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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


Master John Pulford read the lesson at the Annual Serviceand was Jailed and Bailed for the British Red Cross




Click here for a recap of the results.





Read about upcoming events here.



Listen to Nick Bush's podcast







Master Elect Steve Cant - the last time he was in the Guildhall Great Hall in September 1974.




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Issue 75: September 2021


Our Master's Voice 

Sadly, this will be my last contribution to the newsletter as Master. Where did that year go? 
You will have read elsewhere, and you can read more below, about the results of our recent elections for Wardens and Court Assistants.  I warmly congratulate all those who were duly elected and particularly Steve Cant, who is now our Master-elect. See our ’Get to know’ article below.
I was very pleased to take the Chair at the Court Meeting on 16th September where the main business was those elections.  Of course, it was not only my first in-person meeting as Chair of the Court, but also my last.  A number of Court Assistants were unable to join the meeting because they were self-isolating or unwell.  Unfortunately our venue, Vintners Hall, did not have the technology to allow virtual attendance. Very few Livery halls do, but I know that this is something which Steve Cant will work to address for forthcoming meetings.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting the Master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (WCCSA) - Edward Nicholl. We discussed the burgeoning relationship between our two Companies, based on our co-location at the Plaisterers’ Hall. This feels like the start of a strong relationship with mutual benefits. I know that Master-elect Steve and the Master-elect WCCSA (our own Julie Fox) are already talking about collaboration and hosting a joint event in the spring of 2022.  I'm sure we all look forward to hearing more about that.

Also recently, I had the pleasure of taking part in the traditional Jailed and Bailed event at the Tower of London. I was raising funds for the British Red Cross. Afterwards I received the following from Clare Conroy, Senior Community Fundraiser at the British Red Cross:
“Master, Thank you so much for taking part in our Jailed & Bailed event on 06 September and for raising your ‘bail’ in support of the British Red Cross. We are very grateful for your generous contribution. The amount raised was £45,810 and I can promise you that every penny of this will make a very real difference.”
I'd like to thank everybody who donated to get me bailed, and hope to see you at the Installation dinner on 20th October. 

Recent Events 

Annual Service of Celebration, Dedication and Thanksgiving
This service took place, in person, on 16th September at St James Garlickhythe, the Company’s church in Garlick Hill. 

Some 30+ people attended and stayed for an Admissions Ceremony at which Ian White was clothed.   Congratulations go to Ian, who was joined for the occasion by his brother George:- 

Cart Marking
On Saturday 18th September, 1W Steve Cant and his partner Cathy attended the “Cart Marking” ceremony at the Guildhall. They were joined by our Clerk Julie Fox (Master Elect at the Worshipful Company of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators) and her husband Mark. All been invited by liverymen Andy Miles who is also a liveryman with the Worshipful Company of Carmen. Cart Marking is the largest public spectacle in the City apart from the Lord Mayor's Show, organised by Carmen for the Corporation for forty years. It was paused last year, so it was a double celebration. 

Attendees witnessed about 40 vehicles, powered by hand, foot, fossil fuel, and electricity being marked by the Keeper, Master, or Sheriff, wearing gloves from the Master Glover, on a wooden license board, with year letter and car number. There was smoke and even fire!  The vehicles then paraded past the Sheriffs, Master and Wardens, who doffed their hats in recognition of five centuries of service, moving people and goods for City and nation. The occasion was very enjoyable, and the crowd appreciated the parade in glorious September sunshine.  

The vintage vehicles were wonderful and the modern high tech and electric vehicles on display were impressive. The parade was followed by an excellent luncheon in the impressive Great Hall at Guildhall.  (Ed: I was last there in 1974 at my graduation.). 

Election Results 

Our Clerk has already communicated the results of the recent elections but here’s a brief recap for the record: 
Master and Wardens:

  • First Warden Steve Cant was elected Master for our livery year 2021/22.
  • Assistant and Treasurer Chris Sutton was elected First Warden
  • Third Warden Kanan Barot was elected Second Warden.

You will notice that the Court was only asked to elect a Master, a First and Second Warden, having previously agreed to elect four wardens for the forthcoming year. Unfortunately, two of the Election addresses that were submitted were invalid within the Company’s Rules.  With the agreement of the candidates for the Third and Fourth Wardens to withdraw their nominations, the Master Elect will invite them to attend M&P calls and Wardens’ meetings over the coming 12 months. This will ensure maximum engagement and participation and enable them to continue in key roles within the Company.

Court Assistants:
Assistant John Watson was re-elected for a second three-year period 2021/24 and Bob Harris was co-opted onto the Court as his period as an elected Warden had finished. 
Liverymen Jim Foster, Collette Stone, and Karol Szlichcinski were elected Court Assistants for the three year period 2021/24.  (Ed: We featured Colette in our Get to Know series in March and hope to feature both Jim and Karol in future editions.  I think we need to catch up with John too.)
It is envisaged that all the successful candidates will be installed in their new roles at the Installation Ceremony on 20th October 2021, details of which are immediately below.

