Installation Dinner As Newly Elected Master Of The Guild Of Investment Managers

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Acceptance Speech

Wardens, Immediate Past Master, Brother Alderman, fellow Investment Managers, honoured guests.

It gives me great pleasure to rise as the newly elected Master of the youngest, freshest, most dynamic, forward looking Guild in the City of London.

Thank-you Fyona for so generously introducing the new Master and Wardens and proposing the Toast. I think you may have flattered us with your kind words, or given that this is the Guild of Investment Managers I might more accurately describe it as a promotion – can I just check that you did get the promotion signed off by Aviva compliance before publishing it!

Also, I can’t help reflecting that we all know in this industry past performance is no guide to future returns – and what goes up can come down!

Fyona, let me just turn the tables for a moment, and say that I am sure we all recognise how much Fyona has done for the Guild over the last year or so, chairing the events committee, preparing and sending out newsletters, and being the driving force behind the website. So, as a small token of our appreciation and by way of thanks for all you’ve done may I invite you to come up and receive this token of our thanks.

Now, like all of us that are members, I like you spend my days hunkered down behind a couple of screens and so my natural metier is not standing on occasions like this and speaking, so I hope you will bear with me.

By way of preparation I went to church the other day for inspiration and found myself asking God,

"How long is 10 million years to you?"

God replied, "1 second."

So, thinking quickly I asked God, "God, how much is 10 million pounds to you?"

And God replied, "A penny."

Hmm, interesting, thinking even quicker I asked God, "God, can I

have one of your pennies?"

And God replied, "Just wait a sec."

Now you will appreciate the investment management industry is a very significant part of the UK economy - the UK with over £8tn of AUM is the largest centre of investment management outside US, accounting for 35% of all European AUM, and employs over 50,000 people nationwide. The UK is also rated the second global wealth management centre after Switzerland, and 10 of the 20 largest global sovereign wealth funds have offices here in London. Interestingly the industry has also been growing at a faster pace here in London than globally. Companies represented here tonight include...

Now I’m sure we all know that one side of the industry is to ensure that capital markets work effectively, and by allocating capital investment managers contribute to market efficiency and to correct price information. This facilitates both primary issuance when companies or governments are trying to raise money, and secondary trading of different instruments. Without this, capital markets cannot grow effectively and may even destabilise. Investment managers thus contribute to sustainable growth, benefiting both clients and non-clients.

The UK investment management industry also has a central role in the economy as it channels savings into investment. The industry’s clients are both retail savers and institutions such as pension schemes and insurance companies, who themselves act on behalf of millions of individuals, in the UK and all over the world.

One of the fundamental purposes of investment management is to deliver good outcomes to those individual clients. This includes providing expertise and achieving economies of scale that allow access to a wide range of assets that would normally be out of reach for individual investors. Using shares, bonds and other assets such as property, investment managers can deliver returns over many years, while managing the risk appropriately, that 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.

So, we as the Guild representing this industry have an important, and I would go so far as to say a unique opportunity to make a positive impact on society through good practice.... I believe as well that there is an urgent need to communicate the valuable social utility provided by this industry that has in recent years been obscured by the need to prop up the financial system and the big names following the GFC, at the expense of communicating how the industry serves individuals across the nation.

So at this point it is entirely appropriate recognise the inspiration and vision of the Founding and Past Master, Mark Henderson. And we would all like to recognise that inspiration and vision, seeing the gap in the Livery world that existed, which once identified was of course so obvious given the size of the industry, it’s place in the City, financial services and the nation. Mark, without that vision, and your energy, determination and enthusiasm this Guild would not have been brought into existence, and for that we all, the industry as a whole and the wider Livery movement owe you a huge debt of gratitude. So to mark this unique achievement we would like to present you with a small gift.

You will see that it is wrapped, and you may spot that the paper is pink in colour, which may give you a clue as to what is inside – which is a framed copy of the Financial Times of March 2018 – the day on which the nascent Guild was formally recognised and approved by the Court of Aldermen. And the wording on the back reads

To mark the end of your year as the Founding Master of the Guild of Investment Managers and in recognition of your vision, and the tireless energy and enthusiasm that you have brought to the Guild. With grateful thanks from the Court.

Mark very well done and many thanks.

Mark I know one part of your vision was also to have a Guild that is open and inclusive and to that I know you will share my delight in celebrating Melissa becoming a Warden today, which shows our commitment to walk the walk as well as talking the talk. But we’ve all got to play our part in this, not just in gender diversity but also making sure that we are open and welcoming to all people whatever

the colour, creed and orientation. And this is a message that we need to take back into our businesses.

And this also speaks of the Guild charity that is primarily seeking to improve awareness of the investment management industry, and the important role it provides in enabling people to help people achieve their financial goals by education.

How are we going to achieve this? By participating and joining in. At the moment our membership is mid-60’s – that’s numbers not age(!), and we need and aim to grow this. So, can I ask that every member here commits to introducing one new member by the end of 2019. As far as joining in is concerned, whilst we didn’t have any members standing for election to the Court – which as far as I am aware is a privilege unique to this Guild, there are a number of committees that run the Guild, including a membership committee, and I would like to extend an invitation to anyone who would like to be more involved to let the Clerk know if you would be willing to join in in this way – it is not onerous and provides a good opportunity to meet other Guild members.

And finally I would like to acknowledge our guests here this evening, many of whom are our better halves; who support, encourage and at times no doubt give us a shoulder to cry on/vent, and say thank you to them for the support they provide that enable us to do what we do in this context. We are very grateful to you.

And so, can I ask us all to rise for the toast, which is the guests and the Guild of Investment Managers – the guests and the Guild of investment Managers.