Friday, 26 February 2010

w/c 22nd February Lecture Week

A number of Companies have introduced annual lectures and this week saw two.

The Chartered Secretaries invited us to Drapers' Hall for their 2010 Rivers Lecture, to hear Alderman Lord Levene (Chairman of Lloyds among a host of other appointments) talk about the City and International Business. Memorable observations: good governance is more dependent on the right behaviour than on the right processes; the City generates 8% of UK GDP and 14% of its tax revenue.

Lord Levene also commented on why the late (i.e. immediate past) Lord Mayor, was not awarded (what has been customary) a knighthood on completing his term of office. He explained that a process to reduce the number of "automatic" honours, originally begun under John Major's premiership, had recently started delivering results. The post of Lord Mayor was not the only one to be affected, but inevitably he was high profile. Lord Levene emphasised that all politicians had been removed from the honours awarding system, from top to bottom, so it could not be described as a political decision.

On Thursday 25th the World Traders' Tacitus Lecture took place in a packed Guildhall. This is a glittering occasion and the speaker, Donald Brydon, Chairman of Royal Mail Group, gave a tour de force on the subject of trust.

"In conclusion I do not believe there has been a crisis and breakdown of trust, but unless we all take care the consequences of rising suspicion hold dangers for all of us, for our liberty and our prosperity. As individuals we can do something about this - whether boards or individuals we are not powerless." Download the full text from

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