Informal Drinks in the City 21 May:  Meet with us at the Golden Fleece
CMCE Virtual Workshop (3rd of 5) 23 May:  Next Gen2.0: Risky Business
Education Supper at Bakers' Hall 19 June:  AI's Role in Higher Education
Click here for our rolling calendar or here for City events

NL Dec 2020


WCoMC is a collegiate forward looking Modern City Livery Company; we maintain City traditions, share expertise and information between fellow members and give back to the community through our pro bono activities.

WCoMC News 

Our latest City updates


What’s up?

New Freemen

Kevin Hughes

Simon Davis

Josephine Mann





New Liverymen

Collette Stone 



Returning Liverymen

Richard Beevers







Other Stuff!

Quaich recipient Dr. Simon Davey

The Annual Report 2019-20 is available now.
We have a Vimeo account now!
The Urwick Cup
Securing Future Prosperity 
Company Ties

Newsletter Editor:

Website Support:

Issue 70:  20 Dec 2020



Our Master's Voice 

Our collective wisdom has enabled us to continue to operate as a successful Livery Company through this difficult period whilst we are all waiting for a vaccine, which will enable us to return to meeting in person, albeit in a yet to be worked out and evolving ‘new normal’. I very much look forward to meeting you all again.
Our Fellowship has continued apace, with a wide range of events in which members have participated from afar. CA Malcolm McCaig in Scotland is probably the furthest North, me the furthest South West in Tier 1 Cornwall, but neither of us as far as Dennis Ciborowski in Florida USA. It was great to see Dennis, who joined us to applaud the Admission of three new Freemen and the Clothing of Colette Stone as a Liveryman on 1st December. 
The Admissions Ceremony was yet another sign of the high level of activity in the Membership Committee and the attraction of the Company in being able to recruit new members in these COVID times.  The 56 people attending the event were also wonderfully entertained by a City of London Guide on a Virtual Tour of Dickens London. There were many favourable comments, so we look to the Events Committee to whisk us away on another magical history tour.
I was delighted to chair an Induction Briefing for the four new Court Assistants on 30th November. Speakers included PM Edward Sankey in his, about to be vacated, role as Chairman of the Nominations Committee, PM John Corneille, IPM Denise Fellows, 1W Steve Cant and of course our Clerk, Julie Fox. The online briefing was well received and hopefully will be repeated because of the way that Zoom allows us to efficiently gather a group busy people, without them having to travel.
You will read elsewhere in this issue about other recent events and our future events calendar, as well as a report from a recent recipient of a grant from our Charitable Fund and an update on the SFP project.  
That just leaves me to wish you a Happy Christmas and a healthy New Year, when we shall meet again in person. 

That was the year that was! 

The Annual Report for the year July 2019 to June 2020 is now available to download from our website.
The Report highlights how Company Members have undertaken so much during the year despite the impact of COVID-19. We can be enormously proud of the way we demonstrate being a vibrant Modern Livery Company.   

New - Video Content  

This is something of a milestone in the history of the company Newsletter as we are now – after quite of lot of effort – able to share video content. We now have a new Company account on Vimeo which allows us to make video content available to view by all Members. This development is part of plans to make virtual events available more widely within the Company. We are now routinely recording events held on Zoom and uploading them.  In some cases – such as the ‘My Most Interesting Project’ series – access to the video recordings may require a password as the material presented contains sensitive client information.  
The first examples are in the next article. Watch out for more in future editions.  Many thanks to all involved in making this possible.

Recent Events 

Christmas Court 2020
The Christmas Court meeting was held on the 7 December via Zoom.  All but one of the Court were in attendance.  It was the first meeting chaired by the new Master, John Pulford, who welcomed Kanan Barot and Nanette Young in their new roles as Third and Fourth Wardens and the four new Court Assistants, Nick Bush, Ron Cruickshank, Sue Ells and Andy Miles.  Click here for a report of the meeting.

