Ed Warner is going for a new kind of gold. The 43-year-old former head of Old Mutual financial group is leading U.K. Athletic's bid for medals in the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. "I bring an understanding of complex organizations," says the newly appointed chairman of the body that governs sports in the U.K.
Warner, who left Old Mutual in 2003 and most recently returned London-based financial trading firm IFX Group to profitability after three years at the helm, will need all his skills to revive the fortunes of British Olympic athletes, who have performed poorly in recent championships. He says he aims to provide a clear strategic view and help "reconcile the often diverse and conflicting interests."
Warner's experience in finance will be useful in athletics, as both involve motivating high-strung individuals. "There are similar organizational and psychological challenges," he says. Most pressing is the issue of finding a CEO for U.K. Athletics, something he hopes to accomplish by the end of this month.
When it comes to athletics, Warner himself is no slouch. He's an active member of his local running club in West Sussex County, the Fittleworth Flyers, and he's completed seven marathons in the past five years.