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 Feb 2022

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

Janell Dudley


Master Chartered Secretary Julie Fox

Julie turned up at the City University lunch with a new face covering.  As one wag - a fellow Master - said "She looks ready to do some welding!"





Pancake Race






Get To Know...

Jim Foster








CMCE Showcase


















Newsletter Editor:

Website Support:

Issue 78:  February 2022

























Our Masters' Voice

Since the last (Christmas) Newsletter we’ve had a good programme of events, both virtual and in person.  There are reports below but I’ll start with the Charities Supper on 24th January.  After an enforced break in 2021, it was great to see the return of this supper - the Company’s most vibrant and enjoyable event.  The evening started with an Admissions ceremony where I was delighted to admit Janell Dudley, pictured below along with a more fulsome report.

Earlier in January I was one of 60 Masters who were invited to the Plaisterers’ Dinner for Masters and Clerks at their magnificent hall. There were 238 people in attendance and I was joined by Acting Clerk Walter Gill. This mass gathering convinced me that we could indeed go ahead with our Charities Supper - as above.

A week later I was one of the guests of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Surveyors at their Court and Livery Dinner at Vintners’ Hall. Again it was a convivial affair with good networking opportunities in another of the City’s great halls. 

February started off in a very positive way when I was one of several Masters of Livery Companies, including Julie Fox of WCCSA, invited to attend the City University graduation ceremony at the Barbican. As an alumnus of City University I was particularly keen to attend and inevitably it reminded me of my own graduation in 1974. The University was catching up with two years of graduations, there being no ceremony last year for obvious reasons. Afterwards I attended a lunch and was honoured to be seated on table 1 with the Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny. I think I made some useful connections which will help as we endeavour to build stronger relationships with the University and with their Centre for Charity Effectiveness. More on that another time.

The following week I was at a livery dinner organised by Erica Stary who is forming the “year group” for the Livery Masters in my year. I was joined on this occasion by First Warden Chris Sutton and my Lady Cathy.  Cathy was sat next to chap who seemed familiar - above.  This dinner was impressive, and demonstrated once again that the mood among livery people generally is to get back to real life, in person events. Over 200 people attended a prestigious evening in the newly renovated Drapers’ Hall. It really was spectacular as I hope the photos demonstrate. The guest speaker was Professor Alderman Michael Mainelli who was on his usual excellent form.

Early February also saw two weeks of celebrations for my 70th birthday which I will not bore you with here, but they did culminate in a very jolly lunch for friends– not seen for over 2 years - and family, at Ironmongers’ Hall.

March looks like being even busier. Here are the events we’ve got coming up… 

Future Events

Inter-Livery Pancake Race in Guildhall Yard - Tuesday 1st March
Short notice – but previously advertised, this year’s Inter Livery Pancake Race will take place in Guildhall Yard on Tuesday 1st March. Registration for team members will commence at 11.00am and the first race will start at 12.00 noon. However we recommend that anyone attending arrives a little earlier to get a good viewing position. This is an “Inter-Livery Rivalry but fun” annual competition and once again The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants has qualified to enter a team into this event.

Come and see your Master and the other members of Our Team compete to run from one end of Guildhall Yard to the other and back again - tossing their pancakes at fixed points.... without dropping them! (Ed: The Master would be delighted if you and your families could come and support your Livery Company on this wonderful day!)

Members' Reception and Admissions - Wednesday 16 March
Second Warden Kanan Barot sets the scene: “This is our annual gathering for all current and any prospective members, led by the Membership Committee. We will hear from colleagues about their Company activities, and progress generally". 

Those who attended our equivalent event in 2020 - the last meeting we had before the first covid lockdown - will recall what an informative and convivial evening it was for all. We aim to replicate it this year so please come along and bring friends and colleagues who would like to know more about the Company and can meet other members.

On the night you will:

  • hear from a new Freeman
  • find out why you should consider Livery
  • catch up on what is happening
  • see what you can do as a member
  • learn what our membership achieves
  • and have an enjoyable evening!

The reception will be preceded by an Admissions Ceremony, enabling existing members to welcome new Freemen and congratulate those who are being clothed in our Livery.  A selection of wines from the Company Cellar and other drinks will be available after the Admission Ceremony and there will be a finger buffet after the presentations to facilitate networking and discussion until the close of the reception. Book here – price £40 plus VAT. 