My Most Interesting Project #4: 
The most recent event was held on 18th November and comprised two fascinating presentations:
•    Nick Bush described how he brought two sides of a recently-merged bank together to produce a new IT architecture in record time, and where his guitar proved to be instrumental in building the client team. 
•    Malcolm McCaig described "The Case of the Naughty Bank" – in which he led a review commissioned by four regulators on two continents to examine the activities of a rogue trader.

Admissions Ceremony 
Our second virtual Admissions Ceremony took place at a Ceremonial Court on 1st December at which the Master admitted Kevin Hughes, Simon Davis and Josephine Mann to the Freedom of the Company, followed by the clothing in the Livery of Freeman Collette Stone.  Each of the candidates received their certificates during the ceremony despite the challenges of a virtual event. (Ed: Returning Liveryman Richard Beevers was also readmiited although he was unable to join the ceremony).

The Master then presented the Wardens’ Quaich to Dr Simon Davey.  The Quaich was presented to the Company by PM Michael Jeans and was awarded for the first time in 2004. He stipulated that it should not be awarded to a member of Court but to an ‘ordinary’ member chosen by the Court of Wardens.  In his citation, the Master thanked Simon especially for his leading role in developing and managing the Company’s IT systems, and also for his enthusiasm in supporting the Company’s involvement in the Livery Schools Link events over the last few years.  
The Admission Ceremony and Quaich presentation can be viewed here.
Following the conclusion of formalities at the Ceremonial Court, we had over 60 Members and guests join us for a Magic Lantern Tour of Dickens’ London, led by award-winning City Guide Gina Mullett.  This was a fascinating exploration of London in the first half of the 19th century and took us to many of the places where Charles Dickens lived and worked, and which feature in his many novels.

If you would like to view the MMIP presentations or the Magic Lantern Tour, please contact our video team at

CMCE Research Conference
An account of the CMCE Research Conference 2020, which was held on 24th November, can be found on the CMCE Website.   The challenge, according to Nick Bush, was to shoehorn a half-day’s conference into a couple of hours. Nevertheless feedback after the event was encouraging with 70% of respondents saying they were more likely to attend an online CMCE event in future and a high satisfaction rating for all the sessions.  Nick adds that CMCE will use this feedback to create even better events in 2021 although how we blend the online and offline to beneficial effect is something we’ll be looking to learn as our knowledge of the technology and the fight against COVID-19 progresses. 
This event also included the award of the Urwick Cup. The competition for this year’s award had a special COVID-19 flavour. Management consulting organisations who had undertaken assignments to help the UK to address the pandemic were invited to submit descriptions of case studies with a particular focus on the impact achieved.  While there are still many COVID-19-related challenges being addressed by the MC industry, the winning entry from Accenture was a worthy candidate.  In announcing the winner Education Committee Chair Malcolm McCaig said: “The winner this year demonstrated an extraordinary achievement in helping to tackle the critical shortage of medical ventilators in the UK, with the prospect in the early days of the pandemic of NHS patients dying because of the lack of equipment.  Working with a consortium of leading aerospace and engineering businesses, Accenture had within 10 days designed the supply chain processes and established protocols for the flow of information, product and payments across more than 100 organisations globally to produce medical ventilators. The first ventilator was built within 47 days and a total of over 1500 had been produced by early summer”.  Further details can be found here.

Wine Tasting 
The Wine Club organised the latest (Christmas) wine tasting event on 11th December. About 40 people joined what was, once again, both a convivial and educational event. 

Review of the Charitable Fund
As previously reported here, the final report of the Review has been published and is available on the Company website.  Following this, an open evening was held on 3rd December at which the history of the fund, the financial position of the fund, and the recommendations of the review were described in a 40-minute presentation.  23 people attended the Zoom call including the trustees of the fund.  (if you missed the event, the presentation used on the evening is available here).  There were several good questions and some positive practical suggestions including one about asking members to nominate “A good cause of their choice to support in any given year” - much as Waitrose identifies local causes to support by asking its customers.  This may be easier said than done but there was general support for the recommendations with the following comment received via “chat” summing things up nicely: 
"With more effective communication with our members and greater clarity as to the objectives of the Charity I believe we will see a greater flow of grant applications though our membership. The presentation was excellent. Before we expand our fund-raising activities, we should implement the recommended changes - we need those improvements in place first. A good evening".
In a broader discussion at the end of the session, there were several views expressed about the longer-term Vision for the charitable fund. This served to illustrate one conclusion from the report: there is no unifying single view about the future direction, and this is clearly an area where the trustees will need to devote further attention in the longer term. 
One newish member who was on the Zoom session has since volunteered which is great news but the Trustees are still looking for one more.   Please contact David Peregrine-Jones (Chair of the Trustees) or Steve Cant (Trustee) if you would like to get involved. 

