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 candicacy, 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.

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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.

2018 Campaign – Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli

Re-Elect Professor Michael Mainelli

for Alderman of Broad Street

“Bright Lights, Better City”

My campaign motto highlights the City’s brainpower, attractions, and traditional freedoms.

I am honoured to have the support of our three Common Councilmen, Deputy John Bennett, Chief Commoner John Scott JP, and Chris Hayward.

A former Chairman (2004-2005) of the Broad Street Ward Club, Immediate Past Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders, Freeman of the Watermen & Lightermen, and an Honorary Liveryman of the Furniture Makers and Water Conservators, Michael has worked in the Ward since 1984, walking the length of the Ward every day to and from home in Wapping.

Michael has achieved much in his first term as Alderman, working hard and well with our Civic Team.  We urge you to return him to work with us in the future.”                    

            Chief Commoner John Scott JP


Please give me, Michael Mainelli, your vote by postal ballot or by voting in person on

Thursday, 13 December 2018

Polling Station

Carpenters’ Hall, 1 Throgmorton Avenue,

London EC2N 2JJ

Polls are open from 8:00am to 8:00pm

The pre-election Wardmote will be held at Carpenter’s Hall at midday on Wednesday, 12 December 2018

www.broadstreetward.org.uk

@broadstreetward

I walk through the Ward every day, to and from work, and would be delighted to discuss Ward business.

Contact me by telephone 020 7562-9562, or via email michael_mainelli@zyen.com, or by post to Z/Yen Group, 41 Lothbury, London EC2R 7HG.  For more campaign details see www.mainelli.org and @mrmainelli.


Aldermen and Common Councilmen are the unpaid volunteers who keep our community working.  In tough times for the City, with fierce international competition among financial centres, increasing uncertainty in financial services, more regulation, rising costs, and tight budgets, these volunteers are vital.

As the creator of the Global Financial Centres Index, I know what makes cities work.  Together we can make a success of our neighbourhood with a manifesto of:

  • safe streets – traditional policing, crime prevention, refuse collection, lighting, sensible licensing, and traffic enforcement;
  • modern infrastructure – water, electricity, ICT, and transportation links with robust defences against environmental damage and terrorism;
  • vibrant economy – fostering new and old businesses by setting policy and regulation that encourage new markets in the City and future success for the 483,000 of us already working here;
  • community spirit – ensuring excellent services for those in need, while enhancing intellectual and cultural life;
  • competitive attractiveness – lobbying central government on better policies for education, taxation, and business, as well as promotion, to keep the City foremost in global finance, technology, and media.

We have made great progress in Broad Street Ward in three major areas:

  • Refurbishment and all-but-pedestrianisation of Austin Friars – completed on budget and on time.  We have plans for more social and community activities in this area.  Please do look out next year for a street market.
  • On-site shredder vans – an outright ban seems a ways off, but we have reduced these vehicles to almost the minimum.
  • Communications – we now have high-speed broadband throughout the City and our website is in its fifth year.  @broadstreetward tries to ‘follow’ all businesses and people in the Ward, so please do ‘follow’ us by return!

Broad Street’s traditional mascot is the famous panto cat of its Alderman, Dick Whittingon (1354-1423).

My work on your behalf over the past five years has consisted of:

  • Ambassadorial – representing the City and Ward, including accompanying and receiving trade and investment delegations to and from Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa, and Australasia. A number of businesses in finance and technology have located operations here thanks to such efforts.
  • Governance – promoting our interests in the Corporation as a member of the Court of Aldermen and Common Council, as well as Finance, Markets, Planning & Transportation, Standards, and Gresham Committees.
  • Ward Support – helping develop our City Giving Day contributions and Ward Mights, presenting in companies and schools, organising tours of the Ward, promoting new Freemen (ask if you’d like to become one), as well as being President of Broad Street Ward Club. 

