CMCE Virtual Interactive Workshop 13 June:  Fearing the Unknown
Education Supper at Bakers' Hall 19 June:  AI's Role in Higher Education
Workshop at Plaisterers' Hall 25 June:  How should charities use AI?
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NL Nov 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




New Master John Pulford Zooms into the Installation ceremony from the "other Side" - well Cornwall. 



Vitrual Wine Tasting - Back by popular demand. 

Dorset Wine





















































4W Nanette Young 


What has The Times been saying about Management Consultants? 

Newsletter Editor:

Website Support:

Issue 69:  November 2020


Our (new) Master's Voice - Master John Pulford

IPM Denise Fellows’ last task as Master was to open our very first virtual Installation Ceremony on 21st October.  The event was tightly scripted by our learned Clerk, and was rehearsed vigorously two days beforehand. This was a worthwhile investment because, on the night, everything turned out well and proceedings ran without a slip. 60+ people joined on line - a very good turn out.  Having been installed myself, I was able to welcome the new Wardens and new Court Assistants as they were themselves installed formally.  

The Wardens:  Master John Pulford, 1W Steve Cant, 2W Bob Harris, 3W Kanan Barot and IPM Denise Fellowes. (4W Nanette Young was unable to attend but read more about her here).

New Court Assistants: Nick Bush, Sue Ells, Andy Miles and Ron Cruickshank. 

After the Ceremony we welcomed Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court, as our guest speaker. Murray is a familiar figure to those who have received the Freedom of the City of London at Guildhall.  Murray gave us a very engaging “stream of consciousness” talk.  Thank you, Murray and thanks to the Clerk and the Wardens for making the installation Ceremony such a success.

As I said on the night, I am looking forward to the year ahead, especially working with a gender balanced Court of Wardens – another, most welcome, first for the Company.
We have all travelled a difficult path over the past  8 months and, as we enter a new period of national lockdown, it is clear that there is a long way to go before we can resume our “normal” face-to-face Company activities.  There’s more in this newsletter about our programme of virtual events in the run up to Christmas.  You will notice that there is no date for the traditional “New Master’s Reception” in the calendar.  We considered whether the usual format of presenting updates on aspects of the Company’s work would attract a virtual audience, and decided that it would be somewhat lengthy and rather dry.  Instead,  I am hoping to pilot some “video updates” each c15 mins long, which will be pre-recorded and available for Members to view at a time to suit themselves.  Watch this space. 
I do not see any major change in our overarching strategy.  Our priorities remain Philanthropy, Education and Fellowship. How we deliver these priorities has evolved considerably over the past year and will, I’m sure, continue to do so.   

Recent Events

There was a virtual Shoptalk on Wednesday 7th October at which David Trafford and Sarah Vickers introduced themselves and their current consulting work.  Sarah described her work in the world of procurement and responded robustly to some rather overzealous questioning.  (Note to participants - It’s “shop talk” - not "the Spanish Inquisition"!)   David talked about his work on strategy and his “Beyond Default” ideas.  In the past we have given a plug to books written by Members of the Company in the Newsletter so I’m happy to do that again here (having bought a copy myself!) ….

Just to note that there was a CMCE Showcase on 3rd November on “Overcoming Growth Barriers for Small Consultancies” – a full report next time.

Future Events

Our future programme of events will, of course, be heavily influenced by the recent return to lockdown on a national scale.  Despite the 4-week timescale announced by the Prime Minister for this, it seems unlikely that constraints will be significantly eased before Christmas, and even if it were” even if it were there is a clear reluctance among many Members to travel into central London.
Events in 2021 are obviously speculative at this stage as we don’t know what the Covid situation will be then.  1W Steve Cant is developing a survey of Members to gather information on what sort of events Members would like, and Clerk Julie is pursuing a couple of ideas for more informal/social events.  Your ideas and offers to arrange a virtual event will also be welcome. The following virtual events are planned and available to book. 

My Most Interesting Project - 18th Nov

We’ve now had three sessions and heard from five entertaining and engaging speakers. So far, we’ve heard about politics, sex, dust (sic), trains, lorries, dinosaurs and international conflict about computer purchasing.  There was no MMIP session in October, but again drawing upon the experience of our membership, our next event will be on 18th November when our two speakers will be Nick Bush and Malcolm McCaig.
Nick will present his most interesting project in a talk entitled: "Let's work together". Nick will describe 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 will talk about one of his most interesting projects - "The Case of the Naughty Bank" - which has become a case study in several business schools. During a review commissioned by four regulators on two continents to examine the activities of a rogue trader, Malcolm donned his deerstalker cap and left behind his Highland Fling for a world tour, muttering 'the game is afoot'.
Please join us for this interactive session – book here. At the time of writing we have a firm programme of at least five more speakers lined up for 2020-21 and hope to attract further volunteers as we go forward.  

CMCE Research Conference - 24th Nov

This conference will take place on 24th November and will bring together five commentators who will address how the training and development of young professionals needs to evolve.  Further details and booking here

Virtual Wine Tasting - 11th Dec

Looking ahead there will be two Zoom enabled virtual wine tastings led by our Wine Club.  The first will be on 13th November and will feature an English vineyard that could soon be challenging the French producers of Chablis and Pinot Noir.  Read all about it here – but you are now too late to pre-order the wine.  And a date for the diary – 11th December for the second in this series, "Suggestions For Christmas".

Breaking News.....  

Our Clerk has made me aware of this upcoming event.   In partnership with the Lord Mayor of the City of London, the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and the Voces8 Foundation will be holding a virtual Carol Service on Tuesday 8th December.  Details to follow. 

