Life Peerage
Personal details
Evan Mervyn Davies

(1952-11-21) 21 November 1952 (age 71)
Political partyNone (non-affiliated)
Other political
Labour (former)

Evan Mervyn Davies, Baron Davies of Abersoch, CBE (born 21 November 1952) is a British former banker and was a Labour government minister until May 2010, as Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Small Business. Davies remains a UK government Trade Envoy for Sri Lanka.

He is currently non-executive chairman of L1 Holdings,[1] a senior advisor to Teneo,[2] chairman of the LTA,[3] and an honorary professor at Cardiff Business School.[4] He is also on the World Rugby Executive Committee,[5] and chair of the Glyndebourne opera festival.[6]

Early life[edit]

Davies was born on 21 November 1952. He was educated at Rydal Penrhos in North Wales.[7]


Davies started his career in banking at Midland Bank where his father was a bank manager, before moving to Citibank where is worked for 10 years, and then to Standard Chartered in 1993.[8][9] Davies was Chairman of Standard Chartered PLC between November 2006 and January 2009, having been Chief executive between 2001 and 2006 and a director since 1997.[10]

Since 2010, Davies has held executive roles on the board of Corsair Capital LLC, a private equity investor, where he was the chairman and a partner.[11] Chairman until 2022,[12] he remains a senior advisor.[13] Davies also spent 10 years[14] as a non-executive director at Diageo,[15] serving as senior director and chair of the company's remuneration committee during that time.[14] He was named the chairman of Intermediate Capital Group (ICG) in 2019[15] and NESsT in 2021.[16]

From 2014, he was chairman of Jack Wills, a fashion business.[17] In August 2016 Sky News reported that Davies was to stand down as Jack Wills was taken over in a private equity transaction involving Bluegem taking a minority stake in the company following reported losses.[18]

In November 2013, Davies became chairman of the Garden Bridge Trust, planning a bridge over the Thames in London, just 200m from Waterloo Bridge.[19] The bridge was intended to be built largely from privately donated funds, but on 26 July 2016 the BBC reported that Davies had approached the Secretary of State for Transport seeking an extension of a £15m government underwriting commitment until September 2017. £37.7m had been spent on preliminary works, but construction of the bridge had not started and was being delayed until the autumn of 2016.[20] However, the project was subsequently further delayed, and construction of the bridge did not start in 2016. In January 2017 the Garden Bridge Trust lodged its accounts with Companies House but was unable to classify itself as a going concern, due to uncertainties about the funding and planning permissions needed for the bridge. Davies insisted that the Garden Bridge Trust expected to start construction "in 2017",[21] but the project was scrapped in August of that year,[22] having spent taxpayers' funds of £50m.[23]

In May 2015 Davies was appointed deputy chairman of the LetterOne Group, an investment business in the energy, technology and telecom sectors.[24] He became the non-executive chairman of the board of directors of both L1 Holdings and L1 Investment Holdings.[1] In March 2022, LetterOne froze the shareholdings of two EU sanctioned directors and removed them from its board, leaving Davies in control of the firm.[25][26] Denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Davies stated that LetterOne would donate US$150 million and all dividends for the "foreseeable future" to Ukrainian relief efforts.[27] Later that month, Davies oversaw the appointment of Franz Humer to the LetterOne board.[28] Davies personally invested in the software startup Configur in June 2022.[29]

Public appointments[edit]

Davies was appointed CBE in 2002 for his services to the financial sector,[30] and in 2004, he was appointed a Justice of the Peace in Hong Kong.[31]

He was made a life peer on 2 February 2009 as Baron Abersoch, of Abersoch in the County of Gwynedd,[32] with ministerial posts in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. He later held posts in Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform and in Trade, Investment and Small Business[33] and is currently Trade Envoy to Sri Lanka.[34]

Personal life[edit]

Davies married Jeanne Marie Gammie in 1979.[7] They have a son and a daughter.[7]

Davies speaks Welsh.[9] He is a member of The Arts Club.[7] He is a Trustee of the Royal Academy of Arts Development Trust,[35] and is a keen tennis player.[3]