Pan-Livery survey of philanthropic giving

Preliminary results of the 2020 Pan-Livery survey of philanthropic giving were presented by Alderman Sir Charles Bowman during the Lord Mayor’s briefing to the Livery on 25th November.  

In thanking Second Warden Bob Harris for “masterminding the survey” he presented headline findings from the 94 livery companies that had responded to date, which included the finding that aggregate giving across the livery reached £72m in the last 12-month period, putting the livery movement in the top five grant makers in the UK.  There was also a significant increase in giving in kind – which includes our pro-bono work as well as that of several other modern livery companies.  The work of the Pan-Livery Steering Group in 2021 will now focus on the analysis and communication of more detailed findings from the survey in which Bob will continue to play a central part.

Events in January 2020

These events in January are now open for booking:
14th January - A CMCE Showcase: In the Land of the Black Swan will consider how organisations can plan for and build their resilience to cope with low probability but high impact events.  You can book here.
20th January - A Pro Bono Showcase in place of the postponed Charities Supper.  The evening will present our work with YBI over the past few years, including the challenges of working in some of the toughest areas around the world, and sprinkled with anecdotes.  You can book here.
27th January - “My Most Interesting Project #5” - We’ve now had four sessions and heard from 7 entertaining and engaging speakers in this series of events.  While billed as “My Most interesting project”, these presentations have actually been about peoples’ life changing work experiences.   Our next two speakers will continue that theme: 
Sue Ells will talk about “Doing more with less for Sir Mike Rake at BT”. Sir Mike Rake was Chairman of BT when Sue was asked to direct his Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) programme in 2010, and he became Chairman of the CBI shortly after.  What did Sue know about CSR when she was appointed? Nothing! So why was she asked, and why did she accept the role? What happened?  Sue will be sharing some of the highs …  lows …. and learnings from her 3 year experience leading the programme: learning that's she's been using - and sharing - as a consultant ever since.

Our second presenter will be Ron Cruickshank who will talk on the development of the 3P Triangle© - a model developed to obtain actions from within a business, significantly when improving their Business Proposal. A classic problem faced by a consultant when working with clients is the expectation the consultant will form the ‘underlying assumptions’ of a client’s Business Plan. Having tripped up on this matter on several occasions, and using skills developed while reading for his MBA, Ron moulded theory with practice and created the 3P Triangle© template. Ron will speak on practical examples, covering his time before using the model and then how both the client and the consultant were able to benefit from its use.
Both Sue & Ron are new Court Assistants so here’s your chance to get to know them better. Please book here.

Securing Future Prosperity  

Freeman Rhonda Best Reports:  "When Securing Future Prosperity was launched in May as a pan-Livery project, we wanted to harness the considerable capabilities of Liverymen and Freemen to support businesses that have been sorely affected by the measures to contain COVID.
A scoping exercise began in July.  We defined the guidance service as including four main actions: providing a listening ear, opening up address books, pointing out trusted sources and making introductions.
We also identified some important questions and adopted a phased approach for testing.  The three engagements during Stage 1 established that the scheme worked.  We are currently in Stage 2 testing the scalability of the scheme with ten engagements.
The questions and progress to date are as follows:

  • Are other livery companies interested? Yes, there are some early adopters. We have been cautious to avoid over-promotion of the project while testing it. 
  • Are there members of livery companies who are willing to offer their time and knowledge on a pro bono basis? Yes and happily all those who provided guidance in Stage 1 have said they would like to continue their involvement. 
  • Is the Lord Mayor supportive? Very much so. Securing Future Prosperity was featured in his address to the livery in November.
  • How can this scheme provide help most effectively? The aim is not to supplant the advice available from commercial consultancy businesses but particularly to support those (usually smaller) businesses that could not otherwise avail themselves of needed guidance. Of particular concern is to avoid situations that would require professional indemnity insurance. 
  • How can demand be best identified and managed? An operating manual has been developed based on the experience of reviewing applicants for help, those providing it, and conducting engagements.

