Gillian Tett: Biography highlights

Gillian Tett has an unparalleled track record at predicting important trends that impact the world. She called the credit crunch crisis three years ahead of anyone else. Her journalistic work to chart and explain the ensuing global financial crisis is well documented and she has received awards for her work.

Full biography

More recently, she foresaw the rise of populism, the electoral success of President Trump, and she now warns on the emerging risks posed by certain new types of Fintech — products and services that arise from new types of ‘financial innovation’ and the current lag of effective regulation and governance to manage these activities.

Gillian Tett is Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America Editor-at-Large at the Financial Times. In her previous role at FT she was Managing Editor (US) and columnist and also oversaw global coverage of the financial markets. Her twice-weekly column earned her recognition as Columnist of the Year at the 2014 Press Awards. In 2004, Gillian began building a team at the Financial Times to cover capital markets, correctly anticipating the need to watch an industry growing uncommonly fast. By 2007, a year ahead of the curve, she began issuing her news breaking warnings of a looming financial crisis.

Gillian’s current book is The Silo Effect: Why Every Organisation Needs to Disrupt Itself to Survive. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Fool’s Gold, the gripping tale of how a team of Wall Street bankers led by J.P. Morgan’s CEO Jamie Dimon created the world of ‘shadow banking,’ and then lost control of their creation. Fool’s Gold is a vital contribution to our understanding of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. She also wrote Saving the Sun, about Japan’s financial collapse in the 1990s. She was Japan bureau chief for the FT during their ‘lost decade’. Gillian’s next book will be about why every CEO (and investor) needs their ‘inner anthropologist’ to make informed decisions.

In recognition of her work, Gillian has won several awards, including the UK Speechwriters’ Guild Business Communicator of the Year 2012, the Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards 2009, British Business Journalist of the Year in 2008, and the Wincott prize in 2007. Gillian also received The British Academy President’s Medal 2011, which rewards service to the cause of the humanities and social sciences, specifically for her insightful journalism contributing to public understanding. More recently, she was recognised as Columnist of the Year at the 2014 Press Awards.

Gillian has a PhD in Social Anthropology from Cambridge University, based on research conducted in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. She speaks French and Russian and has studied Japanese and Tajik.


  • Chairman of the US Editorial Board and America Editor-at-Large, Financial Times
  • Past Managing Editor, United States, and Columnist, Financial Times
  • Foreign Commentator of the Year 2017, Editorial Intelligence
  • Columnist of the Year, 2014 Press Awards
  • Author, The Silo Effect, Fool’s Gold and Saving the Sun
  • Winner, 2014 Marsh Award, awarded by the Royal
  • Anthropological Society in recognition of outstanding use of anthropology or anthropological ideas to contribute to a better understanding of the world’s problems
  • Awarded the UK Speechwriters’ Guild Business Communicator of the Year 2012
  • 2011 President’s Medal by The British Academy, UK’s national academy for the humanities and social sciences
  • Winner, Journalist of the Year 2009, British Press Awards
  • Winner, British Business Journalist of the Year 2008, British Press Awards
  • Winner, Wincott Prize, 2007
  • She was awarded honourary degrees from Baruch University (2013), Lancaster University (2015), Exeter University (2016), Miami University (2016) and Carnegie Mellon (2017).
  • In December 2017, she gave the commencement speech at London University
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Watch Gillian in action

1/6 videos
Gillian Tett: Why Smart People Make Dumb Decisions | WIRED
Gillian Tett: Why Smart People Make Dumb Decisions | WIRED
Keynote by Gillian Tett, Managing Editor at Financial Times
Keynote by Gillian Tett, Managing Editor at Financial Times
Gillian Tett on Trump and transparency | Opinion
Gillian Tett on Trump and transparency | Opinion
Could Britain's exit from the EU have a domino effect?
Could Britain's exit from the EU have a domino effect?
Gillian Tett on Corporations
Gillian Tett on Corporations
Gillian Tett, Financial Times: Can You Work without Silos?
Gillian Tett, Financial Times: Can You Work without Silos?
A Law Firm

“Your contribution to the overall success of the event was the difference between a very good event and an excellent one. One client, head of our national treasury management, said to me on leaving that in all of the years attending our event – 8 years – you were easily the best and most captivating speaker. It was apparent you put a lot of thought and preparation into what you were going to say and it was very well received. Your insights were unique and your presentation was compelling and it was clear to all of us how much passion you had for the chosen subject. And so a sincere thank you for being our 2016 guest speaker. It was my first event as managing partner and, while I had a lot to live up to, your presence and presentation made this an event to remember for the all the right reasons.”

A National Insurance Company

“Gillian was informative, delightful and captivating. Our agents loved her! Her knowledge and expertise on multiple topics during Q&A is impressive. We thoroughly enjoyed having her.”

An Investment Advice Group for Nonprofit Institutions

“Gillian was phenomenal!”

A Worldwide Insurance Underwriters Group

“Gillian gave a really interesting talk and you couldn’t hear a pin drop whilst she was speaking. The content was really informative (links were made with our business) and there were lots of good questions from the audience. I thought she was really engaging and added humour to her anecdotes.”

An American Multinational Energy Company

“Gillian was A M A Z I N G!!!”

A Business School

“Dear Gillian — Thank you once more for your excellent contribution in the [ . . . ] Leadership Forum last week. The spontaneous comments re your presentation were very positive.”

A Leading Trade Organization for the Futures, Options and OTC Cleared Swaps Markets

“Gillian, Thank you for coming to our conference in Boca and making it an absolute success. I cannot tell you how many attendees came up to me to applaud your good work. You provided a thoughtful assessment of the state of the industry and gave us some trends to be motivating, including cyber-security. I hope we can tempt you back in the future.”

A Federal Mortgage Company

“Tett really wowed them, she talked about the present and the future of the markets. It’s clear that she’s interviewed leaders in the financial world from Madoff, Geithner, Volcker and heads of state. She talked about the recent downgrading of the U.S. economy by Standard and Poors and it’s impact on the debt ceiling, the value of the dollar and treasury bills.

The President of the […] loved her and she delivered a talk that was tailored specifically for this group. She was a homerun.”

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