Sheriffs Elect!

On 24 June at Common Hall Chris Hayward CC and I were delighted to be elected Sheriffs to take effect at our installation on 27 September. Here we are pictured outside Cutlers’ Hall with our wives Alex and Elisabeth as we toured nine livery companies in ninety minutes to thank the nearly 1,400 people who turned up to vote!

The City of London Corporation Press Release provides more detail.

My electoral address was as follows:

Fellow Liverymen,

The Almighty has many ways of guiding us.  As I stand before this august traditional assembly in a violet gown, I realise that “Common Hall is God’s way of teaching Americans history.”

Though I have the support of the Court of Aldermen, I’m asking you directly for your vote today for the office of Sheriff of this great City.  

I came to this City as a scientist to computerise finance in the early 1980s.  I have watched the City grow and change for nearly four decades.  In six years as Alderman I’ve served on influential committees, worked on our strategic plan, championed pedestrian space, and pushed for air quality.  I’ve served charities, such as Christ’s Hospital, Morden College, Gresham College, Goodenough College, City & Guilds, and belong to four liveries.  I’ve built a renowned City business.  I like to think I know the City reasonably well, yet God always seems to have so much more to teach.

Our country and our city face great challenges.  Our globe is simultaneously more inter-connected and more fractured.  We’ve rarely had greater opportunities for trade and growth since the Great War, or greater risks.

As part of the Central Criminal Courts and Civic teams, a Sheriff is about dressing.  No, not dressing up; more like dressing a salad.  In this challenging world, the Civic team mixes various oils and waters to make richer connections for all.  It is not ‘business as usual’.  My letter to you speaks of my desire to champion the three emulsifying agents of Commerce, Community, and Charity.

  • commerce – creating prosperity for all.  The livery delivers trade connections, hosts delegations, and guides the Civic team, for example the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies;
  • community – enriching our environments.  Our Pan-Livery approach must achieve more inclusivity, more diversity, connecting nationally as the Brigantes are doing, and connecting internationally such as the Air Pilots have done.
  • charity – sharing success.  We need to work together laying down enduring commercial, cultural, educational, and caring ways to support all who need it in a fair, inclusive, healthy, and skilled City.

My wife Elisabeth and I have an international perspective, complete with accents.  We would count it a privilege to use our experience passionately promoting the UK in all aspects, professional, business, legal, technical, and financial.  To sell not just a global centre, but THE global city, and THE global UK, open, tolerant, and connected.

Many national constitutions guarantee freedom of speech, but only a few guarantee freedom after the speech – and now you’re free of mine. 

May I thank so many of you for your encouragement to stand.  Fellow Liverymen, I humbly ask you to join with the Court of Aldermen and raise your white card for my election to the great and ancient office of Sheriff of the City of London. 

Thank you.  Fellow Liverymen.

… while my acceptance speech went as follows:

My Lord Mayor, My Fellow Liverymen,

It is with great anticipation, and an even deeper sense of history, that I wholeheartedly accept the office of Sheriff of the City of London.  I intend to discharge this office with honour to the betterment of this fantastic City of ours.  I look forward to working with the Recorder, Common Serjeant, Judges, and team at the Central Criminal Courts at Old Bailey.  I also look forward to working with the Lord Mayor and the Civic team.

May I take this moment to thank so many of you all for your encouragement, my fellow liverymen, my fellow Aldermen, my colleagues at the Corporation of London, my predecessor at Broad Street Ward, David Lewis, my election agent Ruby Sayed, and my wife Elisabeth.

At his inauguration Thomas Jefferson promised – “Commerce and honest friendship with all.”  I do too.

Thank you.  My Fellow Liverymen, My Lord Mayor.

The Mainelli Coat of Arms

Did you ever hanker after a coat of arms? Well, in preparation for the role of Sheriff One I commissioned arrived today from the College of Arms:

Mainelli – Coat of Arms Description

The Escutcheon’s two five-lobed cinquefoils signify ‘main’, ‘hand’, and the Italian family name’s translation as ‘nimble-fingered’. Cinquefoils are ‘celtic’ or ‘pretzel’ knots, indicating Michael’s Irish and German ancestors, and German wife, Elisabeth. The resulting ‘star’ reflects the USA and Gresham College. Five tao symbols inside the cinquefoils symbolize philosophy and the yin and yang of computation with plus and nought.

At the centre is an analemma for the ‘equation of time’ used on sundials to determine the position of the sun, representing Michael’s creation of early  global computer cartography. Rendered as a mobius strip, the analemma symbolises the cyclic infinity of Michael’s Long Finance movement.  Three arrows represent Michael’s work in science & defence, stochastics & statistics, and accountancy & finance; his three children; and three lifelong themes of ‘tempus fugit’ (time flies, ‘like an arrow’), ‘sumus unus’ (we are one), and ‘carpe diem’ (seize the day).

