Master’s Welcome

Firstly, my thanks to each and every one of you for placing your trust in me for the next year. I will do my best to fulfil that trust.

I would like to start by thanking Ray Long for having led us through particularly difficult times over the past six months. I look forward to working with him, as our Deputy Master, over the coming months.

The theme for my year, Engagement (in the Involvement sense), intends to build on this progress across the following three areas:

The Membership

When everyone becomes a new Freeman, they are reminded that joining a Livery company is a privilege and is membership for life. You pay an annual quarterage for this privilege. It is important, given this commitment, that everybody feels that they are getting value and satisfaction throughout their Livery journey. To this end the Wardens, Alistair Fulton, Rob Wirszycz, Kerri Mansfield and I are looking at ways to seek the views of as many of you as possible as to how we can do this better.

The City

I am also a Liveryman of the Glass Sellers – interestingly, they see themselves as ‘Ambassadors for Glass’ in the City. I believe that we should follow this theme seeing ourselves as ‘Ambassadors for IT’. We are doing this now through our sponsorship of the Gresham lectures, our membership of the Financial Services Group, our involvement in FutureDotNow and working with other Livery Companies. One past Lord Mayor has described us as the “most relevant” Livery company. Let us ensure that we maintain and enhance this reputation.

The broad IT Industry and its leaders

This is an area where, over the years, I think we have slipped. I would like to increase our engagement with leaders from all sectors of IT in the UK; suppliers, corporate, academics and advisers / influencers. We need to create a better value proposition without compromising our independence and integrity.


I would welcome your thoughts and ideas on how we can develop these three themes and thereby build our reputation and influence as a company, as members, and as an industry. Please email me – mark.holford@member.wcit.org.uk.

Finally, we call ourselves a modern Livery company. We should look and feel modern while recognising we are part of a great tradition – not vice versa. We have made great strides in the past twelve months with a new management system, the use of Zoom and Teams. Used effectively, all of this should support increased engagement and activity. There are other areas where perhaps we could also become a little more modern.

I would like to feel that by this time next year each and every one of us has found some way of engaging in the Company, be it attending an event, joining a Panel or listening to a lecture.

These are the first steps that my fellow Wardens and I are taking along a journey to create a cohesive plan which all of us will carry out in the coming years. We hope you will join us to make it a reality and make being a member of the WCIT more enjoyable and fulfilling.