Beyond the Games

Paul Deighton, the former Goldman Sachs banker valued at £95 million (€119 million, $153 million) by the Sunday Times Rich List, may attract envy, admiration or a range of other sentiments depending on your view of wealth. But his performance as chief executive of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) was warmly received almost universally.

Despite having to defend himself in front of a UK government Home Affairs Select Committee over his role in the G4S security shambles – with the private company unable to deliver sufficient security staff for the Games, meaning a deficit had to met by the armed forces – Deighton was lauded for his overall ability “to marry an appreciation of the big picture with attention to detail during the seven-year build up to the Games”, in the words of The Guardian newspaper.

In early September, Deighton was handed a mandate to attract private sector funding for the UK government’s infrastructure plans, having already lured £2 billion of private sector sponsorship for the Olympics. Replacing Lord Sassoon, Deighton will report to Chancellor George Osborne and become a member of the unelected House of Lords.

Meanwhile, Daniel Moylan, chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) – charged with ensuring a successful future for the Olympic Park in East London – is stepping down to head a new aviation policy unit set up by London Mayor Boris Johnson to explore alternatives to building a third runway at over-crowded Heathrow Airport.

While Johnson hails Moylan as a “gifted politician with a superb brain”, his mere three months at the helm of LLDC were volatile. The Financial Times reported that his departure came “after what were thought to be clashes between Mr Moylan and both board members and staff”. John Biggs, Labour London Assembly member for City and East London, claimed the three months under Moylan’s tenure “have essentially been wasted”.

While infrastructure may offer Moylan the opportunity to reaffirm his talents after a challenging period, Deighton approaches his new beat from a rather more comfortable position – that of simply hoping that his star continues to shine.