Professor Michael Mainelli FCCA FCSI (Hon) FBCS, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group

A qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, Michael gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor.  He began his career as a research scientist, later becoming an accountancy-firm partner with BDO Binder Hamlyn and a director of Ministry of Defence research.  During a spell in merchant banking with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, he co-founded Z/Yen, the City of London’s leading commercial think-tank.  He has led Z/Yen from creating smart ledgers (aka blockchains) through the Financial £aboratory, Taskforce 2000, Global Financial Centres Index, Global Green Finance Index, and Global Intellectual Property Index.

In 2005, Michael initiated Long Finance’s London Accord, an agreement among 65 investment research teams to work together on environmental, social, and governance issues, which includes Ward firms such as Canaccord Genuity, ING, and Deutsche Bank.  Michael’s civic work includes serving as Emeritus Professor of Commerce, Fellow & Trustee at Gresham College – the City’s ‘Tudor Open University’; Almoner (governor) for Christ’s Hospital – the City’s charitable boarding school; Trustee of Morden College; former London Waterways Commissioner; and Patron to several charities, such as CARA and Sea-Change Sailing Trust.

Michael is a non-executive director of two listed firms and the United Kingdom Accreditation Services overseeing UK laboratories and quality standards.  He was British Computer Society Director of the Year in 2005 and given Hons by the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment in 2018.  His third book, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize.


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

on behalf of Professor Michael Mainelli, Z/Yen Group Limited, 41 Lothbury, London EC2R 7HG.

2018 Aldermanic Campaign Begins

It is customary for Aldermen to give an undertaking to surrender their office at least every six years.  Elected in July 2013, I have taken the opportunity, in advance of running for Sheriff next year, to submit my resignation of office to the Court of Aldermen on 9 November.  At the same time, I also indicated my intention to seek re-election.  I submitted my nomination papers to the City of London Corporation on 16 November.  If the election is contested, it shall be held on 13 December.

I would like to thank profusely for their support of my nomination:

  • 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
  • Election Agent – Ms Ruby Sayed (Barrister), Temple

Divine Service Prior To The Election Of The Lord Mayor

1 October 2018 at 10:45 – This service is held at St Lawrence Jewry, the official church of the Corporation of London.  It precedes the election of the Lord Mayor and is attended by the Masters of the livery companies.

I’ve always been politely amused by the touching adaption of a well-known hymn for the City:

O Praise ye the Lord, fraternities all,
With each patron saint, with Lawrence and Paul,
Praise God in this City, in his name we strive,
And pray for our liveries, long may they survive.

O Masters of guilds,in livery adorned,
Your mysteries keep and strive to be formed
In charity, service, and care for the poor,
Bring God his due honour, and praise Him the more.

Prepare ye to serve, all Aldermen too,
In each of your tasks be faithful and true;
With eye to the Father, and ear on your ward
With all this City, O praise ye the Lord!

This year’s Lesson and Sermon were taken from Luke 16:1-9:

The Unjust Steward

1And he said also unto his disciples, There was a certain rich man, which had a steward; and the same was accused unto him that he had wasted his goods. 2And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward. 3Then the steward said within himself, What shall I do? for my lord taketh away from me the stewardship: I cannot dig; to beg I am ashamed. 4I am resolved what to do, that, when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses. 5So he called every one of his lord’s debtors unto him, and said unto the first, How much owest thou unto my lord? 6And he said, An hundred measures of oil. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. 7Then said he to another, And how much owest thou? And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. 8And the lord commended the unjust steward, because he had done wisely: for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light. 9And I say unto you, Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness; that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations. 

For some of us, it seemed too a propos a lesson on ‘client monies’.

City Giving Day Role Of Honour

Congratulations to all those organisations in the Ward who participated!

City Giving Day Role Of Honour

  • Ambac
  • Blackrock Investment Management (UK) Limited
  • Broad Street Ward Club
  • Canaccord Genuity Wealth
  • China Construction Bank London
  • Deutsche Bank
  • Fireclad Ltd
  • Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners
  • Guild of Freemen
  • ING Bank
  • IoD City of London
  • The Brokerage Citylink
  • The Worshipful Company of Carpenters
  • The Worshipful Company of Drapers
  • Union Bank UK plc
  • Z/Yen Group Limited

Register for 24 September 2019!

