Get rich or spy trying! Former MI6 chief Sir Alex Younger joins Goldman Sachs as a paid adviser less than a year after leaving the intelligence service

  • The ex-spy is regional adviser and will provide strategic advice to the bank giant
  • The 58-year-old said he will assist firm in geopolitics, international risk and cyber
  • Goldman Sachs confirmed to MailOnline it had hired him as a ‘Regional Adviser’
  • A spokesman said those in the role ‘provide strategic advice to Goldman Sachs’

Former MI6 chief Sir Alex Younger has joined Goldman Sachs as a paid adviser less than a year after leaving the secret intelligence service.

The ex-spy is a regional adviser and will provide strategic advice to the banking giant using his expertise.

The 58-year-old said he will assist the firm in geopolitics, international risk and cyber security.

Sir Alex led the MI6 from October 2014 to September 2020 and was the longest serving ‘C’ in 50 years.

In that time he oversaw the response to the Salisbury poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

Goldman Sachs today confirmed to MailOnline it had hired him as a ‘Regional Adviser’.

A spokesman said that those given the role ‘provide strategic advice to Goldman Sachs’.

They added: ‘Drawing on their experience, they provide independent advice on matters pertaining to their respective country, industry or area of expertise.’

The ex-spy (pictured) is a regional adviser and will provide strategic advice to the banking giant using his expertise

The 58-year-old said he will assist the firm (pictured, its London HQ) in geopolitics, international risk and cyber security

Sir Alex had submitted a business appointment application to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments over taking the job.

The decision was released by the group today allowing him to take the post but with some caveats to prevent any sensitive information unfairly benefiting the US firm.

The conditions included him ‘not drawing on any privileged information available to him from his time in Crown service’.

It said: ‘For two years from his last day in Crown service, he should not become personally involved in lobbying the UK government on behalf of The Goldman Sachs International.

‘Nor should he make use, directly or indirectly, of his contacts in the government and/or Crown service contacts to influence policy, secure business/funding or otherwise unfairly advantage Goldman Sachs International.’

It continued: ‘For two years from his last day in Crown service, he should not provide advice to Goldman Sachs International on the terms of, or with regard to the subject matter of, a bid with, or contract relating directly to the work of the UK government.’

Sir Alex had submitted a business appointment application to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments over taking the job (pictured)

Sir Alex, who was chief of MI6 (pictured, its London HQ)  had submitted a business appointment application to the Advisory Committee on Business Appointments over the job

And it added: ‘For two years from his last day in Crown service, he should not advise Goldman Sachs International or its clients on work with regard to any policy or any operational matter he had specific involvement or responsibility for as Chief of the Secret Intelligence Service.’

Sir Alex is also restricted from lobbying, with the Business Appointment Rules saying he should not contact government to try to influence policy to help Goldman Sachs.

The former spy is also still bound by the Official Secrets Act. In his application, he said his new role would not involve working with the government.

He added he had not been a part of any relevant policy development or decisions that would have affected Goldman Sachs and did not meet with its competitors.

Sir Alex was the longest serving ‘C’ – the initial used within Whitehall to denote the head of MI6 – for a generation.


Sir Alex played the real life version of ‘M’ in the James Bond films. Left: Ralph Fiennes took on the role from Dame Judi Dench (right)

It is unusual for someone in the role to stay on for more than five years, with Sir John Sawers, Sir John Scarlett and Sir Richard Dearlove all leaving within that period.

But Sir Alex was asked to continue in his job – rather than retire as planned in November 2019 – because No 10 wanted to maintain stability amid Brexit turmoil.

PM Theresa May said he would continue in his position on the recommendation of her National Security Advisor and the then Cabinet Secretary Sir Mark Sedwill.

But it did not mean Sir Alex was the longest serving in history due to Sir Dick White, who was head of MI6 for 12 years between 1956-1968 at the height of the Cold War.

Sir Alex left the Secret Intelligence Service in September 2020 after six years in charge.

The Advisory Committee on Business Appointments approved Sir Alex to join Goldman Sachs.

It said: ‘The SIS, FCDO and the Cabinet Office all confirmed the details provided by Sir Alex.

‘The SIS and FCDO confirmed by definition Sir Alex has in the past had access to privileged information relating to issues across the world.

‘However, it confirmed Sir Alex remains bound by the Official Secrets Act. All departments confirmed they had no concerns with this appointment and recommended the standard conditions apply.’

Sir Alex took over from Sir John Sawers as ‘C’ of the Secret Intelligence Service – otherwise known as MI6.

The former army officer had for the two years before been overseeing MI6’s global spy network.

Sir Alex was born in Westminster and read economics at St Andrews. He is married to Sarah Hopkins and they have three children.

But in 2019 his son Sam Younger, 22, a student at the University of Edinburgh, died in a car accident on a private estate in Scotland.

Sam Younger (pictured), a student at Edinburgh University and the son of MI6 chief Alex Younger, died in a car crash on a Scottish estate in 2019

The accident happened on a private estate in Stirlingshire, Scotland. He was studying international relations at the Edinburgh University.

He was also a reservist with the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry, which is paired with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

Although he was educated in London at Dulwich College his family have deep Scottish roots.

Meanwhile Sir Alex has had overseas postings in Europe and the Middle East and was the senior MI6 officer in Afghanistan.

He has filled a range of operational roles in London, including leading the Service’s work on counter terrorism in the three years running up to the Olympic Games.

Outside of SIS, the economics graduate is said to enjoy music, sailing and mountaineering.

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