The Crest features a puffin on Irish bagpipes sporting a compass rose, standing on a ‘chancing the impossible’ loaded die while balancing a World Traders’ money bag. The compass rose doubles as a ship’s wheel and his wife’s family trade of wheelwright. As well as loving sailing and wood-carving, the family loves air, land, and sea travel, particularly in northern climes; the puffin does all three.

The Badge comprises a feather for writing, the analemma and mobius strip for eternity and time, and the statistical sigma for variance.

Red, black, and white colours reflect numerous institutions in his life such as Harvard, the London School of Economics & Political Science, Z/Yen, the City of London, and Thames barges, as well as Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where his father and grandfather studied engineering. The green on the Irish pipes is self-explanatory, and blue/purple his favourite colour.

The motto is Ordo ex χάος, ‘order from chaos’, stressing his interest in the scientific method, eliciting knowledge from uncertainty, and discerning beauty in chaotic structures, while subversively suggesting emergent Latin order from Greek creativity.

Pompous?  Nous?

New Sheriff In Town? It Would Be An Honour.

I am pleased to announce that I received notification on Friday, 15 March, that my nomination for the Election of Sheriffs at Common Hall at Guildhall, Monday 24 June 2019 has been checked. It is all in order and I am a validly nominated candidate.

Thus, today, 17 March 2019, I open my campaign to be Aldermanic Sheriff for 2019/2020.

Equilex – Old Bailey on 22 September 2017 at the Christ’s Hospital St Matthew’s Day celebration outside St Sepulchre, on the equinox.

If you would like to register your support, be named on the website, receive news, receive event invitations, and become a member of the Shrieval Chain Committee, please just submit the short form below:

Email support for Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli's Shrieval Campaign 2019/2020

May I take this opportunity to thank all those who signed my nomination papers:

Edwina Moreton, Master World Trader

Peter Holmes, Mason

Michael Shapiro, World Trader

Mei Sim Lai, Horner

John Scott, Arts Scholar

Sue Hughes, World Trader

Judith Rich OBE, Musician

Jonathan Hindle, Furniture Maker

James Nisbet, International Banker

John Bennett, International Banker

Keith Bottomley, Wheelwright

Michael Kemsley, Pattenmaker

Joseph Robertson, Pattenmaker

David Herbert, Basketmaker

Dr Barry Laden MBE, Draper

Robert Gale, Scientific Instrument Maker

Robert McDowall, Tin Plate Worker alias Wire Worker

Mark Yeandle, Weaver

Wendy Drew, World Trader Honoris Causa

Declaring My Candidature for Sheriff of the City of London 2019/2020 –

17 March 2019

Election of Sheriffs for the City of London – Monday, 24th June 2019

Candidature of Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli FCCA Chartered FCSI(Hon) FBCS

To the Liverymen of the City of London

My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Common Hall

With a sense of honour and enthusiasm, I offer myself to the Livery for election at Common Hall to be held at Guildhall on Monday, 24th June, at 12 noon.  My colleagues on the Court of Aldermen support my nomination, as they did last year, as their candidate for the ancient office of Sheriff of the City of London for 2019/20.  If a poll is demanded, I would like to ask for your support by voting in my favour at the ballot on Monday, 8th July 2019, also at Guildhall.


I was born in the USA, the eldest in a family of six children.  As my father was an engineer in the then-peripatetic aerospace industry, I attended some 18 educational establishments in four countries culminating with a ‘liberal arts’ BA from Harvard University, fourth-year studies in mathematics, engineering, and computer science at Trinity College Dublin, and a PhD from the London School of Economics where I was also a Visiting Professor.  During my tertiary education I undertook scientific research, principally in aerospace and the then new field of geographic information systems.  Working out of Switzerland from 1979-1984, my biggest technical claim to fame might be the first commercial digital maps of the world in MundoCart and Geodat.

I entered the City of London in 1984 ahead of Big Bang, becoming an accountancy-firm partner in 1987 with BDO Binder Hamlyn, and in 1995 a Grade 3 Director of Ministry of Defence research, at the time 40% of all UK government research.  During a mergers & acquisitions spell in merchant banking with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, I co-founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading think-tank where I work, to promote societal advance through better finance and technology.  Along the way I gained professional qualifications in accountancy, securities & investment, and computing.

City & Livery

I have been passionate about the City since 1987 when I discovered my vote as an accountancy-firm partner, then Chairman, now President, of Broad Street Ward Club, a Trustee of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, the Lord Mayor’s Show, and the Lord Mayor’s 800th Anniversary Awards Trust.   You may know me as the proud Alderman for Broad Street since 2013.  In addition I’m a Fellow of Goodenough College, Trustee of Christ’s Hospital and Morden College, and Council Member for City & Guilds.

I am passionate about the contributions of the livery as the Immediate Past Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders, Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Companies of Furniture Makers, Water Conservators, and Marketors, Craft-Owning Freeman of the Watermen & Lightermen, and a member of the City Livery Club and Guild of Freemen.

