Diana Torres, who was head of US operations for inward investment agency Think London, will lead an office on competitiveness for the Partnership for New York City. The Partnership comprises more than 200 chief executives, including News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch, Blackstone Group’s Stephen Schwartzman and Citigroup chief Chuck Prince.

Ms Torres will address New York’s slipping position as world finance centre behind London, tackling issues including restrictive immigration policies and tax regime. She says rivalry between the cities is overstated and they must work together to allay the threat of emerging economy financial centres such as Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai and Hong Kong.

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The Financial Times has learned of an informal dialogue earlier this year between the cities on financial services and regulatory issues, aiming to make it easier for financial services groups operating there.