Guild of Investment Managers Annual & Civic Dinner

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Welcome Speech At The First Annual Dinner

28th January 2020


Sir Alan, fellow Alderman, Masters, Sheriffs, fellow Investment

Managers, ladies and gentlemen.

Good evening and very warm welcome to the first annual dinner of the youngest, freshest, most dynamic, forward looking Guild in the

City of London. (pause) This occasion is a hugely significant milestone in the life of a Guild and everyone in this fine Hall will be able to say in years to come that “I was there”.

This significance is underlined all the more by the representative Lord Mayor, Sir Alan Yarrow, and the Sheriffs of the City of London, Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli and Christopher Hayward gracing us with their presence, and we would like to thank you for committing the time to join us this evening. Your presence is a huge encouragement to our young Guild, but also underlines the very

significant place that the investment management industry has in the City of London. Welcome!

Of course, Sir Alan, this is a world that you know well, having had a distinguished career in financial services, serving as Lord Mayor, working for thirty seven years with Dresdner Kleinwort, and subsequently chairing the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment – a body that many of us know well, and perhaps one or two of us know, if we had what might euphemistically be called laps

of honour on the exam circuit, rather too well! And welcome too to Simon Culhane, CEO of the Institute.

It is also a great pleasure to welcome back to our Guild, Sheriff and Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, who many will recall gave the very stimulating and thought provoking opening remarks at our first topical industry event on Environmental Social Governance in October. And welcome too to his fellow Sheriff Chris Hayward who I know takes a keen interest in the stock market.

As a young Guild we were delighted to receive observer status with the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies last year and would like to thank Andrew Marsden, chairman of the FSG, for his support and encouragement of this. Similarly, the Master International Banker – Sir Alan, one of your 4 livery companies - Karina Robinson, who joins us tonight has also been a great encouragement and help, not least with her Company providing one of the panellists at our ESG event. And talking of help, the Master of the Chartered Secretaries, Edward Nicholl, has kindly offered us help from his

members with the drafting of Standing Orders & minute writing. We welcome you all and thank you.

One of the objectives for any new Guild is to grow its membership, and I am pleased to report this has risen by about 20% since our Common Hall meeting in July. As we do this we seek to fulfil one of the objectives for Liveries and Guilds in providing fellowship, or in old currency fraternity, and so would encourage all of us to continue inviting friends and colleagues working within the industry to join up.

On that note, I would like to extend a special welcome to those investment managers that have joined the Guild since Common Hall in July last year. Can I invite you to stand so that we can suitably recognise you. (clap) Thank you, you may sit down.

So, much of this year has been a series of firsts, with our first Common Hall, first Installation Dinner, first topical industry event - and now this is our first annual and civic dinner. I am also delighted to confirm that our charity was approved by the Charity Commission in September at the first attempt – but be warned the Chair of the charity and I are likely to be in touch shortly seeking your support. Speaking of charity, may I also welcome the Master of the Guild of Nurses, Elizabeth Turnbull. The nurses are one up from us in the order of precedence, and so are our big sisters if you will. And they

have done an amazing job at raising funds for their charity and are really setting the pace – well done and welcome.

And taking a leaf out of that book can I now take this opportunity to present to Sir Alan a gift of a cheque from the Guild in favour of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

However, I think we can also say not everything went quite as smoothly in other parts of the nation last year. When I was making a presentation to an investment committee for a dramatic arts charity just before Christmas, I described the year as something of a pantomime – believing that in March we would be able to say of Brexit “it’s behind you” only to say “oh no it isn’t” and then again in October anticipating going saying “it’s behind you” and then having to say “oh no it isn’t”. And now, as we sit a couple of days away from the latest deadline, maybe we will be able to say “oh yes it is” on this occasion.

But despite the uncertainty the industry delivered some very good returns for clients during the year and I hope you and your clients are satisfied with the outcomes. Of course we all know that the best returns are delivered by our old friend hindsight. However as this is now 2020 you will all be enjoying perfect foresight and will have another great year.

Indeed, I was encouraged earlier this month by the Governor of the Bank of England saying that he was optimistic for the City’s prospects after Brexit and his urging of the government to avoid aligning the UK’s financial regulations and tying our hands by outsourcing the regulation and effectively the supervision of the world’s leading complex financial system to another jurisdiction, when there is so much potential in the City of London to serve the wider world.

Of course the City as always had a very global perspective and I am reminded that the Huguenots provided the Bank of England with capital and its first governor. Meanwhile, the Guilds and Livery Companies instituted the very first trading standard in the City’s keytrades and professions, with the Goldsmith Bankers, during the late seventeenth century, developing the basic principles of accepting deposits, paying interest and making loans. As a result London has achieved its position as the world capital of finance, with over £9

trillion of assets under management in the UK in 2018, and this is likely to breakthrough £10 trillion following the strong run in markets during calendar 2019, making the UK the largest centre of investment management outside the US, and having over a third of all European AUM.

So, the UK investment management industry has a central role in the economy as it channels savings into investment and one of the fundamental purposes of investment management is to deliver good outcomes to those clients, and this allows people to save and invest to achieve their future goals and ambitions; whether that is a new car or kitchen, a much needed holiday or a secure retirement.

I believe there is an urgent need to communicate the valuable social utility provided by this industry, as it serves individuals across the nation, that has in recent years been obscured by the need to prop up the financial system.

So, I hope we as a Guild will take the opportunity to represent the industry and the unique opportunity we have to make a positive impact on society through good practice and better understanding, making sure the industry is working for everyone. Whoever you are, wherever you live.

With this in mind can I remind all members of the Guild of the first Master’s lecture which will be taking place in April at which we have the Oxford Academic and former Lord Chancellor’s Department fund manager, Michael Ramsden, speaking on “How Much is Enough” and then in May our next topical industry event on diversity.

And so, looking boldly ahead, with past performance a sure guide to future returns, can I invite all members of the Guild of Investment Managers to rise as I propose the toast - The toast is our guests!