Chief secretary to the Treasury (New entry)

Dubbed “Danny, Champion of the World” by the Daily Telegraph, Mr Alexander has grown as a political figure, is the brains behind the Lib Dems’ next general election strategy and is close to Nick Clegg. He wields power as a member of the “quad” (with Cameron, Osborne and Clegg), and is, indeed, the only quad member allowed by the rules to appear in the HSJ100.

He has been pivotal in the coalition wrangles about the Health Bill, thrashing out solutions. This will continue. His position also means that he negotiates with departments about budget allocations, public sector pay and pensions and procurement policy. Every major bit of legislation needs his sign-off.

As the year progresses, he will have to deal with the fiscal and political implications of PFI-burdened hospitals, union unrest over pensions and much more.