The Installation ceremony of our new Master Pippa Latham is took place at Merchant Taylors’ Hall at the end of October 2018. The Hall is one of the ‘Great Twelve’ Livery Companies, being famously ‘at sixes and sevens’ with the Skinners’ Company in the order of precedence.
On the same evening Wardens Dame Fiona Woolf, D.B.E, DL and Mr Stewart Pierce were elected to support the Master in her year. Liveryman Lucia Di Stazio of MRA Marketing was invited to join the Court as a new Assistant.
The installation was followed by a prestigious Black Tie dinner to celebrate the occasion with members and guests. Principal guests included Alderman Sir Roger and Lady Gifford, and the Company’s military affiliates – 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment (3PWRR), HMS Forth and the Beckenham & Penge Sea Cadets.
Pippa became a Freeman of the Company in June 2005 and was made a Liveryman in October the following year. Her early career was in investment banking and management consultancy before joining the family business, James Latham plc, in 1990 for 25 years, and lately for 10 years as a Non-Executive Director. James Latham is an industry leader in panel products, hardwood, joinery-quality softwood, performance doors, solid surface, cladding and decking. Latham’s wide-ranging portfolio includes some of the most recognised brands in the world, many of them on an exclusive or semi-exclusive basis, all from a single source and available nationwide, thanks to its 10-strong network of depots.
The Master says: ‘I’m looking forward to my year and am determined to continue our Past Masters’ work, raising the profile of WCoBM and that of builders’ merchants within the City Livery movement. The industry has huge value in terms of jobs, incomes and tax generation, adding to the UK’s general prosperity – builders’ merchants are vital contributors to ‘Supplying Britain’s Building Needs’. But we live in an increasingly fast moving trading-world of transparency and digitalisation, so people and businesses in our industry need to take advantage of new technologies and innovations to help themselves and to drive economic growth.
“I will also continue the work of Immediate Past Master Brian Blanchard, promoting our Company’s considerable impact in education and in philanthropy through our outreach, our bursaries, grants and awards,” continues the Master. “Due to the transfer of significant funds from the BMTT we can now double the money we give to training and education in our industry. This is what our work as a Modern Livery Company is all about. Our campaign ‘Build A Career without limits’ is raising awareness amongst young people of the many interesting jobs in builders’ merchants and suppliers, and is being well supported by our members. It’s going to be a busy but exciting 12 months!”