Representative Lord Mayor IMCT Dinner Speech Weds 29th May

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I had the privilege to represent the Lord Mayor at the Inaugural Gala Dinner, a joint initiative between the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute (SWFI GWC), the Guild, and the charity (The Investment Managers' Charitable Trust), on 29th May at the beautiful Haberdashers' Hall. I was deeply humbled to receive an award from the SWFI Chair, Lakshmi Narayanan, recognising the importance of our collaborative efforts.

Chair of the Investment Managers Charitable Trust, Anthony, Chair of the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, Lakshmi, Fellow Aldermen, Your Excellency, Distinguished guests, Ladies & Gentlemen

Good evening, and can I say what a privilege and pleasure it is to be here with you this evening as the Representative Lord Mayor of the City of London, at this inaugural dinner for the Investment Managers Charitable Trust. Well done Anthony for arranging this splendid evening. And I would also like to honour Mark Henderson the founding Master of the Guild, without whose vision and determination for the Guild and the associated charity we would not be here.

It is wonderful to be back at Haberdashers’ Hall for this occasion, and there is a lovely sense of continuity for the Guild of Investment Managers, who held the inaugural civic dinner, with Sir Alan Yarrow as Representative Lord Mayor on that occasion, in this very Hall four years ago.

Indeed, on that occasion both Sheriffs were also present, one of whom was one Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, now of course the 695th Lord Mayor. And he is deeply sorry that he cannot be here tonight. But as you know the Lord Mayor spends about a third of his or her year travelling overseas as the Government’s ambassador for financial & professional services.

He writes a message of good wishes as follows:-

“I am delighted that the Guild of Investment Managers are hosting this Inaugural Investment Managers’ Charitable Trust Dinner, bringing together guests from the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Conference and across the investment management sector.

I am sorry that travel in Singapore and Japan keeps me from joining you this evening, but tonight’s event is a fantastic opportunity to make connections and, importantly, raise money to support individuals from less advantaged backgrounds hoping to study entry qualifications to the investment industry.

I commend the Guild of Investment Managers on this work and thank all of you for getting behind such an excellent cause. I hope you have a wonderful evening.”

As is alluded to in those words the mayoral theme this year is Connect to Prosper, a theme designed to highlight the City of London as the world’s most successful concentration of knowledge connections both locally and globally. Over 40 learned societies, 70 higher education institutions, and 130 research institutes exist in and around the City of London. The Square Mile is made up of many “knowledge miles” with expertise in art, media, culture, engineering, research, accounting, law, banking, shipping, insurance, and investment management. And which the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute’s conference is tapping into these.

We have major talent clusters – Knowledge-based businesses; finance, professional services and technology, thrive when they cluster and have access to talented people, capital and markets.

The City of London’s Square Mile is often known as the world’s coffeehouse where people bring their dreams to get them realised. In this vein we note that London is home to more Sovereign Wealth Fund offices than any other global city. And so I am delighted, but not surprised that the Sovereign Wealth Fund institute has chosen London as the location for its second global wealth conference, after last year’s highly successful inaugural conference here in the City – can we all say to Lakshmi and the SWFI team, welcome back!

But tonight, we gather not merely as investors, managers or stewards of financial capital, but as stewards and potential catalysers also of human capital, and importantly the human capital of the future that beckons with promise and potential. And I applaud and commend to you the Investment Managers Charitable Trust, with its focus on financial education and exams. It is initiatives such as these that will importantly ensure that the City’s gates are as wide open as possible to young men and women who have the talent, commitment and aptitude to succeed.

As we sit in this wonderful Haberdashers’ Hall we can reflect on how these aims align with the education work that has been a major part of the City of London Corporation’s work, and the Livery Companies since Tudor times. Indeed, the Haberdashers’ Company alone today has about 20 schools and some 12,000 students, and I must confess to having been to the Haberdashers’ Boys’ School in the sixth form – or years 12 and 13 in modern currency.

We will all have our own stories of how we got to where we are, but I would note that I was very grateful and fortunate enough to receive a sixth form scholarship while there, and later as an undergraduate an award from the Lord Mayor’s 800th anniversary trust.

In our own ways I am sure each of us can think of a person or an organisation that has allowed us to take the path we have followed. So today as we sit here can I encourage you to consider the potential beneficiaries, and the difference that your support might make.

Tonight, we sit at a crossroads of finance and philanthropy, and I commend the charity for the work it is doing practically and as a beacon of hope for those who seek to access and navigate the labyrinthine streets of our great City. In the great tradition of the City Bridge Foundation, the trust offers a bridge that spans the chasm between privilege and promise, from the schoolroom to the trading floor.

So, “I ask you all to rise and drink a toast to the Investment Managers Charitable Trust, the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute and the Guild of Investment Managers, coupled with the names of the Chairs, Mr Anthony Yadgaroff, Mr Lakshmi Narayanan and the Master of the Guild of Investment Managers, Deputy Henry Pollard.”