Lord Mayor calls on City to boost social mobility and deploy finance for social impact

The new Lord Mayor of London will urge City businesses to be the ‘force for positive change in society’ as he sets out his stall for his year in office.

Vincent Keaveny will outline his ‘People and Purpose: Investing in a Better Tomorrow’ theme in a speech to business and political leaders including Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at Guildhall tonight.

The new head of the City of London Corporation will pledge to work to speed up ‘stubborn’ progression when it comes to socio-economic diversity in the financial and professional services sector and to improve access to skills and job opportunities.

Lord Mayor Vincent Keaveny will tell guests at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet:

“Fewer than one in 10 management roles in financial services sector are held by Black, Asian, or other ethnic minority people.

“Our research found that employees from less privileged backgrounds take an extra year to progress through each stage of their careers despite no evidence of poorer performance.

“I know that’s wrong, you know it’s wrong and I want to put an end to it.”

The Lord Mayor will point to work being undertaken by the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce to promote progression on the basis of performance not ‘polish’.

He will also call for a greater focus on investment which delivers a social return, saying:

“I am deeply proud of the City’s work on leading the conversation on investment for the ‘E’ in ESG. As Lord Mayor, I want the City to lead the next conversation, to lead the work on the ‘S’ in ESG.

“By focusing on people – wherever they live, whoever they are – and investing in greater social purpose, we can help bring prosperity to every person in the UK and attract and retain capital, firms and talent to this great country.”

During his speech, the new Lord Mayor will pledge to build on steps taken, including those at the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow, to ensure the UK remains ‘the competitive global centre for sustainable finance’.

He will also announce a Global Impact Investment Summit, to be hosted by the Lord Mayor in the City next year, which will aim to set standards for impact investment and unlock more capital for social infrastructure projects.

The Lord Mayor’s Banquet, the first to be held since 2018, will also feature a keynote speech on international affairs by the Prime Minister and speeches from Lord Chancellor Dominic Raab and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby.

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 – www.cityoflondon.gov.uk

Tim Fletcher | Media officer – public services

City of London Corporation

07738 862229 | tim.fletcher@cityoflondon.gov.uk