Sadiq Khan has appointed Rajesh Agrawal as his Deputy Mayor for Business. Agrawal, a fintech entrepreneur and innovator, is the founder and CEO of Xendpay, an international money transfer service, and RationalFX, an online foreign exchange service – both of which have grown into globally successful businesses.
He has been tasked by the Mayor with championing London’s interests following the EU referendum, and protecting jobs and growth while the negotiation process takes place.
The Mayor’s second high profile appointment is Jules Pipe as Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills.
Jules Pipe has been directly elected Mayor of Hackney since 2002 and served as the Chair of London Councils since 2010. During that time he has overseen significant development on the city fringe in Hackney. Although sensible and technocratic, he does not give carte blanche to developers and was an outspoken critic of Hammerson and Ballymore’s Bishopsgate Goods Yard development.
Under this portfolio, Pipe will have oversight of major regeneration and infrastructure projects across the capital, lead on revision of the London Plan, work to address London’s skills shortage and work closely with James Murray, Deputy Mayor for Housing, to boost housing delivery.
The appointment is significant for three reasons. The portfolio is wide-ranging, making Jules Pipe one of the most influential members of Sadiq Khan’s top team. It is also an indication of the Mayor’s belief that skills and regeneration are inextricably linked. Finally, the appointment of a council leader to the role, is acknowledgement that the new Mayor will work with London local authorities to overcome the capital’s housing, regeneration and infrastructure challenges.