And there may be an Admissions Ceremony in early December too... watch this space. 

Pro bono Roundup 

One important development this month is that after seven years as the primary link between WCoMC and Youth Business International (YBI) - and with more than 60 accreditation reviews and several other pro-bono assignments undertaken for YBI during this period – Second Warden Bob Harris has handed over the role to Past Master John Corneille.  
Over the years Bob has helped to develop and refine YBI’s Accreditation Framework, helped set up and run their Accreditation Committee, provided continuity as YBI went through a number of leadership and personnel changes, moved our relationship from pure pro bono consulting onto a “pro bono plus funding basis” and, perhaps most importantly, has acted as the Project Director for every YBI Accreditation assignment, each of which is treated as a separate pro bono project. In this latter role Bob has been diligent in providing support and guidance to new assessors as well as keeping some otherwise wayward assignments on the right track.   

Anita Tiessen, the current Chief Executive:  “For more than seven years Bob has performed the dual role of Advisor to the Accreditation Committee and YBI Assessor. During this time, more than 60 Worshipful Company-led assessments have taken place, with six of these conducted by Bob personally, and under his stewardship the relationship between YBI and WCoMC has gone from strength to strength. Even though his time as primary link between WCoMC and YBI is coming to a close, we are delighted that he will remain a volunteer Assessor into the future. We are hugely grateful for the time, commitment and passion that Bob has dedicated to YBI and wish him all the best in the new projects he undertakes for WCoMC.”
Congratulations to Bob on a massive job, very well done and we look forward to a continuing programme of pro-bono opportunities with YBI under John’s leadership in the coming years.

Review of the Charitable Fund

Sticking with Philanthropy, Chair of the Charitable Fund, David Peregrine-Jones, reports: 
We have previously reported on progress with this Review which is now complete and has been accepted by the Trustees.  A particularly important recommendation concerns communications with Members: 
“A new, consistent, and long-term programme of two-way communications with Members needs to be undertaken, using multiple media, to raise the profile of the Charitable Fund, clarify its priorities and engage Members more directly using case studies and success stories about beneficiaries.”  
In response to this recommendation, we have now created a new page in the Members’ area of the Company website which shows you both a summary of the recommendations and the rationale that underpins them; it can be accessed here.  The complete report is also available and can be accessed here. (Remember you will need to be logged in to access these documents)
A second step towards meeting this recommendation will be a virtual event, open to all Members, at which Trustees will outline the recommendations and take questions.  This event will be held on 3rd December and you can reserve your place here.  The objectives of the event will be: 
•    To refresh in everyone’s minds the role of the Fund and some of its achievements
•    To begin a process which will lead to better communications with Members
•    To secure the interest and commitment of two “younger” Members who would like to get involved with the Fund and its beneficiaries - perhaps with the aim of becoming Trustees in due course.  This would support the recommendation in the report that: 
“The Trustee group should be strengthened by the addition of younger Members from diverse backgrounds. In the short term the Fund should consider co-opting Members who are both active in the world of philanthropy and younger than the present set of Trustees.” 

As you can see, the Trustees are actively engaged in the process of implementing the recommendations of their report and envisage a further, more comprehensive, planning workshop in December, where our new “younger” Members would be involved.  Progress on the above will be reported both here and via the Company website.

Get to Know – Nanette Young

In the latest of our “Get To Know” features, newly elected 4th Warden Nanette, who also leads our Pro Bono mentoring service (with david Glassman) tells us more about herself. 
“A Fellow and chartered procurement professional of the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, I gained my early commercial and procurement expertise in the electricity supply industry. I was introduced to the management consulting profession when working on the ESI privatisation and as a result went on to join internal audit and the value for money team at National Power. I have been practicing as an independent management consultant for more than 20 years and assist clients, in a variety of industry sectors, to develop and deliver purchasing and supply management strategies. 
A past chair and a member of the Richmond Group and through this network, I am fortunate to work with a global team of knowledge management experts, seeking to maximise the value of intangible assets and human capital.
I initially joined the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants, in 2014, with no knowledge of the City. Over the past 6 years and starting with the Freedom Ceremony, I have taken advantage and enjoyed many activities offered by the City and the Company, 
I will work as part of the leadership team, with the Master, other Wardens, Committee Chairs and Court, to promote and encourage excellence in the management consulting profession. Building on the knowledge and wisdom within the Company, I will aim to ensure our long term sustainable success.”

Company Ties

Last time we asked gentlemen readers, about their interest in buying a WCoMC tie – a re-issue of the old-style ties with multiple crests – See Photo.  Well there’s good news – there is demand for new old ties, so we have ordered 48 which is the minimum.  The price will be £30 plus VAT (i.e. £36).  Get your orders in now before they’re gone!  Email treasurer Chris Sutton:

And Finally .....

There being not much to laugh about as we re-enter lockdown I thought that you might be interested in this recent article from The Times:  "Consultants play the role of therapists to government".  This mounts a decent defence of Management Consultants in the face of recent criticisms.   

One comment on this (in the on line version of the Times) had me thinking back to Bob Harris' recent talk in the MMIP series about his experience with the incoming Labour Governement in the 1990s. "Boris and his ministers are not experienced nor trained in economics, business, or management practices. They are political generalists and not suited to understanding business and its importance for the economy and the impact of the economy on society. As such they need some credible advice. ... "

Thanks to all those who contributed, and thank you for reading this far. Stay safe and spare a thought for colleagues who are currently self isolating. There are several.


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).