BROAD STREET WARD – CITY OF LONDON – VOTER UPDATE

To the Ward of Broad Street,

As Alderman for your Ward, I thought I would write and bring you up-to-date with news.

First, you should be receiving our Broad Street Ward Newsletter every six months.  If not, or you would like to receive it electronically, please do contact me.

Second, I enclose a few items which might be of interest:

Third, we have made great progress in Broad Street Ward in three major areas:

  • Refurbishment and all-but-pedestrianisation of Austin Friars.  This project was completed, on budget, and on time.  We have plans for more social and community activities in this area.  Please do look out for a Ward Might later in the year, basically an open house in the centre of the Ward one lunchtime.  Also look out next year for a street market.
  • On-site shredder vans. An outright ban seems a ways off, but we have reduced these vehicles to almost the minimum.  If you spot a particular offender, i.e., idling or unattended in a restricted parking area, please do feel free to photograph them and send to me.
  • We are proud of the website, now in its fifth year.  We also have a twitter account @broadstreetward.  We are trying to ‘follow’ all businesses and people in the Ward, so please do ‘follow’ us by return!

Two further opportunities that might interest you:

  • City & Ward Overview. Your members are always ready to come to offices in the Ward to explain the City of London, the history, livery companies, wards, philanthropy, and local services.  We have a presentation, “What Could The ‘City of London’ Ever Do For Me? Or How Can I Drive Sheep Across London Bridge?” we’d be delighted to give to you and your colleagues if you wish.  The presentation also covers how to apply for the Freedom of the City of London, again, something where your members, Deputy John Bennett, John Scott CC, Chris Hayward CC, and I, would be delighted to sponsor voters.  Equally, for a large party, we would be happy to host you at the Guildhall for such a presentation, along with a short tour.  To request a City & Ward Overview, just email me at michael_mainelli@zyen.com.
  • City Giving Day is taking place on 25 September 2018.  It’s one day in the year when businesses can unite to celebrate and showcase their charitable and volunteering efforts with employees, clients, suppliers and the public.  It is about celebrating what you already do – not asking you for money.  To register, just go to thelordmayorsappeal.org/a-fair-city/city-giving-day.

May I take this opportunity to thank you for your support.  Your members are always open to ideas for change and improvement.  It’s our honour to serve you.  We want to continue trying to deliver more by Working for the City, Working for the Ward, Working for You.

Sincerely yours,

Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group

It’s Not All About Winning, Unless You Win

I had a wonderful time at the City Debate last night, Tuesday, 6 March.  Here’s a photo of all of us at the start:

CSFI & CISI City Debate:

  • Antony Jenkins (10x)
  • Nikhil Rathi (London Stock Exchange)
  • Michael Mainelli (Z/Yen)
  • Ruth Wandhöfer (Citi)

You can spot Ruth on the left, with Angela Knight in the centre who chaired proceedings, and Alderman Alan Yarrow both as Chairman of CISI and as Lord Mayor Locum Tenens.  The pre-debate vote was neck-and-neck, 51% “no” (Antony and my side) and 49% “yes” (Ruth and Nikhil’s side).

From the questions it appeared a hostile audience to Antony and me.  I had that queasy feeling you don’t like when you’ve volunteered for a competition just for the fun of it, then suddenly realise you could lose in front of all your friends.  How can one’s self-esteem ever recover?

Now you can see me in full ‘must win’ mode, or as my friend George Littlejohn would have it – “Michael could be up for playing Churchill come the next biopic.”

City Debate 2018

Thus it was a genuine surprise, and relief, to find that we moved the audience significantly to our side, 73% to 27%.  Whew.

In case my position had anything to do with swaying opinion, I set out the case against, below:

“This House Believes That Fintech Will Save The City” (NOT)

Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, Your Excellencies, Fellow Aldermen, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen.