Installation Dinner 

The installation of our new Master, Wardens and Court of Assistants is the highlight and start of our Livery year.  The formal ceremony is traditionally followed by a sumptuous Livery dinner and good fellowship.  This year will be very special as the celebration will be our first formal in-person event since the lifting of lockdown.  It will be a great chance to catch up with friends and colleagues and to do all that networking that we’ve all been missing so much for over 18 months.  
On the evening, we will be welcoming Steve Cant as our new Master together with Chris Sutton, as First Warden and Kanan Barot, as Second Warden.  Our installation ceremony has its roots in the historic traditions of the Livery, but with a few “modern traditions” of our own, reflecting our strategy of being a Great Modern Livery Company.  We are also recognising that the pandemic is far from over and so this year we are skipping the traditional welcome line before the dinner and the loving cup after.  We want to ensure that the evening is as enjoyable for everyone as possible. With this in mind, we are delighted to announce a truly exceptional guest speaker for the evening: 

Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli

If you have ever heard Michael speak you will know that we are in for a treat.  If not, then, be there to find out.  Michael has what can only be described as a stellar CV: He’s a qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and – yes – a management consultant.  He was educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin, and gained his PhD at London School of Economics where he was also a Visiting Professor.  We are honoured to be welcoming him as an Honorary Liveryman at a special Admissions Ceremony before Dinner, led by Steve as our new Master.

This year, for the first time, we are holding the ceremony and dinner at the splendid Saddlers' Hall, close to St Paul's Cathedral.  After our recent office move to Plaisterers’ Hall it all feels like a new beginning for our Company.  So, unless you are self-isolating, come along and be in at the start of our new Livery Year.

Please note that booking for this event will close – and we do mean close – at 18:00 on 13th October 2021 so don’t delay get your booking done now - here.  

Future Events 

As well as the Installation dinner we have full and mixed programme of events over the coming couple of months: 

  • 7th October - Shop Talk – Virtual Event - Ajay Chhabra and Luca Collina
  • 18th October CMCE Virtual Showcase - Digital Marketing 101 for Growing Consultancies
  • 27th October - Shoptalk: In person @ The Artillery Arms - Alan Greenwood and Paul Kelly
  • 3rd November - MMIW#10 – Virtual Event – Patrick Chapman 
  • 11th November - CMCE Research Awards 

Full details of the October events are on the website where you can also book. 

Sir George Cox – Secret Projects 

Word reaches me of Sir George Cox (who was our 4th Master back in the day) who, since stepping down as Pro-Chancellor at Warwick and various other roles, has had two books published on American Secret Projects. Both were co-authored with a colleague in California and describe the development of military air transportation, describing how the design of these giant aircraft has been shaped by technology, geopolitics and the changing nature of conflict. The books, made possible by being given unprecedented access to major aerospace company archives, also reveal the huge influence this work had on the development of civil aviation.  Both volumes (shown below) are published by Crécy as part of the latter’s ‘Secret Projects’ series. George has assured me that both are written to be accessible by the non-specialist reader and are available at   

George – whose initial career was in aerospace engineering – is now returning to the topic, starting a full-time PhD at King’s about Cold War aerospace development!  We offer him our hearty congratulations on his success. That’s what you call being prolific in retirement!

Nick Bush Podcast - Be in Charge of Your Own Destiny 

Listen to a recent podcast by Nick Bush, where he talks about consulting, music and purpose. By bringing two worlds together to create synergy between his passion and his profession Nick realised that he was already living and working with purpose.  Listen here

Rhonda Best - The Role of Intangibles in the Economic Recovery Post-COVID-19 Pandemic 

Rhonda tells me that she has recently had her research on this topic published by in the European Journal of Business and Management Research (  You can read the full article here but Rhonda has supplied a summary: 
The strategic use of intangibles can create unlimited jobs globally. Intangibles are lucrative non-physical assets that every business enjoys but very few utilise effectively. By 2007, early value management studies had proven that businesses with exponential growth had achieved those record performances after shifting their organising models. Today, there is new evidence to support further growth while addressing the societal issue of unemployment. Unemployment in this instance goes beyond the definition used in economics and includes facilitating the ease of an employee’s transition from education to job or from job to job. Creating new jobs is especially important for countries facing tremendous development challenges, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the International Labour Organization, the world’s job loss due to the pandemic in 2020 was equivalent to 255 million full-time jobs. At the same time, corporations globally have been taking a deeper look at governance practices and are closely examining the impact that commercial strategies have on the environment and society. In addition, the future of work is taking shape as hybrid work from home options are being explored for some roles. While the political and ethical implications of addressing global unemployment cannot be oversimplified, in theory there can be open accessibility to jobs globally. Today’s availability of education, the relative ease of international trade of services and technological advancement make this possible. This paper shares qualitative research that proposes the role of intangibles in solving unemployment, so a research university might consider furthering this vital work in intangibles. 

