One of British Chancellor George Osborne's closest advisers is thought to be considering leaving Government, possibly for a high paying role at a hedge fund.
Rupert Harrison, the Chancellor's chief of staff, who has been tipped as a potential future Conservative party leader, is thought to have had a tentative conversation with Pete Davies, co-head of Lansdowne Partners, about a move into the private sector.
The government has come under scrutiny for its the close ties to Lansdowne, one of Europe's largest hedge funds, after highly sought shares in Royal Mail's initial public offering (IPO) were awarded to the hedge fund before pension funds got access. Lansdowne also took part in the Lloyds Bank privatization, becoming one of the tax-payer-backed bank's top shareholders.
Although the Treasury has always denied any involvement with these share allocations, it has made for uncomfortable reading for the Chancellor, who is a close personal friend of Davies, the best man at his wedding. The hedge fund's co-founder, Paul Ruddock, is also a prominent Conservative donor, who was knighted in 2012.