At the recent Installation Ceremony, Dame Fiona Woolf DBE, DL was installed as the new Master of Worshipful Company of Builders’ Merchants (WCoBM). An Honorary Court member of WCoBM, Fiona is no stranger to the merchant Livery!

In 2013 Fiona became the 686th Lord Mayor of London, only the second woman to hold the office since 1189, and is only the third female Master of WCoBM. On the same evening Court Assistants Stewart Pierce and Andy Williamson were elected to support the Master in her year, as Senior and Junior Warden respectively.

A white-tie dinner followed the installation ceremony where over 200 guests enjoyed the outstanding surroundings of Mansion House, home to the Lord Mayor of London. Principal guests were Karen Livingstone, Director of Masterplan & Estate at the Science Museum Group, and Alderman Sir Andrew Parmley, representing the Lord Mayor. A special thanks to the sponsors of the Master’s year – Marsh Industries, H+H, ACO, AkzoNobel and NMBS.

An enthusiastic supporter of the Livery movement, Fiona was Master of the Worshipful Company of Solicitors (her mother company) in 2015/16 and Master of the Plumbers’ Company in 2018/19. She has also become a Liveryman and Court Assistant of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Arbitrators.

She is also pleased to be an Honorary Liveryman of the Security Professionals, the Paviors, the Fuellers, the Turners, the Lightmongers and the Tax Advisers. And she is also a member of the City Livery Club! So, she is ideally placed to help with Pan-Livery activities.

Fiona’s career as an energy and infrastructure lawyer has taken her all over the world. She has advised over 25 governments and the World Bank on reforms to attract lending and investment and to introduce new markets and regulatory regimes.

Fiona was awarded a CBE in 2002 for her contribution to the UK knowledge economy, and a DBE in 2015 for services to the Legal Profession, Diversity and the City of London. She became a Deputy Lieutenant for Greater London in April 2016.

The Master says: “I’ve been involved with the Builders’ Merchants’ Livery for some years and it’s an honour to now be Master of the Company. Membership is at its highest with a growing group of enthusiastic members joining to support our good work. WCoBM’s efforts on the Ex-offenders Recruitment Programme led by Court Assistant Simon Lawson are simply outstanding. Other significant developments include the Company’s new bursary scheme working with the Rainy Day Trust. A bursary is open to apprentices, college leavers and young people considering a career in merchanting, and is part of our Build A Career Without Limits campaign to raise awareness of the many career opportunities in our sector.

“I’m very much looking forward to my year and will continue the good work of Past Masters in raising the profile of WCoBM and that of builders’ merchants within the City and Livery movement.”

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