0 Speaker List


The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people 2015 – City

Dambisa Moyo

(Evening Standard) –  

Mark Carney

Governor, Bank of England

Carney has almost become a national treasure, albeit a Canadian-born one. The 50-year-old West Hampstead resident has embraced life in the capital to its fullest. In between deliberating increases to interest rates, Carney can be seen at the Old Vic with his Arsenal-supporting wife or pounding the streets of London on his way to work at Threadneedle Street. With the economy reviving under his watch, the George Clooney lookalike has also won over hearts and minds in the City despite his tough stance on banking miscreants.

António Horta-Osório

Chief executive, Lloyds Banking Group

The suave Portuguese banker has overseen a solid revamp of the part-state-owned Lloyds bank, nursing it back into a position where the Government has been able to sell down the taxpayer’s stake. He’s also managed to find a buyer for TSB — made up of former Lloyds branches the bank was ordered to sell by Brussels to compensate for its financial crisis state bailout.  

Inga Beale

Chief executive, Lloyd’s of London

Lloyd’s of London’s first female boss in its 325-year history is not a woman to be messed with. The 51-year-old was a former rugby player for Wasps and almost made it to international level. Although Beale’s first job was at Prudential in London, most of her senior roles have been outside of her homeland, bestowing on her an international business outlook.

Simon Robey

Founder, Robey Warshaw

Dealmaking supremo Robey has had an absurdly lucrative time since setting up his boutique investment bank to advise big companies on takeovers. The former Morgan Stanley investment banker has advised alongside Goldman Sachs’ Karen Cook on Shell’s takeover of BG as well as insurance giant Aviva’s purchase of Friends Life. All that, and he still has time to chair the Royal Opera House.

Mike Wells

Chief executive, Prudential

London may have lost its only black FTSE-100 chief executive with the departure of Tidjane Thiam for Credit Suisse, but the company had a decent succession plan in place. Wells, head of its US business, had been waiting in the wings as heir apparent for years. Owner of a cattle ranch in Nashville, Tennessee, where he lived before coming to more genteel London, the Canadian has spent his first few months travelling the vast company’s global operations.

Michael Spencer

Chief executive, Icap

Having built up the world’s biggest interdealer brokerage, Spencer, the man with one of the finest wine cellars in London, is City royalty. Indeed, his annual fundraising days on the Icap trading floor feature a good few real royals, too. This former Tory treasurer was thrilled with the general election result, but Libor-fixing fines and market turmoil have made Icap’s results less pleasing of late. Jetted pals to Marrakech in June to mark his 60th birthday.

Dame Colette Bowe

Chairman, Banking Standards Board

An economist who cut her teeth in the civil service, Bowe has regulated everything from life insurance to broadband, amassing jobs at the same time as a reputation for getting things done. The Banking Standards Board is tasked with improving the behaviour of banks and bankers. Bowe was front-page news during the Westland affair when orders were given to leak a document that smeared Lord Heseltine.

Bill Winters

Chief executive, Standard Chartered

Took over as chief executive of Standard Chartered bank after the bitter departure of chief executive Peter Sands. The American ran JPMorgan’s vast London office before chief executive Jamie Dimon got rid of him — amid speculation he could have been destined for the top job. Winters sits on the board of the Young Vic and sang falsetto in a comedy City fundraiser for the theatre.

Baroness Vadera

Serial non-executive director 

Gordon Brown’s former “representative on earth” while in government, Shriti Vadera is now a non-executive director on a host of big City boards, this year taking up her position as chairman of Santander UK — a role that City gossips say could one day involve floating the business on the stock market. This makes her the first female bank chairman in British history. Vadera also sits on the boards of mining giant BHP and AstraZeneca.

Stephen Hester

Chief executive, RSA Insurance

Too often overlooked for his work turning around Royal Bank of Scotland, Hester has rebooted the flagging insurance group RSA. The keen horticulturalist’s restructuring tonic has drawn a £5.6 billion takeover bid from rival Zurich. Gardening leave looks increasingly likely before his next big job comes along.

Stephanie Flanders

Managing director, UK and Europe, JP Morgan Asset Management

The ex-BBC economics editor found herself in the headlines this year for her fleeting relationship with Ed Miliband back in 2004, which she described as a “very costly few weeks” on Twitter. Her City role has put her firmly in demand as a public speaker.