Coat of arms of Mervyn Davies, Baron Davies of Abersoch
A demi-goat Argent and unguled Or supporting between the feet a gavel head upwards Azure.
Azure a barrulet dancetty of two points upwards engrailed on the upper edge Or between three roundels Argent one and two over all issuing in base a pile engrailed Or thereon a pile Azure charged with a roundel Argent.[36]
Trwy Fentro Mae Llwydd


  1. ^ a b "Lord Davies of Abersoch - LetterOne". Archived from the original on 29 October 2015.
  2. ^ "Teneo Holdings - leadership". Retrieved 13 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b "What We Do: Meet The LTA Board". Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Lord Mervyn Davies of Abersoch Honorary Distinguished Professor Cardiff Business". Cardiff University. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  5. ^ "World Rugby Council elects Jonathan Webb to the Executive Committee | World Rugby". Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  6. ^ Seymour, Claire (22 October 2021). "Sarah Hopwood, Managing Director at Glyndebourne, to retire in autumn 2022". Opera Today. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  7. ^ a b c d "DAVIES OF ABERSOCH, Baron". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Profile: trade minister Mervyn Davies". the Guardian. 14 January 2009. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  9. ^ a b Mathiason, Nick (18 January 2009). "Mervyn Davies is that rare breed: a banker that people like". the Guardian. Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  10. ^ "News & Media – Standard Chartered Bank". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Davies joins US private equity group Corsair". Financial Times. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  12. ^ Nimmo, Jamie (7 July 2023). "Outcry as Lord Barker aims for key role in EN+ split". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  13. ^ "Corsair". Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  14. ^ a b "Diageo Announces Changes To Its Board Of Directors". Hospitality Ireland. 24 April 2020. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  15. ^ a b "ICG names new chairman". GlobalCapital Securitization. 2 October 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  16. ^ "Meet NESsT's New Board Chair: Lord Mervyn Davies". NESsT. 5 May 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  17. ^ "Jack Wills to hire former trade minister Lord Davies as chairman". RetailWeek. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  18. ^ "Jack Wills Stake Sale Triggers Ex-Trade Minister's Exit". Sky News. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  19. ^ "The hanging garden of London: funding drive begins for UK's first 'floating paradise' bridge". The Independent. 1 November 2013. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Will London's Garden Bridge ever be built? – BBC News". BBC. 26 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  21. ^ "Report and Accounts : 11 January 2017, GBT". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  22. ^ "London garden bridge project scrapped". The Guardian. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  23. ^ "Wasted Garden Bridge Cash Could Have Bought Over 2,000 Police Officers". LBC. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  24. ^ "Lord Davies appointed Deputy Chairman of the LetterOne Group". LetterOne.
  25. ^ Thomas, Daniel; Seddon, Max (2 March 2022). "Mikhail Fridman loses control of LetterOne after sanctions". Financial Times. Retrieved 2 March 2022.
  26. ^ "Mikhail Fridman loses control of LetterOne after sanction" ([1]); Financial Times (; 02-03-2022; retrieved on 20 January 2023
  27. ^ Neate, Rupert (7 March 2022). "Three more Russian billionaires resign from LetterOne board". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  28. ^ "LetterOne Adds Franz Humer to Board After Billionaires Resign" ([2]); BNN Bloomberg (; 10-03-2022; retrieved on 20 January 2023
  29. ^ "Newport data software startup Configur receives investment from industry experts and former Apple employees". South Wales Argus. 20 June 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  30. ^ "Profile: Lord Mervyn Davies". 19 November 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  31. ^ "Can Davies lift the City-to-politics curse?". The Independent. 18 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 May 2022. Retrieved 10 October 2020.
  32. ^ "No. 58973". The London Gazette. 6 February 2009. p. 2085.
  33. ^ "Lord Davies of Abersoch". UK Parliament. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  34. ^ "Prime Minister's Trade Envoys". GOV.UK. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  35. ^ "The Royal Academy Development Trust". Royal Academy.
  36. ^ Debrett's Peerage. 2015. p. 328.
Orders of precedence in the United Kingdom
Preceded by Gentlemen
Baron Davies of Abersoch
Followed by