You heard Antony’s compelling words.  My argument balances his.  If Fintech doesn’t destroy you, then … Fintech will remain, a small comfortable parasite on the technology and trade centre that is our global City.  So what is the City, what is Fintech, what needs saving?

Yesterday, the Inspector of Ancient Monuments assured me that London’s archaeological evidence proves over 100,000 years of trading.  I ask you, many of you too also ancient monuments before me, to join together and take a long-term perspective.  Bloomberg across the road sits above two millennia of Londinium.  We convene over a millennium old stocks market.  Gresham’s Royal Exchange opposite is over 450 years old.

With the tragic exception of Edward I’s expulsion of the Jews in 1290, what distinguishes London is that, by comparison, it has treated all comers from outside the walls fairly, so long as they adhere to “meum fidem, meum pactum”.  Lombards, Huguenots, Rothschilds, Warburgs … Mainellis.

We are an SME City.  24,000 businesses provide 483,000 jobs in the square mile, with 1,200 more each year.  Yes, 250 firms provide 50% of the jobs, but they work with 23,750 deal-making SMEs.  Large and small produce 3% of UK GVA from less than 1.5% of the workforce, three quarters of the UK’s services trade surplus, some £68bn.

Urban legends mislead us.  The City was a deal centre before and after WWI, but was a feeble financial centre from 1939.  The finance legend was kept alive by Italians and Americans, Autostrade in 1963 creating Eurobond markets on neutral territory.  When Thatcher lifted exchange controls in 1979 and Big Bang broke cartels, financial services boomed.  Most of today’s behemoths were SMEs 30 years ago.  Bloomberg dates to just 1981.

You’ve heard of a Baker’s Dozen, 13?  I recently learned that a Banker’s Dozen is 11.  Just seven banks, not even 11, gets you to over 95% UK market share.  Cartels remain.  Domestic banks pursue a decades old, yet rational, strategy of hampering account switching.  If you want to be a success in retail Fintech, go to a country with over a thousand banks, Germany, or over six thousand banks, America.  Make some marketing director’s career rather than annoy a UK bank strategist.

Our retail fintech story is government lies for children, baubles with no Christmas tree:

  • M-Pesa in Kenya dates to 2007, eight years before the UK notices Fintech.
  • Retail Fintech kids unable to afford desks sit in Level 39 beside the compliance & admin battery hens of Canary Wharf, while Berlin, a quarter our size and not a global financial centre, raises more Fintech finance than we do.
  • China has 13 Fintech unicorns to our four. Even that requires forward-dating things like WorldPay, 1995, just to  fake our numbers up.

Then we put our regulator in charge of a sandbox, letting government bottlenecks choose our winners.  Any country whose regulator is in charge of innovation has deep problems.  The wider City is lawyers, accountants, maritime, insurers, not a fintech pimple.

Google Trends awards the term ‘Fintech’ around 100 points.  In January 2015 it was an insignificant six points.  Our government claims creation of a sector it didn’t even notice four years ago, putting some mobile app lipstick on the antiquated systems of some oligopolistic banks.

I came to the City in 1984 to put computer technology into Messels, then Shearson-Lehman-Amex.  We old-timers should celebrate the progress of automating wholesale finance.  We’ve been doing real Fintech long before this insulting term was mashed up.  It’s as facile as saying your heartbeat keeps you from dying.

London is a science & tech city.  From Tudor ‘New Learning’ to Gresham College, Francis Bacon, the Royal Society, Industrial Revolution, Wheatstone telegraph, or DNA (the work was done at Kings, not Cambridge), London has been at least as much about science & tech trade as it has been about finance.  Technology-Media-Telecomms is a significantly larger percentage of firms under 100 employees than finance, insurance, or professional services.  Our centuries of tech drive regtech, instech, arttech, filmtech, songtech, medtech, edtech, traveltech.

