Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Actuaries and Bankers


And so to my first double day. First lunch with the Actuaries and then dinner with the International Bankers. These separated by a preview of a possible venue, with a fantastic view of the City, for an event later in the year.

The Mistress was with me at the first event which was lunch at the Watermen's where we were the guests of John and Anita Lockyer who are Master and Mistress of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries. As happens we had met John and Aneta several time on the circuit. His experience in having previously been Master of the Plumbers has been of help to him this time round and of benefit to me in the advise he has given.

It was an informal affair at which the majority were Actuary Liverymen and their partners, what a really nice bunch. Interestingly the conversation turned at one point to health and I discovered that several had gone through what I am about to face and were able to give me assurances and good advice. In all a delicious lunch and a pleasant few hours in really good company.

And so to the Guildhall and the Worshipful of International Bankers. Over 500, mainly, bankers with an American Master, Joseph King. Interestingly the Bankers have both permanent members and transient ones - those who are working in the City for just 3 - 4 years. The Marketors were on the top table where I was seated between the Sheriff Wendy Mead and Past Master Michael Kirkwood, who is now with UKFI looking after the Governments, and our, banking interests.  Speakers included Alderman Lord Levene of Portsoken who responded on behalf of the Lord Mayor and offered an interesting perspective on the position of bankers and the City. However it was the Principal Guest Speaker, James Wolfensohn, former President of the World Bank, who made the most telling points.

Put simply he believes that the future is Asian or as we put it in a Think Tank seminar a few years ago "Chindia". In the recent past 1Bn people owned 80% of the global GDP, leaving the remaining 5Bn with 20%. Following the 2002 shake up this reverted to 65:35. It is his belief that by 2050 this will be 35% to 65% with Chindia owning 50% at which point there will be 9.2Bn people. His answer is to understand the changes and to help our next generation to not only cope with, but succeed against, the new competitive forces. The answer is to understand your opponent and education your resource. An answer with which all modern livery companies must come to grips.

Having had a stimulating evening we all exited via the Stirrup Cup which contained a chocolate fountain, and no I didn't.

Master Marketor


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