Members of the Company are invited to get involved in this project. Refer to more information on our website. We see it as a significant way in which the Company can apply Change through Wisdom to the benefit of the economy." 

Survey of Members

The objective of the recent survey was to understand the way members have been experiencing the support of the Company during these past 8 months or so.  Many thanks to all those who have responded to this survey.  
The survey was launched in mid-November and remained open until the end of that month.  Some 180 members were told about the survey and we received 74 replies (i.e. 41%). This is a particularly good response rate and John Watson as chief designer of the survey should take credit for that.  The data collected is probably representative of the Company Membership a whole but we have to recognise that respondents to the survey were self-selecting and therefore the results do have some inbuilt bias.  
Nevertheless the responses have been analysed based on a 3-part classification, made by the respondents themselves as part of the questionnaire structure: 
•    30 were “Regular participants”
•    28 were “Partially engaged” 
•    16 were “not actively engaged”
An analysis of responses has been made after subdividing the answers into these categories: descriptive (e.g. age, length of membership, etc.), evaluative (e.g. ratings, degree of agreement with questionnaire statements, etc.) and prescriptive (e.g. questions about charging).  Using the data provided, comparative tables and graphs have been created across the three classifications, where responses are quantifiable.  Qualitative comments have all been harvested and compared in columnar form; again across the three classifications.   
While we are in the process of discussing the findings with the Events and Membership Committees here are a few illustrative headlines: 

We will produce a survey report with an evaluation of Members’ views on their experiences of Company support during the past 8 months and any recommendations during  the next few weeks.  More next time. 

Philanthropy Case Study   

Moving online to create a first-class virtual educational experience: Liveryman Alex Skails reports as the Director of the Centre for Charity Effectiveness.

"It is hard now to think back to Thursday 19th March, when we were entering lockdown #1. Tensions were high in everyone’s professional and domestic worlds and few of us could imagine what the future months would bring.
That morning, the Centre for Charity Effectiveness (CCE) was due to deliver an Inspiring Financial Leadership module. Both course directors valiantly travelled into the Business School to deliver the session using Zoom for the first time. We had no technological support and none of us were sure how many delegates would turn up online or how the planned face-to-face course materials would work on-screen with no physical interaction. Would we be able to move delegates from breakout rooms to plenary sessions without losing them or ourselves en-route? To think that we were trying to film work performed on a physical white board is now inconceivable.
Fast forward to Autumn 2020 and delivering best practice online teaching is the norm. We navigate seamlessly between Teams and Zoom multiple times a day and join a plethora of different webinar platforms to allow us to continue to engage with our wider CCE community. We know how to work remote whiteboards real time and can wander through break out rooms to observe and contribute. There is a consistent educational approach across the Business School and feedback is very good. Increased familiarity with online platforms means participant expectations are high and there is no longer the leeway for us to get it wrong.
From every crisis comes opportunity. Executive students enjoy the enhanced flexibility; being able to listen to pre-recorded teaching videos in their own time and to use the video interaction for discussions, Q&A, case studies and role plays. We can expand our reach to those outside the London region. Like so many organisations we have been forced to take a digital leap forward over an incredibly short period of time, the benefits of which will remain with us long after Covid19.
The success of our moving online is testament to the incredibly hard work of the CCE team, the wider School and the support of our many partners, including the WCoMC. Your grant funding allowed us to move two of our core professional development programmes online - New Chief Executives (NCE) and Aspiring Chief Executives (ACE).
As I write today, the first module of the NCE 2020-2021 programme is being delivered. It has been completely redesigned, combining online workshops, plenary and breakout sessions, action learning sets, coaching sessions, a line-up of guest speakers and the full range of course materials and activities to enable interactive group and peer learning – all supported by appropriate levels of technological support. We were delighted to have a full cohort signed up and enjoyed welcoming them, albeit virtually, to the CCE leadership community. Our next ACE programme begins in late January and it already has strong interest. Thank you for enabling us to deliver leadership education in new ways at a time when it has never been more in demand."