Crispin Odey

Founding partner, Odey Asset Management

When Chelsea resident Odey makes a pronouncement the City takes note. The billionaire financier, who looks after £9 billion worth of assets, was one of the few to predict the credit crunch. The Harrow-educated 55-year-old suffered a few blips when currency movements caught out OAM earlier this year but he remains London’s most vocal hedgie.

Sir Michael Hintze

Founder, CQS hedge fund

The cerebral billionaire Australian has stayed at the top of the industry for longer than most and, thanks to big donations through his Hintze Family Charitable Foundation, has his surname on many a London charitable institution. Eschews Mayfair and Chelsea to live quietly in more modest Wandsworth.

Michael Platt

Co-founder, BlueCrest hedge fund

The billionaire who co-founded BlueCrest in 2000 has built it into the third biggest hedge fund in Europe. Its trading computers have been among the big winners in the market for “shorting” — betting against — the oil price. 

Neil Woodford

Founding partner, Woodford Investment Management

Woodford, often regarded as Britain’s best fund manager, is launching a new fund in 2016 to buy biotechnology companies. Renowned for turning Invesco Perpetual into a multi-billion pound fund management megalith, Woodford is also fabled as being the first in and last out the office. 

Sandy Rattray

Chief executive, Man AHL

A double first from Cambridge, Rattray oversees a fund at Man Group that reputedly made hundreds of millions of dollars predicting the collapsing price of oil last year. The skiing fanatic — ex Goldman Sachs, of course — puts it all down to his “black box”, a secret algorithm that triggers automatic trades according to trends in the markets.

Dame Nemat “Minouche” Shafik

Deputy governor, Bank of England

Egyptian-born deputy governor of the Bank of England has been firm but fair in her role in charge of markets and banking. A former deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund serving Christine Lagarde and an ex-DFID mandarin, she was spotted as a superbrain as soon as she graduated from Oxford, quickly joining the World Bank where she rapidly became its youngest-ever vice-president.

Michael Sherwood and Richard Gnodde

Co-chief executives, Goldman Sachs International

The duo at the top of Goldman Sachs couldn’t be more different: “Woody” — the stocky trading floor pitbull at whose birthday bash in Sardinia Boy George sang — and Gnodde, the urbane South African corporate finance smoothie. Although super-low interest rates and increased regulations have not made for stellar times for investment banks, Goldman’s profits have remained top of the pile. And, of course, with its famously large bonuses and smartest-in-the-room reputation, more bankers want to work for Sherwood and Gnodde than anyone else.

Martin Gilbert

Chief executive, Aberdeen Asset Management

Proud Scotsman Gilbert is one of the most powerful investors in the City. He burnished his reputation as a City fighter when he rescued Aberdeen from near-extinction in 2002.  The ex-chairman of FirstGroup is not shy of speaking out on major political issues, having repeatedly urged politicians to make a quick decision on boosting London’s airport expansion.

Xavier Rolet

Chief executive, London Stock Exchange

The 56-year-old Frenchman served as a second lieutenant in the French Air Academy, a formative experience which should prove helpful in his role as head of the London Stock Exchange. His CV is impressive, having held senior roles at Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers in London. Landing the job of chief executive of the London Stock Exchange in 2009, he is now calling for it to be easier for private investors to invest in new tech start-ups.

Ian Taylor

Chief executive, Vitol

One of the capital’s least well-known billionaires, he runs the all-powerful commodities group Vitol from its discreet hub of well-paid traders in Victoria. A trusted friend of David Cameron, he and his firm has one of the best-connected political and business networks in the world of oil, raw materials and other commodities that feed and fuel global economies.

Colm Kelleher

Chief executive, Morgan Stanley international division

The gregarious banker of Irish stock keeps a low media profile here but is one of the City’s most powerful bankers, earning a cool $16 million package last year. One of nine children brought up in Ireland, the cigar-smoking art collector has this year launched well thought-out charity efforts by the bank in deprived parts of Tower Hamlets.

