CSFI Young Economists Group: A dinner discussion with Bob Wigley (UK Finance)

Held on Wednesday, January 23, 2019


  • Bob Wigley (UK Finance)



Bob Wigley is one of the most influential figures in the City – with a CV that has to be seen to be believed. In addition to his role as the (first) chairman of UK Finance (which takes in the representational work of what were the BBA, the CML, Payments UK, the UK Cards Association and the ABFA), he is chairman of Vesta Holdings (a crowd-funded platform for the private rental sector), Bink, Secure Broadcast and Accloud. He is also (among many other things) a NED of the Qatar Financial Centre Authority, a founding investor in a Covent Garden restaurant, a visiting fellow at Oxford’s Said School and an honorary fellow at Cambridge’s Judge School.

That is now. In the (recent) past he was chairman of Victoria Beckham Ltd. (yes, really), a council member at the Royal College of Music (he has a side line in orchestral composition), led the commission which led to the Green Investment Bank and was a member of the BofE’s Court from 2006 to 2009. Before that (and most importantly), he was chairman of Merrill Lynch for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, with responsibility for operations in 23 countries. All this – and he didn’t go to Eton, and he didn’t go to Oxford. I am impressed.

I am also delighted that he has agreed to come and share his thoughts with our little group – on finance more broadly, on the City more narrowly, on Europe, on the digital economy on music, on whatever takes his fancy. I note that (in a piece in the Guardian), he admitted that he originally found his career inspiration in a school trip to an insurance company, so maybe he’ll throw insurance into the mix.

Bob will be following in some pretty auspicious footsteps – most recently, those of Jesse Norman and Rachel Reeves. Like them, he is up to his ears in Brexit. But, even more so than them, his concerns are real, immediate and vital: how to protect the City in whatever future we find ourselves. It is important stuff. If you (or a colleague, who meets our rather relaxed criteria ) would like to join us, please let us know by emailing alex@csfi.org or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. Thanks to the generous hospitality of Ruffer, I can promise excellent food and drink.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton