Sir Alan Yarrow opens third annual Cass MBA London Symposium

The Cass MBA London Symposium 2016 was opened by Sir Alan Yarrow who reflected on his time as Lord Mayor of the City of London.

The Cass MBA London Symposium 2016 was opened by Sir Alan Yarrow who reflected on his time as Lord Mayor of the City of London. He spoke to Cass students about the global importance of the financial services sector in the City of London and how they would play a part in its future.

The Lord Mayor of London is an office with a long and esteemed history in the capital’s commercial history. As one of the world's oldest continuously elected civic offices, the Lord Mayor's chief role is to represent, support and promote the businesses and residents in the City of London.

William de Hardel, the Lord Mayor in 1215, was the only commoner to witness the Magna Carta Sir Alan told the audience. “The Magna Carta is involved in over 100 constitutions globally, affecting over 2.5 billion people. That is part of the legacy of City of London and office of the Lord Mayor”.

“It was my job to promote and defend the rights of business within the City,” said Sir Alan. Today, the City is mostly made up of financial services sector and the Lord Mayor is the sector’s champion in the UK.

However, promoting the City was not an easy task following the economic crash of 2008. “We still feel the repercussions – it was very damaging to the City of London’s reputation and its sense of pride. People used to be proud to work here and now there are some who whisper it instead”.

“I wanted to instil that pride again,” Sir Alan added. “The City of London is the largest financial sector in the world, and over 200 banks have their offices here."

Sir Alan’s vision went beyond the balance sheet; he wanted to promote the financial services sector as a leader in community outreach.

He said, “The City needs to continue attracting bright and diverse people. We have 400,000 ambassadors who work in the City every day and businesses need to leverage them. We must do more to promote the outreach work that we do”.

While Lord Mayor, Sir Alan spearheaded a campaign to get business more involved with education in the City. “Business enhances local education and in doing so, corporations promote themselves and their work and inspire the next generation to look at the financial services sector as a viable career.”

He added, “The City of London is the third largest contributor to the arts after the Government and the BBC! That’s a vast success but more people need to know about it. Also, businesses need to let their staff know about the outreach their companies undertake because people want to feel proud of where they work.”

About Sir Alan Yarrow

Former Lord Mayor of the City of London and City University Chancellor (2014-15), Alan Yarrow is currently Chairman of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), an Alderman and Magistrate of the City of London, a Director of Turquoise Global Holdings Ltd, a Trustee of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Ltd and of the Police Foundation, Vice President of the Royal Mencap Society and Senior Advisor to Kleinwort Benson Group, among other positions.

About the Symposium

Day One speakers:

  • Sir Alan Yarrow, Chairman of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) and former Lord Mayor of City of London.
  • Chris Gottlieb, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at London & Partners.
  • Justin Brand, Commercial Asset Management Director for Transport for London (TfL)

The London Symposium provides MBA students with a unique opportunity to meet leaders from across a range of industries including business, finance, media, culture and sport. The theme for the third edition, which takes place from the 25th to the 28th April, is "Explorers & Discoveries". It will welcome more than 150 MBAs from all Cass MBA cohorts, as well as MBA teams from partner schools in Europe and South Africa.

The inaugural Cass MBA London Symposium was held in 2014 to celebrate Cass's unique network inside the heart of the global city. It mixes thought leadership in plenary sessions with a ‘backstage pass’ to some of London’s most iconic locations, brands and organisations which drive the city's prosperity - from the Treasury to the Ministry of Sound; Central St Martin's to Lloyds of London and from Soho to Savile Row.

The London Symposium is now the flagship MBA elective, providing students with excellent networking opportunities and access to some of London's most high profile and prominent business figures. Speakers in 2015 included, Dame Fiona Woolf, former Mayor of the City of London, Sir William Sargent, founder of Oscar-winning Framestore, Alejandro Agag , CEO of Formula E Holding, Chris Gottlieb the Head of Brand for the Mayor's Office, Graeme Craig, Commercial Development Director for TFL and Vernon Hill, Chairman of Metro Bank among many others.

You can read more about the other days of the Symposium below:

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

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