Get To Know - Master Elect Steve Cant

It's been nine years since I did a “shop talk” to introduce myself, so I thought the time was right for a recap. 

“Why did you join the Company, Steve?” A good question that I was asked recently. So….  I decided to stop working full time back in early 2011 because my other half, Cathy, had already taken a nice retirement package from the Civil Service and we weren't spending enough time together, what with me working.  At that point I had already volunteered to be a “Gamesmaker” at the London Olympics in 2012. A few months off sounded great, but in practice I had many months of waiting and not doing much at all, which turned out not to be good for either my soul or my mental health.  The Olympics came and went, but my Olympics volunteering experience was of being an underused taxi driver – hours and hours sitting in in car parks while the real action was in the various venues.  I came out of all that in September 2012 thinking: “There must be more to life than this! There must be better opportunities for putting something back”. At which point I contacted former colleague (and Past Master) Patrick Chapman and the rest, as they say, is history.  Within weeks of joining the Company in October 2012 I was working on interesting and challenging pro bono assignments, and have been a member of the Pro Bono Committee ever since. I then got progressively more involved in various aspects of the Company’s activities, first as a Court Assistant and then latterly as a Warden.  I’m looking forward to serving as Master and working with a great group of Court Assistants and Wardens.

My professional career was varied.  I graduated with a Degree in Economics and Technology from City University and started as a graduate trainee with London Transport in 1974.  I still maintain to this day that the best job I ever had was driving tube trains on the Central Line, even though I only did it for three weeks.  During ten years at London Transport I qualified as a management accountant, forsaking my transport aspirations. All was going well until I was coached to leave and become a “real accountant”!!  That turned out to be a good move, and I worked as “Chief Accountant” for a computer services company for several years, computerising their accounts and introducing Personal Computing – strange but true – this was 1984/85.  Then I saw an advert from Price Waterhouse who were looking for “qualified accountants who understood the public sector”. “That's me!”  I thought, and I was in. That was 1990, and I spent 10 years with PW/ PwC, then a few years with Cornwell Associates and then Capital Consulting (groan!).  Finally I bowed to the inevitable and went independent (2006) and was always busy….

Over 30 years I've been lucky enough to work across all the main sectors: Government, Local Government, and several major change programme assignments in the private sector.  I’ve also been lucky enough to travel a lot too:  I spent a year based in Paris – great flat, but a terrible SAP assignment. I spent another year, much later, based in Mumbai – a great experience in so many ways. I even learned to love some curry dishes.

I’m a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a Certified Management Consultant, and I maintain my transport links by still being a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport after 43 years! 

I’ve learned about the not-for-profit sector through my pro bono activities with the Company, and have become something of an expert on grant assessments and making grant applications: experience which I hope I am now playing back into my work as a Trustee of the Company’s charitable fund.

I love to travel (Granddaughter in Australia) and have missed it (and her) greatly. I can’t get through a day without some rock music (Abba to Zappa) and I’ve really missed live gigs.  I enjoy good food and wine and have overindulged over the past 18 months – overcompensating. I am a competent carpenter and electrician, and act as “Trusted Technical Advisor” to Cathy in her various creative activities.  I look forward to meeting you at my Installation dinner. 

Anyone for Tennis 

Bob Harris reports: 
The Annual Inter-Livery Tennis Tournament took place in mid-September at the delightful grounds of the Hurlingham Club in West London. Twenty-four mixed pairs competed for the Feltmakers’ Trophy, drawn from 14 mostly long-established Livery Companies. Second Warden Bob Harris partnered with Carole Markham (on loan from the Father of the Livery) to represent the Management Consultants. Play started at noon with six groups of four pairs each playing in a round-robin format. Bob and Carole triumphed over the Educators and also the Master Barber Surgeon and his partner, but then lost a close match 3-5 to eventual semi-finalists from the Cordwainers. This meant that our pair went into the plate knockout competition where they were narrowly beaten by a team from the Architects.

The final of the main tournament was a close match between the Drapers and the Salters, with the latter finally winning 12-10 in a championship tie-break. The Drapers had a full-time tennis coach on their team and the Salters had a player with a WTA world ranking in the low 700s.  The older companies have the advantage of patrimony as a route to membership – so they can draw upon a stream of 20-30 year olds to make up their pairings!  The evening concluded with presentation of the trophy to the winning pair, and a very pleasant dinner in the Hurlingham Club restaurant.  

And Finally ... 

More on the current HGV driver shortages...

Thank you for reading this far and to all those who contributed.

Keep those ideas and contributions coming and 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.
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