A group of investment managers has applied to join the exclusive ranks of bakers, broderers, basketmakers, fishmongers, feltmakers, cordwainers and apothecaries among the City of London’s historic livery companies.
The Guild of Investment Managers, founded last year, has sent a letter of intent to the Court of Aldermen, the group of 25 City bigwigs representing the wards of the Square Mile, asking to be officially recognised, City A.M. understands.
Livery companies, which trace their history back to at least 1155, originated in medieval guilds who regulated their trades, and still wield some influence in the City of London Corporation.
The guild will have to be first recognised formally by the aldermen, before potentially becoming a City company without livery at least four years later, and a company with livery at least four years after that.
The Guild of Investment Managers was started last May by John Garbutt, James de Sausmarez, and Mark Henderson, who worked for Touche Remnant, an investment manager bought by Janus Henderson.
Since then the group has gained its first members, including top City managers. Members, who pay at least £150 a year, are required to have an investment qualification recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The guild will have to pass through at least two committees and the full Court of Aldermen to be recognised by the City of London, a process which could take as long as eight months.
While the trades which dominate the City’s economy have changed somewhat since the first records of livery companies when Henry II was on the throne, more modern industries do have a foothold. Solicitors, chartered accountants, actuaries, insurers and tax advisers are all now represented in the ranks of livery companies.
The Arts Scholars' Company was the last addition, becoming the 110th livery company on 11 February 2014. The Guild of Nurses was the last guild to be officially recognised, in February 2016.
Most of the livery companies now are mainly involved in charitable activities and networking, although some, such as the the Scriveners’ Company (for London’s notaries) and the Apothecaries’ Company (for some niche medical professions), are still involved in regulating their industries.