Lin Homer

Chief executive, HM Revenue and Customs

She may have faced a drubbing at the hands of MPs over the HSBC tax scandal, but a new drive to clamp down on tax avoidance means Homer, the former chief executive of Birmingham City Council who joined the civil service a decade ago, has a powerful role. Not to mention the fact that she oversees a workforce of 27,000.

Michael and Yoel Zaoui

Founding partners, Zaoui & Co

The deal-making brothers have advised on takeovers worth more than £100 billion in the two years they have worked together. From their Mayfair offices, their counsel changes the fate of business empires. Moroccan-born and educated in Paris, they have passed through Rome, Paris and New York during their high-flying business careers — but say it is London that feels like home.

Nigel Wilson

Chief executive, Legal & General

Doing his best to make sure insurance is anything but boring, Wilson is one of the FTSE’s free thinkers. Using L&G’s vast pot of the public’s long-term savings, he has been begun investing to solve Britain’s intractable problems by building affordable housing, creating pleasant homes for the elderly and putting up decent student accommodation. While politicians talk, Wilson does.

Sanaz Zaimi

Global co-head of fixed income, currency and commodity sales, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

One of the financial world’s most senior women, Sanaz Zaimi has enjoyed a stellar banking career after a tough start in life growing up in the wake of the Iranian revolution of 1979. That background has hardened her for the rough and tumble world of City banking, where she rose through the ranks of Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank before arriving at BAML.

Vanessa Vallely

Founder, wearethecity.com

Having worked for nine different financial institutions, Vanessa Vallely had such a big contacts book it seemed only natural to set up as a professional networker. She established We Are The City as a networking organisation for women working in London. Now it has 10,000 members.

Mark Boleat

Policy chairman, City of London Corporation

This financier, an expert in mortgages and insurance with a dozen books under his belt, effectively runs the City. He has been a sturdy champion for London’s finance sector, calling for an end to banker-bashing. But he is also not afraid to take on ministers, particularly over immigration policy. His enthusiasm for Sir Simon Rattle’s return to conduct in London could yet see a new world class concert hall built in the Square Mile.

Sir Howard Davies

Chairman, Royal Bank of Scotland

Sir Howard’s Airports Commission came down firmly in favour of Heathrow but the former City regulator flew off to his next big job before the political dust had time to settle. At RBS, he must steer the biggest bailed-out bank out of state hands, while shrinking its activities. The ex-McKinsey management consultant already has previously led the CBI and London School of Economics.

Anthony Hilton

City commentator, The Evening Standard

Having seen more booms and busts in the financial markets than most of the people who work in them, the Evening Standard’s chief financial commentator remains the one financial must-read for Londoners. To read Hilton regularly is to get a thoughtful, unvarnished view of how the City really works, and obtain a balanced view beyond the spin of companies’ increasingly sophisticated PR machines.

James Bardrick

UK chief country officer, Citi

Essex-born Bardrick left school at 18 to be an engineer, only to change direction for a life in finance, spending 14 years as a corporate adviser at Schroders. When the firm was bought by Citi, he climbed the ranks, becoming co-head of corporate and investment banking for Europe, Middle East and Africa in 2009 and UK country manager last year. Sits on the Banking Standards Board, the body designed to improve the culture in banking.

Dambisa Moyo


The jet-set former Goldman Sachs economist and World Bank consultant shares her insights on world affairs from a London base. Penned bestsellers Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa. When she is not opining on China’s currency woes or the problem with Western democracy, the Zambia-born marathon runner sits on the board of Barclays and Peroni brewer SABMiller.

Jim Cowles

Chief executive, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Citi

The American banker flashes a British passport whenever he embarks on another gruelling travel schedule out of London. EMEA chief since 2013, Cowles joined Smith Barney, a precursor to Citi, in 1979, the same year he completed his MBA at the Wharton School in Pennsylvania. Since then, he has led equity capital markets operations. Aims to be home every year to lead Citi’s parade group in the London Pride march.

John McFarlane

Chairman, Barclays

It didn’t take the Scot long to strike again, dispatching chief executive Antony Jenkins in the same way he eased out Andrew Moss from Aviva. Now McFarlane, who used to play in a skiffle band, must take what he learned at Citibank and ANZ and through four financial crises to tune up Barclays. Playing The Animals’ House of the Rising Sun is his party piece and Richard Bacon is his son-in-law.

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