Gifford named as the new lord of the Mansion

IT was all change in the City yesterday as Alderman Roger Gifford was elected as the 685th Lord Mayor of the City of London. Gifford got his shout out, quite literally, as tradition dictates eligible Sheriffs are paraded in front of the liverymen at the Guildhall before being voted in by the archaic tradition of shouting out.

The process, by this stage, is largely an exercise in pomp and ceremony, with the Court of Alderman already having let its preference in candidate be known. Gifford was in contention for the position two years ago but lost out to Michael Bear. He will replace current Lord Mayor David Wootton – who was also thwarted in that same election – on 9 November.

The patience he’s shown so far is a virtue that could come in handy for Gifford, the first banker to take on the position for quite some time.

The Oxford alumnus mused on this after the election, keen to pick up the baton from bank chiefs who have recently been keen to commit to a change of culture in the sector.

“Next month will mark exactly 30 years since I joined SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Bank),” he said. “The focus of my year in office will be to underline that service is, and must be, at the heart of the financial services industry of the UK ... the City must serve society – and be seen to do so.”

Aiding the Lord Mayor elect are two new Sheriffs of London, Alderman Jeffrey Evans and Nigel Pullman, who took office last Friday.

Both are highly qualified counsel – Evans is an economist and Cambridge graduate, while Pullman, after retiring from the armed forces, spent 20 years in management at the Financial Times, downstream from City A.M’s own hallowed halls.

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