Rupert Harrison – Wikipedia

Rupert Harrison CBE (born 1 November 1978)[1] is a British Economist and a Portfolio Manager at BlackRock. He was from 2006 to 2015 the Chief of Staff to George Osborne, the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, and Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in the UK Treasury.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in São Paulo, Harrison is the youngest son of a bank manager and a French teacher. He won a scholarship[3] to Eton College (where he was head boy).[1]

He then went to Magdalen College, Oxford University where he initially studied Physics, but then switched to a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, achieving first-class honours.[4] One of his tutors at Oxford was Stewart Wood, who went on to become an adviser to both Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband, and the two apparently remained friends.[5]

In 2007 he obtained a PhD degree in Economics from University College London entitled, Innovation and technology adoption and his academic research was published in the American Economic Review, the Economic Journal and the Review of Economics and Statistics amongst others.[6][7][8]

From 2002, Harrison worked at the Institute for Fiscal Studies as Senior Research Economist.

From 2006-2010 he was Chief Economic Advisor to the then Leader of the Opposition David Cameron and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne. From 2010-2015 he was Chief of Staff to UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and Chair of the UK’s Council of Economic Advisors.[9]

In August 2015 Harrison joined the investment firm BlackRock where he is a Portfolio Manager and Chief Macro Strategist for Multi-Asset Strategies.[10][11][12]

Harrison has written opinion pieces for the Financial Times[13][14] and appears regularly as a commentator on TV and radio.[15][16]

Views on Brexit[edit]

Harrison believes Brexit damages the UK economy. He wrote, “Q2 growth of 0.3% is not the end of the world, and I’m less gloomy than many on the outlook. But the rest of Europe is booming and we’re not”.[17][18]


In 2014 Harrison was said to be one of the most powerful people in the UK and to be the main reason why Osborne could be a “part time” Chancellor.[19][3]

In March 2014, he was the subject of the BBC Radio 4 Profile programme.[20]

Harrison was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2015 Dissolution Honours Lists on 27 August 2015.[21]

Personal life[edit]

In his first year at Oxford he was in a band called Psychid with three other students.[22]

In 2004, he married Jo Orpin, a Magdalen contemporary who has worked as a divorce lawyer and family therapist.[1][23]

In June 2013 it was reported by Guido Fawkes in The Sun that Harrison delivered his son himself after the midwife was delayed, apparently earning him the nickname “safe hands Harrison”.[24]

Since January 2017 he has been Chair of The Fore, a charity dedicated to funding small charities and social enterprises.[9]


  1. ^ a b c “All power to the new Tories” (July 2010),
  2. ^ “Rupert Harrison | Conservative Home”. Conservative Home. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  3. ^ a b “Key player: Rupert Harrison is the most important person in Government”. The Independent. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  4. ^ Greaves, Mark (21 April 2011). “Spads you like: Osborne’s Treasury advisers”. Channel 4 News. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  5. ^ “Poles apart in politics but best of friends away from the House”. The Times. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  6. ^ “AEAweb: AER (96,5) p. 1859 – How Special Is the Special Relationship? Using the Impact of U.S. R&D Spillovers on U.K. Firms as a Test of Technology Sourcing” (PDF). doi:10.1257/aer.96.5.1859.
  7. ^ MacArtney, Gareth; Harrison, Rupert; Griffith, Rachel (2 May 2007). “Product Market Reforms, Labour Market Institutions and Unemployment”. SSRN 981048.
  8. ^ “ICT and Productivity in Developing Countries”. doi:10.1162/REST_a_00080.
  9. ^ a b “thefore”. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  10. ^ “Osborne’s former right hand man moves to BlackRock”. 11 June 2015 – via
  11. ^ Pickard, Jim; Agnew, Harriet (11 June 2015). “Architect of UK pension reforms Rupert Harrison joins BlackRock”.
  12. ^ BlackRock Strategist Prefers European to U.S. Equities,, retrieved 5 July 2017
  13. ^ Harrison, Rupert (27 June 2016). “We now need a proper roadmap to quell corrosive uncertainty”.
  14. ^ “In praise of post-financial crisis paranoia”. 11 December 2015.
  15. ^ BBC Newsnight (9 March 2017), Budget 2017: The big debate – BBC Newsnight, retrieved 5 July 2017
  16. ^ @daily_politics (19 May 2017). “I think that probably did cost us votes in 2010, but it was worth it for the authority it gave to go on & do diffi…” (Tweet). Retrieved 5 July 2017 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ “The Brexit slowdown is real”. 26 July 2017.
  18. ^ Rupert Harrison
  19. ^ Nelson, Fraser (16 March 2014). “Ever wondered how George Osborne can be a part-time Chancellor?”. Sunday Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2014. … the most powerful person that no one has heard of …
  20. ^ Sieghart, Mary Ann (15 March 2014). “Rupert Harrison”. Profile. BBC. Radio 4. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  21. ^ Prime Minister’s Office (27 August 2015). “Press release Dissolution Honours 2015”. Retrieved 30 August 2015.
  22. ^ “NIGHTSHIFT – The Big Question – July 2002”. Retrieved 7 October 2014.
  23. ^ “Jo Harrison – Counsellor & Family Consultant”. Family Law in Partnership. Retrieved 5 March 2021.
  24. ^ “Safe Hands Harrison”. Guy Fawkes’ blog. 10 June 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2014.

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