Finance moves with technology too, from cuneiform to papyri to tally sticks to spreadsheets to databases and now databases-plus, smart or distributed ledgers, blockchains.  But smart ledgers are ‘wide tech’ for identity, documentation, and agreement exchanges, not just payments.  Tech is for all sectors and the City of London is the most intense place on the planet to do tech deals.

So does the City need saving from Brexit, the wider UK, perhaps AI?  To paraphrase Streisand, “people who need to trade with people, make London the luckiest City in the world”.  As long as we focus on face-to-face, commercial, global deal-making that AI and telecoms can’t replace, deal support will thrive, from financial and professional services to hotels, culture, healthcare, or entertainment.

With or without Brexit, we need quality education and training, health, infrastructure, broadband; airports (plural); an in-visa-ble as possible access to people; a functioning housing market; a simple tax system.  If Britain is open for business, try opening a bank account.  What always needs saving is the rule of law, innovation, and open deal-making.  We are deficient, but not desperate; in danger of having our Emperor’s clothes disrobed, but with time to knit some new garments.

In conclusion, profound changes would be needed to even start to be a standalone Fintech centre.  Silicon Valley, in total, is still only half the size of London.  Fintech propaganda hides three decades of wholesale finance automation.  Our real strength is over 500 years of wider technology and open trade.  Sell Trade in Tech not Fintech.

So, do you vote for deep tech or mobile gimmicks, do you vote for City deals or for Canary Wharf turkeys, do you vote for people or machines?  Our centuries of success are built on growing SMEs in open, global trade, not some three year old government mashup.  Please vote for yourselves, the deal-makers of London, not this facile motion.

References

https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/business/economic-research-and-information/research-publications/Documents/research%202016/Clusters-and-connectivity-finalV2.pdf

https://www.cbinsights.com/research-unicorn-exits

Cashing In On Christmas

Over the past two years Elisabeth and I became a bit deranged in our support for the British Red Cross Christmas Market at Guildhall.  We saw Christmas market competition everywhere.  If you look around City streets you too will see some cheeky red signs for a chain of Christmas convenience stores.  Their name?  Pret a Manger!

So what were the results?  Well, here’s a photo of HRH Princess Alexandra opening the event with the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor Charles Bowman:

You can see two co-Chairmen, Elisabeth and me, in the background starting to become more relieved.  Overall, how could we not be delighted with the event?  The Monday night ‘production’ was superb.  The stalls, livery and commercial, were stunning and fun.  HRH Princess Alexandra shopped as never before – over two hours.  There were some hiccups, errant and elusive stall tablecloths on Sunday come to mind.  Credit card machines worked significantly better than before, and always a few niggles.

Total income was circa £155,000, slightly behind 2015 yet remaining slightly ahead of 2013.  The Monday night had significantly higher ticket sales than ever before, showing staunch City support. A few remarks about Christmas retailing may help place the results in context.  ‘Black Friday’ (US retailers giving sharp price reductions after Thanksgiving) has plopped itself down just before the our Christmas Market over the past decade, while ‘Cyber Monday’ (another severe discount day begun a decade ago to encourage online sales) has plopped itself down on opening day.  And 2017 is the first time since 2006 that Christmas itself falls on a Monday.  This ‘Christmas on Monday’ effect is quite important as major retailers typically find sales lag by approximate three days.  Against the background of increasingly tough competition and price wars, our biennial ‘amateur’ pop-up market amazes many professionals.

What made the whole event so special for both of us was our entire City community coming together for charity and comradeship in such a convivial and generous way.  It is impossible to imagine a more wonderful way to celebrate Christmas than doing something for the common good with dear friends.  We shall always treasure that memory.  And that welcome text in full:

Your Royal Highness, My Lord Mayor, My Lords, Your Excellencies, Aldermen, Sheriffs, Masters, Fellow Liverymen, Ladies & Gentlemen.  Welcome to the Wonderful 2017 British Red Cross Christmas Market at Guildhall.  Yet again we have our traditional festive market and innovations sucha as a German Weihnachtsmarkt and a Foodiefest.

