Sir Bryan began his career by qualifying as a chartered accountant, moved to academe, holding academic appointments in the UK and USA, finishing as a professor at the London School of Economics, from where he was head-hunted to become the first head of Oftel. He went on to be Director General of Fair Trading and Secretary General of the International Accounting Standards Committee.
His new book, The Regulator’s Tale, tells the story of his time as the first head of Oftel, which was formed to regulate the telecoms industry when BT was privatised in 1984. At the time, Oftel was a new kind of regulatory agency, with a mission for establishing effective competition as well as advancing the interests of customers. It features changing relations with government ministers, including a period in which he resisted pressure from ministers to make decisions with which he disagreed. The book deals with matters that continue to be controversial, in particular the relative merits of private and state ownership of such industries and how they should be regulated.