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Great Minds interview with Sir Alan Yarrow: former Lord Mayor of London

Great Minds interview with Sir Alan Yarrow: former Lord Mayor of London

Sir Alan Yarrow was the Lord Mayor of London between 2014-15. He was previously an investment banker and served as chairman of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) between 2009-2018. He sat down with LSBF to discuss his own career and share some tips on how to make the most out your finance education within the sector.

You may be surprised by the Former Lord Mayor’s initial academic background. Sir Alan Yarrow headed to Paris to study graphic design, however, soon felt he didn’t have the skill for it and decided to re-assess his opportunities. Despite this, to this day, he remains an art lover and still paints as a hobby. Subsequently, he found his ultimate calling in the financial services sector in a banking role.

Explaining his position as Lord Mayor of London, Yarrow describes it as being an “ambassador” for the United Kingdom - not just England’s capital as the title suggests. Out of all his professional experience, this was the former Mayor’s favorite job due to its variety. It’s essentially a marketing and selling job and the product is the United Kingdom he said also highlighting that the position of Lord Mayor is an apolitical one. In statistics, Sir Alan Yarrow states he made 800 speeches (sometimes 3 or 4 a day) and had over 1400 appointments.

During his tenure as Lord Mayor, Sir Alan heavily promoted fintech as he states this is one of the UK’s most successful and fast-moving areas. The finance sector within the UK employs over two million people and anything to do with block chain or artificial intelligence is attracting a lot of investment right now.  Speaking of AI, Sir Alan says that this is part of the next industrial revolution, humans have always adapted with previous revolutions and will continue to do so in his opinion.

Finance is of course about money, but it’s also about current affairs and innovation; so, if these things interest you, take up a job in this sector. It’s a sector that’s constantly changing.

He ended the discussion by claiming that motivation comes from those around you, learning is something people should never cease doing and therefore you should only study what you love.

If you have been inspired by Sir Alan’s professional history, take a look at LSBF’s Emerging Technologies course here.

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