We cannot thank so many supporters enough.  We extend our sincere thanks for the long-standing royal support, and dedicated shopping, of British Red Cross Deputy President HRH Princess Alexandra.  We thank the entire Red Cross team, represented here by Lady Lamport, and project managers Laura Deacon and Kerry Thomas who led the work programme these past 24 months.

There is a very special relationship between the British Red Cross and the City of London, starting with the City’s stalwart support of emergency appeals.  The Rt Honourable the Lord Mayor Charles Bowman and Lady Mayoress Samantha Bowman are Patron and Chairman respectively of the City of London Sector of the British Red Cross.  The late Lord Mayor, Dr Andrew Parmley, and his wife Wendy, conducted several appeals to help us raise funds for these two days. 

Over the past two years Elisabeth and I became a bit deranged in our support.  We saw Christmas market competition everywhere.  If you look around City streets you too will see some cheeky red signs for a chain of Christmas convenience stores.  Their name?  Pret a Manger.

The Corporation donates this magnificent and valued venue and our Civic Team turns up in force with our Sheriffs Tim Hailes and Neil Redcliffe.  Of course, Neil and his wife Emma were the former Chairmen and handed on this Market in wonderful shape back in 2015. Our Chief Commoner, Wendy Meade, is resplendent here tonight, yesterday in mufti along with numerous members of the Civic Team, Aldermen, Commoners, and Guildhall staff.

Our wider City community includes the Pikemen & Musketeers, The Light Cavalry, Colin Sayer of Seasoned Events, Livery Companies, Ward Clubs, the City Livery Club, Guild of Freemen, and City Guides – who have supported the Market these many years.  City stalls donate 100% of their takings to the Red Cross.

As Master World Trader this year, what distinguishes this event is that the Steering Committee and Main Committee, run a genuine market, and we thank the numerous Patrons who gave their support, their time, their goods, and their cash.

We also thank the stallholders, accountants, runners, lifters, drivers, and musicians.  A wonderful addition has been the numerous Embassies participating, while celebrities such as Loyd Grossman and Cyrus Todiwala give glamour to the Foodiefest and Aleppo Supper Club.  The BBC Antiques Roadshow Team are here in force, as is artist Jeremy Houghton.

Jean-Henri Dunant witnessed 40,000 dead or wounded at the Battle of Solferino, that led to him forming the Red Cross in 1863.  Just seven years later the British Red Cross began.  The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are, as part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters, and emergencies.  Today the British Red Cross has 32,500 volunteers and 3,500 staff disbursing a quarter of a billion pounds annually.

But none of this would be possible without support from the public and you here tonight, all of us.  Our Christmas Market helps to make a difference. May the British Red Cross flourish until we do have Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men.

So join me in wishing everyone here for these two days Merry Shopping and Happy Christmas.

Thank you.

Football For Peace

My remarks at the Guildhall for Football For Peace this evening:

Welcome, each and every one of you, to Guildhall, and to the City of London!

I am delighted to be representing the Lord Mayor this evening, not only at a dinner full of international friends but for a cause which we can all support – world peace. As an international Ambassador for the financial and professional service sector, much of the Lord Mayor’s time is spent visiting and working with international officials to ensure prosperity, cultivate stability and harness peace across the globe.

But we can’t all be an Ambassador – and sometimes we must find other means to engage and develop with our global community. And what better way to do that than through a global sport, loved by an estimated 3.5 billion people around the world…

Football! A sport which, for decades, has united fans – in bars, pubs and cafés all over the planet!

It is a sport which thrives on diversity and interconnectivity – you’ll be rare to find a team in the premier league which isn’t supported in some way by an international player, manager or sponsor! And it is a sport which instils vital life skills in its players – skill such as teamwork, leadership and fairness.

These are the attributes of football which are promoted and cultured within Football for Peace’s work – increasing international dialogue and communication through the beautiful game. And nurturing empathy and understanding for our fellow world citizens. Quite simply, promoting peace.

Thank you, Football for Peace, for all your fantastic work. May I wish everyone here a most enjoyable evening.