London set to help meet UN Sustainable Development Goals

The City of London Corporation is to launch a new body to help raise the investment needed to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Initiative’s chair, Mark Florman made the announcement at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday (25 September 2018), at an event hosted by UK Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau, Rwanda’s President Kagame, and Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo. The event was a “Call to Invest” in jobs for young people across Africa.

The City Corporation’s Sustainable Development Capital Initiative, which is supported by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the UK government-owned development finance institution CDC Group and key private sector institutions [see table below].

The group, which will be chaired by Mark Florman, the Chairman & CEO of the merchant banking and strategic consultancy firm Time Partners , will work to develop London as a leading hub for development finance, with the aim of helping to raise the necessary capital required to help meet the SDGs.

It will bring together key figures from the public and private sectors to create a financial system orientated towards longer-term sustainable investment.

In particular, the initiative will focus on three objectives:

  • Championing London’s offer
  • Building an enabling environment – for example working with developing markets on how to structure opportunities
  • Addressing market barriers – such as regulation and risk mitigation – as well as judging the opportunity to use the SDGs to create new economic opportunities

The group aims to deliver its first set of outcomes in line with the UK-Africa Summit in 2019.

City of London Corporation Policy Chairman Catherine McGuinness said:

“The UK is the world’s second largest investor and donor, and a major trading partner with Africa. It makes a vital contribution to economic development in the world’s poorest countries and we are proud to take a leading role on the international stage.

“Thanks to the pioneering efforts of government and industry, London, and indeed the UK as a whole, is a respected world leader in sustainable finance.

“It’s only natural therefore that we use this experience to leverage our position as a leading international financial centre to help mobilise the investment and innovation required to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“I am confident this initiative will provide the leadership, partnership and expert knowledge needed to accelerate the SDGs and realise new opportunities.”

Mark Florman, Chairman of the City Corporation’s Sustainable Development Finance High-Level Steering Group, said:

 “I am delighted to be Chairing the City of London Corporation’s Sustainable Development Capital Initiative. Our mission is to position London’s financial markets to help mobilise the investment and innovation required to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“The private sector has not yet managed to deliver the investment and jobs that so many developing markets need. Therefore, we want to foster a new approach that encourages the British private sector to take the lead in investing the billions that will see developing economies growing by trillions.

“The SDCI will coordinate the private and public sector and work with partner countries to develop products and vehicles that will move capital to flow from London, accelerate the SDGs and realise the trillion dollar opportunities they present.

For example, we are open to developing the private equity and venture capital industries in real partnership with fast growing nations across Africa, and we look forward to delivering our first set of outcomes at the UK Africa Investment Summit in summer 2019.”

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“The City of London has the global expertise to build sustainable relationships with our African partners that will see British businesses investing and trading with some of the fastest growing economies in the world. This is a win for Africa, as it will secure the investment the continent needs for a prosperous future and a win for the UK, seeing British expertise influencing the global economy.

“This is about securing the global partnerships that will unlock the crucial private sector backing needed to realise the potential of African economies and create quality jobs.”

CEO & Founder of World Wide Generation and member of the initiative, Manjula Lee said:

“World Wide Generation is proud to be the technology partner for the City of London’s Sustainable Development Capital Initiative. 

“SDG 17, Partnership for the Goals, calls for all sectors; Government, Business, Civil Society, and Citizens to unite with one mission and one focus, to deliver a global resolution on Poverty, Inequality and Climate Change by 2030.

“ As the technology partner for this pioneering British Group, we will be creating a number of key pilots to demonstrate these use cases, and have already gone live in South Africa with Unilever, we’re excited now to bring on our next use case with the British Government, and breaking new ground together as Britain helps lead the world to a sustainable future.”

The UK is committed to achieving the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs, which were agreed by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. According to the Better Business Better World report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, achieving the Global Goals could open economic opportunities worth up to US$12 trillion and increase employment by up to 380 million jobs by 2030. They also have the potential to generate in excess of 380 million jobs, almost 90% of which would be in developing countries.


  • Mark Florman (Chair), Time Partners
  • Colin Buckley, CDC Group
  • Tony Burden, Department for International Development
  • David Bartlett, Department of International Trade
  • James Alexander, C40
  • Laurie Spengler, Enclude Capital
  • Daniel Godfrey, Global Partnership Institute
  • Shawn D’Aguiar, Goodwin Proctor
  • Mark Capbell, ICAEW
  • Bosworth Monck, IFC
  • Rongrong Huo, Investec Asset Management
  • Jim Roth, Leapfrog Investments
  • Ibuken Adebayo, London Stock Exchange Group
  • Tom Russell, Risk Advisory
  • Samantha Attridge, ODI
  • Philippe Valahu, Private Infrastructure Development Group
  • Daniel Hanna, Standard Chartered
  • Alex Murray, Time Partners
  • Rowan Douglas, Willis Towers Watson
  • Manjula Lee, World Wide Generation


Notes to editors
The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful 

For more information contact:

Nathan Rodgers, Media Officer for Asia
City of London Corporation
44207 332 3451 / 447864 625086