Pro Bono Workshop - Improving charity performance and sustainability - Tuesday 22 March
Bob Harris reports on this workshop which is aimed at providing better support to charities:  "Many of our Members work with charities through our pro-bono consultancy and mentoring programmes or through their own role as trustees or volunteers.  We frequently find that these charities have common challenges in building a strong management infrastructure and ensuring long-term financial sustainability.  We are therefore delighted to bring two experts in this field to share their expertise with us, and therefore to help us enhance our own support. More information and booking here". 

CMCE Next Gen series - Jan 20th - March 3rd

Valentina Lorenzon reports on behalf of CMCE: “Over the last few weeks, we held the first discussions in our Next Gen series dedicated to the post-pandemic world of work. Every Thursday we have been joined by a panel of international leaders and we have tried to answer one of the key questions that will define the future of work: so far we have discussed the role of interviews for entry level jobs, the importance of gig economy training for our youth, and the contribution of each employee in an organisation’s marketing and innovation efforts.  You will find all the details about past conversations and upcoming discussions here.   

We also need your help! As part of this initiative the project team have created a questionnaire that will be circulated within the networks of those who have participated as panellists. For the output to be valuable and insightful, we would like to form a panel from within the CMCE/WCoMC community to review the questionnaire before circulation. If you would like to get involved, please contact Rhonda Best.”

Future “My Most Interesting Whatever” events. 

What started out as a good initiative during COVID lockdown, when physical meetings were not possible, has continued under the stewardship of Malcolm McCaig & Bob Harris.  My Most Interesting Whatever (MMIW) provides an opportunity for our members to share some of their most memorable moments and lessons learned.  It is also an opportunity for fellowship, and a great way to introduce potential members to the Livery Company  And it’s free!

Continuing with the virtual on line format, our MMIW programme for 2022 has kicked off in earnest with Noorzaman Rashid PM talking about “The Life and Times of a Professional Trustee”.  Given the interest that many of our members have to engage in charitable causes, it was no surprise that it turned out to be a popular event, with about 40 registered attendees.  

Future MMIW events for your diary are:

26 April - Chris Sutton - “From Blue Chip to White Chip to Green Chip”
12 July - Nick Bush - “World Heartbeat Music Academy”
28 September - Bob and Sally Garratt - “Action Learning”

Save the dates and hope to see you there. 

Recent Events

Charities Supper 2022
For this year we were at a new venue – the Barber-Surgeons' Hall. This was a great chance to meet up 'in person' with old friends & make new connections and judging by the excellent turn out (and feedback afterwards) most people were only too pleased to be there.  

PM Patrick Chapman was our compère for the evening, and we heard from three speakers about the pro bono projects that we have supported, from the receiving organisations - The Age of No Retirement, Buckhust Hill School, & Art History Link-Up - and the impact made. Well done to all those involved in planning and organising the event and, especially, a big thank you to all our pro bono volunteers.

The Matheson Cup is awarded by the ProBono Committee to a member of the Company who has "gone above and beyond". This year the cup was presented by PM Patrick Chapman to Dr Karol Szlichcinski for his outstanding multilingual client support, especially to the YBI accreditation process over many years. Congratulations Karol!

We were delighted that Master John Spanner of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, Master James Gurling of the Company of Communicators, Master Judy Hadden of the Company of Entrepreneurs and Sir Charles Bowman, Alderman of the City of London and Past Lord Mayor joined us at the Supper.
I need to conclude about the Charities Supper with an apology and plenty of praise. The admission ceremony ran early, and the assembled throng could not get into the reception room immediately afterwards, which resulted in a rather overcrowded anteroom. In addition, we were at the upper limit of the capacity of the hall - a victim of our own success. However, I would like to pay tribute to our Events Management Team for planning, organising and delivering such a successful evening during a long period of uncertainty due to the covid pandemic. While the first few minutes of the event were not as socially distanced as we had planned, I received many comments on how successful the Supper had been and no reports of adverse consequences. We hope that the easing of the pandemic will mean that such issues do not arise for future events. 

