The Finance and General Purposes (F&GP) committee, which reports to Court, is the Company’s most senior executive committee. Below is a summary of its activities this year.
The Master, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden and the Deputy Master meet four times a year with the Clerk/CEO, the Honorary Treasurer, the Senior Past Master and a number of Liverymen chosen for their managerial and financial experience to
- assure the Company’s financial good health,
- consider reports from (i) the Education Committee and (ii) the Membership Development and Promotion Committee,
- receive a statement from Glazier’s Hall Ltd, in which the Company has a two sevenths’ shareholding,
- discuss items of importance to the Company that are not covered elsewhere, and
- examine applications from new candidates and approve if acceptable.
The Committee keeps the Livery’s finances on track by first agreeing a budget, which will be prepared by the Honorary Treasurer, and then examining the management accounts on a quarterly basis. It receives a detailed report on the Livery’s investments every three months, and interviews the investment manager with the same frequency. These financial procedures were successful in ensuring that the Livery’s finances remained sound throughout the year.
The F&GP organised the agenda and date for the Company’s first annual general meeting (AGM), which is required every year from now on under the terms of the newly granted Royal Charter. The inaugural AGM, which took place immediately after Court in April 2023, allowed the Master to report on the past year and on future prospects for the Livery. An account of the activities of the Charitable and Educational Trust (CET) was given by the CET chairman, while the Honorary Treasurer was on hand to cover financial matters.
The Company was able, as a result of generous sponsorship from the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS), supported by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the British Standards Institute (BSI), to enter a float, for the first time in our history, in the Lord Mayor’s show of November 2023. Our Clerk took on the considerable challenge of organising our entry, at short notice and from scratch, while reporting progress to the F&GP. She needed to coordinate all four contributors’ inputs, before entering an electric vehicle, to be accompanied by marchers drawn from each organisation, into the world’s biggest, unrehearsed, televised parade.
The F&GP approved a steady stream of candidates at the Apprentice, Freeman and Liveryman levels throughout the year.
Approval was also granted, at the F&GP’s June meeting, for Professor Michael Mainelli to become an Honorary Liveryman. Court was pleased to admit the Lord Mayor Elect on 19 October 2023.
June’s F&GP also approved the candidature of Fraser Nelson, the editor of The Spectator. He will be admitted, as an Honorary Freeman, at Court in January 2024.
F&GP recommended to Court that Liverymen Simon Flower and Professor Andy Augousti be appointed Assistants, which recommendation was accepted. They will take their seats on Court in the coming year, and I offer them my personal congratulations.
I should like to express my gratitude to all who served on the F&GP during the past twelve months, and I thank the Clerk for her hard work as both member and secretary and for her effective organisation of the Livery’s float in the Lord Mayor’s show.