CBI boss left out of merger talks with manufacturing body Make UK
The CBI boss has been sidelined as the embattled business organization explores a merger with manufacturing body Make UK, the Mail understands.
A source close to the discussions said Rain Newton-Smith “has had very little involvement in the talks”, which come as the CBI faces a liquidity crisis.
Talks have included plans to merge the internal operations of the two organizations with significant redundancies likely in the finance and human resources departments, the Mail was told.
The CBI and Make UK declined to comment.
Newton-Smith was appointed CBI director general in April after he became embroiled in a series of sexual misconduct allegations.
Talks: Rain Newton-Smith was parachuted in as CBI director general in April after he became embroiled in a series of sexual misconduct allegations.
This resulted in a wave of companies, including John Lewis, Aviva and NatWest, resigning as members. and led Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to declare that there was “no point” in talking to her as businesses left en masse.
It now faces a financial crisis, with the Sunday Times reporting that the CBI was racing to raise £3 million from its remaining members within days. And earlier this month it emerged he was in talks with Make UK about a partnership.
The Mail understands that under the plans, Make UK would take over the CBI, and that the CBI only has six weeks of cash left.
The merger would take place next spring and Stephen Phipson, chief executive of Make UK, would lead the entire group.
The CBI would continue to exist within this structure, led by Newton-Smith, with Ben Fletcher, operations director of Make UK, replacing Phipson in that organisation.
It was not clear why Newton-Smith was sidelined from the talks or who represents the CBI in the discussions.
CBI members will receive an update this week. Its annual general meeting will be held tomorrow.
Commenting on reports of the intention to raise new funds from members, a CBI spokesperson said: ‘As has been widely reported, the CBI has experienced some short-term cash flow challenges following an incredibly difficult year for the organisation. .
“Various options are being explored to resolve this issue and secure an organization that remains in a strong position in the medium to long term.”