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  4. Financial & Financing Structures of Infrastructure Networks: Should Regulators be Active in Regulating These and, If So, How Far?




Financial & Financing Structures of Infrastructure Networks: Should Regulators be Active in Regulating These and, If So, How Far?


Panel Discussions

Public, Staff, Students, Academics

This event is now fully booked.

CCRP has commenced an academic collaboration with the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) at the LSE ( organising joint bi-annual roundtables (winter/summer) with the hosting alternating between the two institutions. CARR is an interdisciplinary research centre whose core intellectual work focuses on the organisational and institutional settings for risk management and regulatory practices. In that sense the work of the two centres is complementary as CCRP’s core focus is the economic analysis of competition and regulatory policy. We will also consider other ways in which the two centres can collaborate; for example by launching a joint series of discussion papers, etc. The director of CARR is Professor Martin Lodge.

Event Overview

The theme of the meeting will be looking at whether infrastructure industry regulatory agencies should regulate the Financial and Financing Structures of the industries for which they are responsible, if so, how far should they go in doing so.

The meeting will cover such issues as:

Should regulators be more active over the financial structures that regulated companies choose to adopt than they have been in the past and, if so, why?

Should regulators be more active regulating the returns earned by regulated companies within regulatory periods than they have been in the past and, if so, why?

Pre-2010, infrastructure industry regulators said that these issues were not of concern provided that regulated companies delivered on output, efficiency and cost targets.  What has led to this view being changed?  Does it mean the effective demise of RPI-X regulation?

Event timings

10.30 - Registration
11.00 - Round table begins
13:00 - Networking lunch
14:00 - Close

Speakers and Panellists

Opening Remarks:

Dr Xeni Dassiou, Director, CCRP

Round Table Chair:

Jon Stern, Honorary Professor, CCRP


Professor Julian Franks, London Business School

Professor Martin Lodge, CARR, LSE

Cathryn Ross, Director of Regulatory Affairs, BT Group, Plc.

Thomas Sharpe QC, Barrister, One Essex Court

Mary Starks, Executive Director, Ofgem

Speaker biographies

Dr Xeni Dassiou, Director, CCRP

Dr Xeni Dassiou is a Reader of Economics and the Director of the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy (CCRP) at the School of Social Sciences at City, University of London. She is also a CMA and an Ofgem academic panel member.

Her research interests lie in the area of industrial organisation theory and competition policy and she has worked in this area for the last 25 years. She has written numerous papers on the economic theory of bundling as an instrument of price discrimination, both on a mathematical platform as well as on the economic policy related implications of bundling in government procurement and financial regulation.  She has also published papers on the institutional arrangements, oversight and competition in public service markets, modelling the formation and updating of trust perceptions in infrastructure contracts, the role of herding in determining managerial and investment behaviour, and the impact on the returns of UK companies involved in failed hostile mergers.

Xeni has given numerous invited talks on behavioural issues in regulation and competition, public service markers regulation, organised several CCRP workshops and annual competition policy roundtables, as well as edited journals on topics such as the regulation of infrastructure utilities and competition in modern market structures.

Jon Stern, Honorary Professor, CCRP

Jon Stern is an Honorary Visiting Professor in the Department of Economics at City University, London.  Jon Stern was a UK Competition Commission and then a CMA (Competition and Market Authority) Panel Member from 2013-18. While at the CMA, Jon was a Panel Member on several regulatory appeals

From 2005-13, Jon was a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Competition and Regulatory Policy (CCRP), City University.  He was one of the CCRP founder organisers.  Previously, from 1999-2004, Jon was an Associate Director of the Regulation Initiative at the London Business School.   Jon is a long-time Associate Researcher at EPRG (Energy Policy Research Group) of the University of Cambridge.  He also an associate at CARR, London School of Economics.

Jon has worked extensively as an economic consultant and is currently a Senior Associate at CEPA.  From 1989-2004, he was a Senior Consultant and Senior Adviser at NERA and, from 2006-13, he was a Senior Adviser at CEPA.. Before 1989, he spent over 15 years as an economist in the UK Government Economic Service.

Jon has published over 70 papers on infrastructure industry regulation.  In recent years, he has written a number of papers on UK infrastructure industry regulation and its relationship to the competition policy regime as well as papers on other aspects of UK regulation.

Jon has been an economist member of various UK regulatory academic panels, including advisory panels for the energy, rail and water industry sector regulators.  He has also regularly worked as an economist peer reviewer for a range of institutions and as an academic referee.

Professor Julian Franks, Professor of Finance, London Business School

Professor Julian Franks’ research focuses on bankruptcy and financial distress, corporate ownership and control, cost of capital and regulation. His work with Colin Mayer and Stefano Rossi (on ownership and control) has won two international prizes. Two of his published papers have been awarded prizes for the best paper of the year.

