Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Total Board Meeting Paris 16th/17th December

Not a Marketors event of course but the chance for an opportune word of thanks to Total who have been very supportive to my year in the City as Master of a livery company.
The Board Meeting in Paris each December has been an important event in my diary each year when I can review with other Directors the activities of the past year for the Company.  It is important for Non-Executive Directors to keep fully abreast of both the problems and the successes.   Total is the 5th largest integrated energy company in the world with a presence in more than 130 countries.  We are in the midst of a £5 billion investment programme in the North Sea to ensure future supplies of energy to the UK.  

Court Meeting Information Technologists Hall Thursday 12th December

With a busy programme of activity in January my year as Master is still far from over but barring emergencies, this was the fifth and last Court Meeting of my Master's Year.  Among items for discussion and agreement we put in place the recommendations of the Master-elect in respect to those chairing committees in the forthcoming year.  It also confirmed the rates of quarterage for 2014 to be notified to members.
Business was completed efficiently in good time as I had a train to catch to make a social meeting near my home in the Dover Constituency with fellow Marketor Theresa May.   Dover is a prime gateway to the country and the front line for the Home Office in enforcing immigration policy.

Court Dinner City University Club Wednesday 11th December

The Court Dinner is held towards the end of the Master's year of office and is restricted to members of the Court and their guests, with the Clerk also in attendance. 
The venue chosen was the City University Club which provides a homely atmosphere in the heart of the City.  A drinks reception was held, followed by the four course dinner on the floor above.
My guest speaker was Sir Robert Worcester KBE DL was is chairing the 800th celebrations of the Magna Carta which occurs in 2015. A number of different events is planned and clearly this will need both marketing and financial support.
As entertainment I arranged for Mates and Godfree, well known to me from my time in Parliament running the IPT.  They provided an amusing performance of high standard which was very well received by all present. 

Communication Industry Carol Service at St Bride's Monday 9th December

The Carol Service each year at St Bride's is shared with a number of organisations from the Communications Industry.  With a professional choir the music can be safely predicted to be of an amazing standard and it is a wonderful service to attend in the run up to Christmas. The BBC Newsreader Kate Silverton gave an excellent Christmas address to a full church.   I particularly enjoyed the choirs rendition of Stop the Cavalry -  a one-time Christmas hit.
Afterwards we adjourned to All Bar One on Ludgate Hill for wine and nibbles and enjoyed a very social Christmas get-together.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

International Cultural Exchange Annual Dinner House of Lords Friday 6th December

The International Cultural Exchange was founded in 1949 with the late Countess Mountbatten of Burma as its first President.  It is a non-political, non-profit making organisation with no endowment, dedicated to promoting understanding between different nations and cultures. The present President is Viscount Allenby and the annual dinner is hosted by Peers. This year our host was the Rt Hon the Lord Hunt of the Wirral MBE, who knows me very well and David was very much involved with the Industry and Parliament Trust when I was CEO.  As guest speaker, accompanied by my husband, I was warmly welcomed. After an excellent dinner I spoke about my MBA that included time spent in Russia and my experience of working internationally, also my time as head of Cable &Wireless in SE Asia, based in Singapore.  It was a very convivial evening, occupying the whole of the Peers Dining Room, also enhanced with seasonal music from the Salvation Army Band.  After a long day it took me some time to extricate myself from the many questions that continued to be asked some time after we left the dining room.  I heartily endorse the excellent work of this quite uniquely well supported Charity.

TEDxWhitehall Women Event at BAFTA, Piccadilly Friday 6th December

My next event on this memorable day was to speak at my first TED event.  Simone Roche is a force to be reckoned with as Director of Women 1st and Rebecca Hill was equally implicit in getting some twenty three women to each speak for no more than 10 minutes on a topic of interest and importance. The group included Stella Creasy MP - whose talk was entitled Rabbits and Rebel Rousing!  Others included Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook, Carla Buzasi, editor of the Huffington Post UK, Liz Bingham who is a Board member of  Ernst and Young and a host of other talented women.  The event was streamed to San Francisco with a multitude of others listening in and tweets flying back and forth.  I was cheered on the social media associated with the event for talking about women at the top and my topic (suggested to me by various Marketors!) was 'Sisterhood'. TED activities, I discovered, are wide ranging and increasingly popular. It was a pleasure to participate. Certainly the lady Marketors were right behind this!

Monday, 9 December 2013

BBC spokesperson in Kent and London on the death of Nelson Mandela Friday 6th December

I was called by the BBC very late on the evening of 5th December, having just returned from the FSClub dinner at Lloyds of London.  As Church of England representative for Canterbury on General Synod I had already been lined up since the initial scare about Mandela's health deteriorating a couple of months ago.  My long standing connection with Desmond Tutu had led to his Hon Freedom of the City of London last month and at that time, I had reviewed Mandela's Hon Freedom granted to him by the City in 1996. I had met Mandela in 2005 in South Africa and also in London the following year at the SA High Commission. BBC radio wished me to speak on the Breakfast Show at 7am the following morning. My five minute interview on 6th December with John Warnett is on BBC Radio Kent iplayer and it is 1 hour and 9 minutes into the three hour show!  I then went to Broadcasting House and was recorded for BBC TV South East News which went out at 6.30pm the same day. Now, of course, the news has been swamped with anecdotes and tributes to the great man.  I spoke of the time I was with him and Desmond in Soweto and the Madiba magic was in full force. Another occasion I had to curtail flash photography at an event for him I had organised as Mandela's eyes had been badly damaged through chipping stones in the scorching sun on Robben Island (where I was also taken!). Friday was a hectic day with two other major events (see further blogs!) resulting in me ending up at home in Kent at 2am on Saturday.

