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IoD City chair

We talk to Alastair Naisbitt King, The IoD City of London chair, about the business leaders in his region

Why are you pleased to represent the IoD?

I am honoured to be chairing the IoD in the City of London. The principal focus of the IoD is to encourage strong and efficient leadership, both in business and governance across many sectors. The opportunity is huge, given the talent, diversity and energy of those of us who work in the City.

What’s the IoD’s role with the City’s business leaders?

The IoD City branch is international, diverse and unique. This branch is in the heart of the square mile and as such our members, stakeholders and partners regularly collaborate with the City of London Corporation and the government. The IoD City branch endeavours to engage our members with local and international businesses, trade missions, embassies and high commissions.

Tell me a little more about your members

Since the branch was founded in 1981 we have grown to 1,000 members who work in a variety of job sectors. These range from small businesses and start-ups to city institutions and governmental positions. In recent years the IoD City branch has attracted a diverse group of younger business leaders and we are delighted that the number of female members is on the rise, something we hope will continue. We have a higher percentage of members under 40 than any other Branch. Our members principal passions lie in the following four sectors:  China, property, financial services and young executives. They are particularly interested in international trade, innovation, entrepreneurship and corporate social responsibility.

What is so unique about your region?

The IoD City branch is based in the centre of the financial capital of the world. It is blossoming in areas such as Fintech, Green Finance and Islamic Finance. This is not only advantageous for our City members but for all of our members nationwide. The City is once again in a period of growth and it is an exciting time for innovation and entrepreneurial activity.

What does your region/branch offer business leaders?

Our branch not only has strong ties with Livery companies in the City but also with the City of London Corporation. Several IoD City Chairs have gone on to become Lord Mayors, including most recently Sir David Wootton.

We aim to host several events throughout the course of the year. These are always well attended. The events tend to be on general business topics or focused on one of our four special interest sectors. One of our most prominent events is our annual dinner, and the All Party Parliamentary China Group meeting at the House of Commons.

What are you most looking forward to, as IoD regional chair, in the next 12 months?

I look forward to working alongside the committee, with input from our stakeholders and decision makers to ensure that we can continue to build upon our events programme. I would like to further develop the four key sectors of interest for our members, whilst highlighting and promoting business innovation and achievement. I would like to strengthen our ties with the City of London Corporation, the voluntary sector and the Armed Forces.

Finally, what is your personal ethos?

I have three clear beliefs. Firstly, for a business to succeed it should have exceptional management and governance in place. Secondly, effective teamwork is crucial for creating and encouraging innovation. Respect in the workplace is essential for business success. Diversity and originality are the ways to differentiate business in this competitive market.