CMCE Showcase – Virtual Consulting
January 19th saw 2022’s first of CMCE’s showcase series when Freeman Luca Collina gave about 30 attendees a tour of developments in virtual consulting. This was an interesting session given that we've all “been there and done it” to some extent over the past couple of years, but Luca gave it some academic rigour and he engaged us with a number of zoom interactive questions. Luca covered issues as diverse as the skills required for virtual and digital consulting and indeed the differences between the two, management consultancy trends with virtualisation over the past 10 years, and changing client expectations because of recent developments in virtualisation.  

Luca's full presentation is available on the CMCE website here. Many thanks to Luca for an engaging and enlightening session.

CMCE Virtual Showcase - Ethics, management consulting and the ancient Greeks 
PM Denise Fellows reports on the latest CMCE Showcase held on 8 February 2022: “Are you familiar with Heraclitus and Aristotle?” may seem an esoteric opening to a lecture, but David Shaw’s talk used the teachings of ancient Greek philosophers to provide a fascinating challenge to the way in which Management Consultants seek to be trusted by clients and society.  His premise was based on the perception that the results of management consultancy are intangible, its knowledge is unscientific, and its advice may be self-interested. The conclusion was that a reputation for ethical practice is a critical asset for consulting firms.

From the premise of strategic change as consultants’ core business, David explored how the intervention changes the organisation through a series of linear steps: Assess; Design; Implement; Evaluate - in line with the thinking of Leucippus and Democritus.

Heraclitus sees the world differently to them. The universe is a constantly changing flow, thus the linear intervention becomes a circle, managing change by iteration of the steps.

Management Consultants need knowledge and wisdom to implement change. Aristotle believed that you could acquire knowledge by empirical observation combined with reasoning.  Sophia, definite scientific knowledge, is acquired through empirical observation combined with reasoning.  Phronesis, practical wisdom, is gained through experience to make good choices about practical matters. Management and organisational change can be unpredictable and so phronesis rather than sophia is given prominence.  Mintzberg restated this view in his book on “Managers not MBAs”.

Is it possible to verify consultants’ claim to knowledge and experience?  Lawyers and medics can fall back on their professional bodies, qualifications and the accepted body of knowledge.  Clients of consultants have far fewer sources of assurance of ethical practice. Moral virtues dispose people to behave ethically but must be combined with phronesis, good judgement. Aristotle’s thinking suggests that Management should take more responsibility for embedding a culture that embodies commitment to ethical practice and ensuring that their consultants are habituated in it.   

David Shaw was a finalist in the CMCE 2020 Research Awards with his paper “Aristotle and the Management Consultants: Shooting for Ethical Practice”. (Ed:  If this has whetted your appetite, a longer write-up of this event can be found here. )

Pan-Livery Pro bono Interest Group

Following the Pan Livery Conference held last year and reported in October, Bob Harris organised a follow up meeting for a group of Livery Companies with an interest in collaborating further on pro bono work. A virtual meeting was held on Thursday 27 January involving representatives from the following companies:  Engineers, HR Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Communicators, Marketors, Information Technologists and of course us – the Management Consultants. 

The mood was positive and collaborative and a further, more focussed and in-person meeting has now been planned for March.  More about that in the next “Get to know philanthropy” newsletter (GTKP).

Quaich Lunch 

At the Quaich Lunch on 10th January Geoff Berridge was awarded the Quaich for his services to pro bono clients and our own Charitable Fund.  (Ed: The Quaich is awarded by the Wardens to an ‘ordinary’ member.)  Congratulations Geoff! 

The Quaich Lunch is not an official Company event, but it is worth recording here as a very enjoyable occasion, where your editor enjoyed the company of Suzanne Harris, who did such a great job in preparing our Annual Report for publication.  Many thanks to PM Alan Broomhead for organising this event.  

Also thanks to Nanette Young who presented three memorial oak Quaich, like the one shown below, crafted by her brother Stewart, to Alan, to the originator of the lunch Gordon Stoker and to PM Michael Jeans who presented the Quaich back in 2003.  (Ed:  At the last quaich lunch I learned how to pronounce the word. This time around I have learned that the plural of Quaich is Quaich!).

The Sheriffs' Challenge

"Should the purpose of the City of London go beyond wealth and jobs?"

The Sheriffs' Challenge is an annual event, organised by the Worshipful Company of Educators.  It is a debating competition that attracts entries from about fifteen secondary schools across London, each supported by their chosen Livery Companies. 