He is an associate editor of five finance journals, including editor of the Journal of Law, Finance and Accounting. He served as a member of the DTI-Treasury committee for reviewing the UK’s insolvency code in 2001 and was a member of one of the Company Law Review committees on corporate governance. He has been an advisor to Ofcom and its predecessor Oftel for more than 15 years. He also advises other UK regulatory authorities including the Office of Rail Regulation and the Office of Water Services (OFWAT).

Professor Franks has been an expert witness for the UK Government at the International Court of Justice in The Hague on an intergovernmental dispute on landing rights at Heathrow and, more recently, for the Office of Communications (Ofcom) in three appeals to the Competition Appeals Tribunal. With Professor Brealey, he advised the Office of Constitutional Affairs on the issue of outside equity for law firms and provided advice to a Treasury committee chaired by Lord Myners on a review of the governance of mutuals.

He was recently a member of the Breedon Committee, investigating new non-bank sources of finance for small to medium-sized companies. He is a non-executive director of Oxera Consulting Limited and is on the international advisory boards of Stern Stewart. He has been a Visiting Professor at the University of California at both Berkeley and Los Angeles.

Professor Martin Lodge, Professor of Political Science & Public Policy, LSE

Martin is a Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the Department of Government and Director of the Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

His key research interests are in the areas of executive politics and regulation. I teach on courses in Public Administration & Public Policy, Public Management and Regulation.

Professor Lodge is the Managing Editor of Public Administration and co-editor of the book series on ‘Executive Politics & Governance’ (with Palgrave). He co-chairs the International Political Science Association’s Structure and Organisation of Government research committee and am member of the UK Political Science Association’s specialist group on Executive Politics and Governance. He is also part of the TransCrisis research consortium (funded under European Commission’s Horizon2020 programme).

Cathryn Ross, Group Director of Regulatory Affairs, BT Group, plc.

Cathryn Ross is the Group Director of Regulatory Affairs at BT Group. At BT Cathryn is responsible for developing and implementing BT’s regulatory strategy across the group, covering regulation in the UK and beyond.

Cathryn was previously Chief Executive of Ofwat, the independent economic regulator for the water and waste water sector in England and Wales. She was responsible for ensuring that Ofwat held a £120 billion industry to account in delivering against the expectations of customers, wider society and the environment. She successfully saw through the delivery of a new strategy for Ofwat, focussed on a vision for the sector of trust and confidence in water and waste water services, and transformed the regulator in order to deliver this.

Cathryn is an experienced regulatory and competition economist and has worked across a number of different sectors advising on economic, regulatory and competition issues. Previously, Cathryn was Executive Director of Markets and Economics at the Office of Rail Regulation (now Office of Rail and Road).  She was Executive Director of Markets and Economics at Ofwat between 2008 and 2011.  She also served with the Competition Commission (now Competition and Markets Authority), and worked in economic consultancy.

Thomas Sharpe QC, Barrister, One Essex Court

Thomas Sharpe QC is a barrister in practice at One Essex Court, Temple.  He is a specialist in all aspects of EU and UK competition law, state aids and mergers and has an extensive practice in telecommunications, utility regulation, especially energy, distribution and water.  Leading cases include the LIBOR litigation, the MasterCard litigation in the CAT and European Courts and in some of the follow-on claims in damages; CMA appearances in recent electricity transmission cases, ENS v Commission; Albion Water v Dwr Cymru; Betwys v RAG; Tom took a degree in economics and then in law and graduated from Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He taught competition law at Oxford and was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn (Bencher, 2004). He chairs the Centre for Competition Policy at UEA and is on the editorial boards of the European Competition Journal and Concurrences.

Mary Starks, Executive Director, Ofgem

Mary Starks joined Ofgem in September 2018 and oversees Ofgem's work to protect consumers' interests in the retail and wholesale energy markets, including putting in place a price cap for all those on poor value default deals.

Mary joined from the Financial Conduct Authority where she was the Director of Competition (as part of a job-share) and Chief Economist. She has over two decades' regulatory and public policy experience. Before joining the FCA, she was Senior Director at the Office of Fair Trading, where she oversaw the watchdog's work in financial services, legal and professional services, health, education and infrastructure. Mary has also worked on energy regulation at NERA Economic Consulting, and at the New Zealand Commerce Commission. She began her career at the Bank of England.

She is a trustee of Working Families, a leading UK charity helping parents, carers and employers find a better balance between the responsibilities of home and work.

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When and where

10.30am - 2.00pmFriday 15th March 2019

The Northampton Suite University Building City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

Contact Details

City Events Team

+44 (0)20 7040 8037

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