Dinner in the 1688 Room at Lloyds of London with the Financial Services Club Thursday 5th December

I was invited by Freeman Chris Skinner to attend the Financial Services Club Keynote Dinner at Lloyds. The evening was preceded by a superb tour of the Trading Floor, at the end of which I departed with a copy of the manifest and insurance certificate for the Titanic! As far as great brands go you cannot really beat Lloyds of London at One Lime Street.  The speaker for the evening was Gottfried Leibbrandt, CEO of SWIFT. It is a remarkable organisation and Gottfried updated us remarkably well, talking about the company's future strategic direction.  For the uninitiated, SWIFT is a member-owned cooperative through which the financial world conducts its business operations with speed, certainty and confidence. SWIFT copes daily with 10,000 financial institutions and corporations in 212 countries, exchanging millions of standardised financial messages. This activity involves the secure exchange of proprietary data while ensuring its confidentiality and integrity. SWIFT provides the proprietary communications platform, products and services that allows their customers to connect and exchange financial information securely and reliably. It also acts as a catalyst to brings the financial community together to work collaboratively to shape market practice, define standards and consider solutions to issues of mutual interest. Headquartered in Belgium there are offices in the world's major financial centres and developing markets. SWIFT does not hold funds nor does it manage accounts on behalf of customers, nor does it store financial information on an on-going basis. The dinner was very agreeable and it is always good to be among interesting and diverse groups within in the City.  More to the point Gottfried was formerly the organisation's Head of Marketing and could potentially be a Marketor!

Think Tank Christmas Lunch Tuesday 3rd December at the Old Doctor Butler's Head

Past Master Venetia Howes organised Christmas luncheon at the famous Old Doctor Butler's Head public house in Mason Avenue, that quaint but busy thoroughfare from the Guildhall.  I was delighted to greet manymembers of the Company including the Senior Warden, Bill Payne, Chahid Fourali, Past Master Jim Surguy, John Hooper and Past Master David Hanger.  Jim will be taking over the Chair of the renamed Thought Leadership group in the New Year.  I actually think we might miss being Think Tankers! It was an excellent and very convivial lunch. Many thanks were given to Past Master Venetia for her excellent chairmanship of this important Committee. I encourage members to put their name forward to join up. Afterwards I took Chahid along to the Chamberlain's office at Guildhall to encourage him to book himself an appointment to discuss his potential Freedom of the City of London. How many Freemen of the Company forget to do this?!

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Worshipful Company of Environmental Cleaners 39th Annual Ladies Banquet at Clothworkers Hall on Friday 29 November

This was a delightful evening, in one of my favourite Livery Halls, hosted by Master Maureen Marden (Treasurer of our Past Master's group) and attended by as many lady Masters as the Master could muster. However, the men still outnumbered us all greatly!The Company has some 280 members and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, is an Honorary Freeman of the Company, as is the Lord Mayor of London 2003 Alderman Sir Robert Finch. The Company also has an allowance of 450 liverymen! Membership is drawn from a broad church to include cleaning equipment manufacturing, chemical manufacturers, janitorial suppliers, environmental health officers, waste management industry, contract cleaners etc. The Company has always had lady Members and two have served as Masters.It also gives encouragement to, and fosters the craft of environmental cleaning which provides such a service to the whole community. A response on behalf of the guests was made by De Bradshaw, Master Plaisterer and wonderful entertainment of both music and drama was provided by the Guildhall School. It was an evening to be remembered.

The Great 13 Past Masters Group inaugural Meeting and Luncheon, Painter's Hall Friday 29 November

Each Master who visits Ironbridge in June as part of their year is invited to be included in the establishment of a Past Masters Group.  The Lord Mayor present is invited to be President and during the course of the weekend the group is formed.  In our case the President is Roger Gifford.  As Master Marketer I was invited to propose a name for the PM's Group.  I thought the Jolly Rogers would be a great idea (naturally endorsed by Roger!).  I envisaged years of champagne, courtesy of Pol Roger! However the name agreed was the Great 13 (I suggested the Grate 13 so that we could all irritate the Great 12!).  Ladies and Consorts settled on their name as The Pearls. A Committee was formed that weekend and I am pleased to serve as marketing consultant, initially by creating our logo. It was a most convivial luncheon and a grand reunion of our get together earlier this year.  Many are now Past Masters and it was good to see so many familiar faces.
We already have several interest groups proposed - golf, shooting etc, a proposed overseas visit and a date for next year's annual luncheon.