My wife, Elisabeth, is from Bavaria.  We married in 1996 and have two daughters together, Xenia (21) and Maxine (18), along with my son, Nicholas (29).  Elisabeth trained in hotel management.  After working in Germany and London, she became a personal assistant to the managing partner of a large accountancy firm.  Setting up on her own, for over 20 years she ran a boat charter and restoration business for our Thames sailing barge, Lady Daphne.  She continues to work at her events company, Nymph Limited, and is also director of a property management company.  Elisabeth is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Masons and a Freeman Honoris Causa of the Worshipful Company of World Traders.


As for understanding the City, my firm, Z/Yen, has done quite a bit of cutting-edge development from smart ledgers (aka blockchain technology) in 1995, to electronics, Long Finance & the London Accord, and the Global Financial Centres & Global Green Finance indices.   Our clients have included virtually all major investment banks, as well as many exchanges, insurers, fund managers, regulators, and financial information providers; along with numerous governments and technology companies.

I am a non-executive director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service, overseeing laboratories and standards, and two AIM-listed firms.  I have written numerous academic and professional papers, but am proudest of my third book, co-written with Ian Harris, “The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions”, which won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize.  I was designated a Gentiluomo of the Associazione Cavalieri di San Silvestro in 2011, won a 1996 UK Foresight Challenge award for the Financial Laboratory, a 2003 UK Smart Award for prediction software, and was British Computer Society Director of the Year for 2004. My biggest honour was the Mercers’ School Memorial Professor of Commerce chair (2005-2009) at Gresham College, founding home of the Royal Society, where I remain Emeritus Professor and Trustee.

My wider interests include skiing, woodcarving, dicing with bagpipes, racing sailboats, and dabbling in German, Italian, and French, but even worse Mandarin.  I retain deep links with the sailing barge community and the venerable Thames Match (1863).


Change is a City constant.  2019 and 2020 are no different (sic).  With four nationalities, UK, Ireland, Italy, and USA, I am ever more conscious of changes round the world.  A proud and permanent resident of London since 1984, I want to work to continue to keep the City pre-eminent as the world’s leading professional, business, technical, and financial services centre.  For me the three C’s are Commerce, the place where people create prosperity, Community, a cultural place where people work to enrich their environment, and Charity, where people champion diversity, openness, fairness, and opportunity.

If elected I will do my utmost to uphold the noble traditions of the Shrieval office.  It would be a privilege to use my experience to support the Lord Mayor’s and City of London Corporation’s programmes promoting the City and the UK in all its aspects.

I have the honour to be, my Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen, your obedient servant,

Professor Michael Mainelli, Alderman and World Trader

Promoted by Ms Ruby Sayed CC, One Pump Court Chambers, Elm Court, Temple, London EC4Y 7AH,

on behalf of Professor Michael Mainelli FCCA FCSI (Hon) FBCS CITP CIC FIC CMC MEI, Z/Yen Group Limited, 41 Lothbury, London EC2R 7HG.

If you would like to register your support, be named on the website, receive news, receive event invitations, and become a member of the Shrieval Chain Committee, please just submit the short form below:

Email support for Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli's Shrieval Campaign 2019/2020

If you would like to download or share a one-page statement, it’s available Sheriff 2019-2020 Michael Mainelli’s Letter To The Livery v1.8Download

2018 Aldermanic Campaign Closes

I was delighted to receive the following “Statement of Persons Nominated” from Guildhall just after noon today.  This means that the campaign is now closed with one candidate, unopposed.  I would like to thank all of my supporters, but particularly my election agent and my five nominators:

  • Election Agent – Ms Ruby Sayed (Barrister), Temple
  • Proposer – Mr Nicholas Westgarth, Worshipful Company of International Bankers, Austin Friars
  • Seconder – Mr Karl Craig, Canaccord Genuity, Lothbury
  • Subscriber – Ms Mei Sim Lai OBE, Lai Peters, New Broad Street
  • Subscriber – Mr Roger Sanders OBE, Lighthouse Group, Throgmorton Street
  • Subscriber – Ms Elizabeth Corrin, China Construction Bank, Old Broad Street

I would also like to thank numerous voters in the Ward for their kind message, the many supporters at Broad Street Ward Club’s annual luncheon yesterday, and the kind messages online via LinkedIn and Twitter.  I shall do my best to serve the Ward over the next six years, along with the civic team who generously gave their unreserved support:

  • Deputy John Bennett
  • Chief Commoner John Scott JP
  • Chris Hayward CC

We want to continue trying to deliver more by Working for the City, Working for the Ward, Working for You.

There will still be a Wardmote at noon on Wednesday, 12 December, though no election on 13 December, at Carpenters’ Hall, 1 Throgmorton Avenue, London EC2N 2JJ.  All are welcome to attend  the installation on 12 December.  Feel free to let me know if you’re coming.