New government role for ex-bank boss
Lady Rice succeeds Mercer as chairman of Scottish Water
Lady Rice will take up the four-year appointment on 1 June and will be paid £764 a day for two-and-a-half days a week.
She is currently honorary chairman of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and is a non-executive director of Sainsbury’s.
Until recently she sat on the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisers but is still best known for her banking career. She was latterly managing director of Lloyds Banking Group Scotland and among a range of other senior non-executive appointments she spent a seven years as a non-executive director of the Bank of England.
For 11 years she was a non-executive director of utility firm SSE which has a big stake in the water industry through Scottish-Hydro.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney said Lady Rice “brings with her unparalleled skills and experience at the very highest level. Her demonstrable leadership qualities bode well for Scottish Water in striving to continue to build on the success so far achieved in delivering a first class public water service in Scotland. I have no doubt that she has the attributes and drive to succeed in a very challenging period for Scottish Water over the next few years.”
Mr Mercer served the maximum two full terms allowed and Mr Swinney said that during his tenure Scottish Water “has gone from strength to strength and is now on a par with the top private water companies in England and Wales, providing one of the best value-for-money water services in the UK.”
His contribution to water services in Scotland was recognised by being appointed a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for 2013.
Lady Rice said: “This role will leverage my experience on the boards of energy, retail and finance companies, my interest in resources and environmental matters, and a keen understanding that there’s little that can be more important to the people of any country than plentiful and safe water. I look forward to playing my part in such an important enterprise.”
This appointment is regulated by the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life in Scotland.
Scottish Water has an annual turnover of more than £1 billion, it is the fourth largest water and waste water service provider in the UK and one of Scotland’s largest businesses by turnover. It provides 1.3 billion litres of high quality drinking water every day and nearly one billion litres of waste water are taken away and treated before being returned to the rivers and seas.