Get to Know Nick Bush

New Court Assistant and incoming Director of CMCE, Nick Bush introduces himeslf:

"Looking at the photos that accompany this piece I find my myself asking in the manner of Talking Heads classic song “Once in a Lifetime”, “Well… how did I get here?”
Well… I’m not going to recount my entire life story, but my latest role as Director of CMCE follows on swiftly from my last role – as a pantomime dame appearing in a cinema near you. Given that it’s Christmas, let’s get the dame stuff out of the way first…
At the beginning of September, I spent the weekend hanging out of the back window of my friend Peter Duncan’s house belting out a couple of numbers in the filmed production of his take on panto favourite Jack and the Beanstalk. I was there because I sing in a local community choir and he asked me if anyone from the choir would be interested in joining the chorus and being filmed. Available as an online download, the film – shot entirely in his south-west London back garden – is also in cinemas (at least it is if there’s any left in Tier 2). If you’re missing the family outing to a panto this year, then it’s a surprisingly effective substitute (oh yes, it is!).
So, did I envisage seeing myself (albeit in the background) on the silver screen when I set out on my career back in the day? Definitely not, and although I love performing it’s limited to occasional presentations and musical outings, these days with the choir, and even that’s confined to video. As anyone who saw my recent “most interesting project” will know, I have only managed to combine music with consulting on one occasion and the two passions run in parallel in my life.

Picking up the CMCE baton from Calvert Markham is, like my foray into filmmaking, an unexpected development. I started my involvement with CMCE at the end of 2018 where I was asked to organise a practitioner symposium and then remained involved in building up the Knowledge Bank, although a more realistic description of that activity might be helping to lay the foundations – it’s definitely a marathon not a sprint. 
I think we have a terrific opportunity in CMCE to build something quite unique in the business world: a network of individuals connecting and sharing their ideas and expertise to help the profession improve itself and to bridge the gap that exists between researchers – whose research should have some practical application – and practitioners who should be bringing the latest thinking to bear on their client work and their own business development. 
As you can tell, I’m excited about what we can achieve with CMCE and am looking forward to getting stuck into it in January. It’s always a danger to make predictions about the forthcoming year which are subsequently proved wrong, but I will be building on Calvert and the team’s excellent work to do more great Showcase events, publishing reports on how consultants could add more value to their clients and building the network. 
We’ve already seen that CMCE is a way of generating interest in Company membership and I also expect that to increase next year as well. We’ll also be looking to widen participation in the Centre from within the Company so if you want to get involved with our work, don’t hesitate to get in touch."

More on Company Ties

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in buying a new Company tie, which is a reissue of the old style tie with multiple crests. We have now placed a bulk order and expect delivery in late January. 
Once received, we will contact those who have already expressed interest to arrange payment and onward delivery. 
We ordered a quantity of extra ties and will advertise them again to members once we get them in. If you are keen to place an order before then, and have not yet done so, please contact the Treasurer or the Clerk. The cost per tie will be £30 plus VAT, and ties will be sold on a “first come, first served” basis.

......And finally 
What we all learned about Zoom over the past 9 months!

We've all been there! Thank you for reading this far, and, as we enter into greater restrictions (Tier 4 now in Essex), STAY SAFE.

Steve Cant



This newsletter is produced by the WCoMC Communications Group. Please let us know if you have any items to include in relation to any topics that come to mind! The opinions expressed in this newsletter represent those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the Company.
​WCoMC is a Chartered Charitable Organisation (Privy Council Reference C877) and a Company Incorporated by Royal Charter (Company No. RC000819).