Lord Johnson awarded Freedom of the City

Lord Johnson of Lainston, CBE, Minister of State in the Department for Business and Trade, has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London today for his services to the City, the UK, and the financial services sector.

As well as having served in a number of roles in Government, Lord Johnson has also spent over 25 years in financial services. He began his career at Robert Fleming in 1995, before moving to Hong Kong to work for Jardine Fleming and then in 2002, after a series of dot com start-ups, heading the marketing for Lloyd George Asset Management - an emerging markets specialist firm.

In 2007 he co-founded Somerset Capital Management LLP as an employee-owned democratic partnership, focusing on pension fund management in developing countries.

Between November 2020 and October 2022, he was a non-executive board member of the Department for International Trade. He was Chair of the department’s Audit and Risk Assurance Committee.

Between 2017 and 2019 he was vice-chairman of the Conservative Party.

Lord Johnson was nominated for his Freedom award by Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, and the City of London Corporation’s Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward.

Lord Johnson said:

“I could not be more honoured to receive the Freedom of the City. This phenomenal world-class institution, ancient in its traditions but entirely modern in its approach to innovation and the means to power our science and technology revolution. 

“I am also personally very proud to receive this honour from Nicholas Lyons who has been a first-class ambassador for financial services, the City of London and the United Kingdom.”

Lord Mayor of the City of London, Nicholas Lyons, said:

“We are delighted to have awarded the Freedom of the City to Lord Johnson.

“His contribution to government, financial services, and the UK’s competitiveness is hugely significant.

“This is important work, and it is fitting that this is recognised.”

City of London Corporation Policy Chairman, Chris Hayward, said:

“Lord Johnson continues to be an important figure both in business and politics and this award is recognition of his unique contribution to the City, the UK and beyond.

“Today we honour his outstanding contributions and this award is richly deserved.”

One of the City of London’s ancient traditions, the Freedom is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade.

As well as being nominated for, or applying for, the Freedom, it is also offered by the City of London Corporation to individuals as a way of paying tribute to their outstanding contribution to London or public life, or to celebrate a very significant achievement.

Recent high-profile recipients include theatrical legend, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, LGBTQ+ activist and London Night Czar, Amy Lamé; Bank of England Deputy Governor, Sir Jon Cunliffe; and Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, who initiated and led the development of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.


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 UK.