Come the autumn school term, WCoMC received the invitation via its Education Committee to participate in the event.  Consistent with previous years, we also got a call from Oasis Hadley Academy in the London Borough of Enfield, to sponsor their Sixth Form entry to take part in the competition.  Putting the two together, we were off and running.

The challenge question for the debate is set by the Sheriff.  This year it focused on the purpose of the City of London, and whether it should go beyond wealth and jobs to tackle issues such as diversity and inclusion.  The heats were scheduled for February, with the finalists' teams gathering at the Old Bailey in March to vie for the top spot.

Responding to the challenge, Collette Stone as our Livery lead and Dr Ian Daniell PM as chief vocal coach teamed up to support Oasis Hadley's entry. They embarked on a daunting mission to help a group of shy, 'never done this before' young people become confident, articulate and persuasive debaters. Work began before Christmas with ten students and their teacher, Assistant Principal, Sarah Hamilton.  Everyone was aware of the significant personal development demands and were determined to do their best. 

At our heat on 9th February, the Livery's chief supporters arrived at Scale Space in West London - Collette and Ian with Malcolm McCaig, Chair of the Education Committee - and witnessed our team, poised, immaculately turned out and definitely 'speaking up'.  They conveyed a very well researched and engaging response to the Sheriff's key question.

Sadly, they were just pipped at the post in their heat, coming in a solid second. The word from the Academy afterwards was that the students really enjoyed the experience, were very grateful to WCoMC for the encouragement and support.  They loved their moments in the spotlight and can take home the reward of a job well done.

Get to Know ... Court Assistant Jim Foster

Jim was installed as a Court Assistant back in October 21. Here he introduces himself:

“I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College, and after graduating worked initially as a production supervisor for a division of Lucas Industries (now part of Borg Warner), and then as a developer of inventory and production control systems for a division of Vickers (now part of Rolls Royce).  My management consulting career started when I joined Price Waterhouse in 1980. I became a Partner in 1990 and remained with Price Waterhouse/ PwC until 2002. I was based in London for most of this time, but also spent four years from 1996 to 2000 based in New York.

Since leaving PwC, I have worked for a number of smaller, specialist consultancies and as an independent consultant, specialising in providing programme management and advisory services to clients that are implementing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions.

I became a freeman of the Worshipful Company in 2017, with my principal interest in providing pro bono consulting services. My past pro bono clients have included Futureversity, The London Irish Centre, and Bail For Immigration Detainees. I am working currently with Jangala, a charity which provides low cost and easy to use Internet access systems for emergency and development situations.

I have also worked closely with the Company’s Centre for Management Consulting Excellence (CMCE), and was responsible for editing the Centre’s Consultant Value Add report, which was published in March 2021. I supported the Centre’s Director, Nick Bush, in developing the CMCE’s strategy, and am now responsible for building the CMCE “community”.

I was pleased to be installed as a Court Assistant in October 2021, and am looking forward to becoming more involved in the activities of the Company. I am involved currently in supporting the work of the ProBono and Membership Sub Committees and the Climate Action Group, and the development of the Company’s relationship with 600 Squadron of the Royal Air Force.

I enjoy sport as a participant, playing tennis and running regularly (currently preparing to run the Cardiff Half Marathon with my daughter in March), and as a spectator, primarily rugby and football in winter, and cricket and tennis in the summer. My wife, June, and I are also regular theatre goers, which tends to alternate between Shakespeare and musicals. We have three children (one is a surveyor and two are management consultants), and two grandchildren.” 

Website Developments

It is worth highlighting a couple of recent developments on the Company website:

  • In line with best practice across the not for profit sector we have now included short pen pictures, as well as photographs, of the Wardens,  which can be found here, using popup windows - just hover over the pictures. We will follow this up next month with a similar representation of the Trustees of the charitable fund. 
  • One of the lessons learned from our elections last September was that the rules about elections are perhaps not as accessible as they might be. We have not changed the rules, but we have now introduced a simple guide to elections to supplement the rules. This guide can be found here with a link to the full set of rules.

London's Turbulent Son - Guildhall yard - 17-18th June 2022

Becket Pageant for London and City Livery Craft Fair
This event, celebrating Thomas Becket, promises to be both very interesting and great fun, and I’m certainly going to try to get tickets.  Click here for more information. 


And Finally ....

The last one is how I feel about the Pancake Race!

Thanks for reading this far.

Steve Cant

Editor / Master


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).