Hustings Meeting, 13th November 2017

Hustings at Tallow Chandlers’ Hall
13th November 2017

Transcript of address given by Richard Fleck

My aim this evening is to explain why I’m standing for election as Sheriff next year.

I’m standing because I believe in the relevance of the Livery today – in the values that Livery Companies have promoted over the centuries, especially our shared awareness of, and responsibility for, the needs of all in our society.

I’m standing because I want to help the Lord Mayor promote the City both here and abroad. I think I have something special to offer in this area – and I will come back to that in a moment.

Let me begin by expanding on the first of the two areas that I feel so strongly about.

The Livery movement makes an enormous contribution, both collectively and individually, to education and charity – as is demonstrated by the Livery’s support for Treloars and the Army Benevolent Fund Big Curry Lunch; and by the numerous schools that Livery companies support.

This is a tradition that we are rightly proud of – and it is one we need to pass on to future generations.

It’s an area I am very familiar with.

I’ve raised funds for and led charities that focus on education and the young. For 21 years, I chaired the charity that ran 48 adventure playgrounds across London – raising over a million pounds annually. And when I was invited to join the Tallow Chandlers Company Court, the Company’s commitment to its educational activities was one of the main things that made me say “Yes”.

And, at the moment, I’m actively involved in the Master Mercer’s pan-livery initiative to promote and extend the Livery’s charitable work.

So, although education is my special interest, if elected, I am committed to using my experience and connections to promote the Livery and all its philanthropic aims.

Now to the second message – the promotion of the City here and abroad.

As Liverymen, we all know the vital contribution that the Livery has historically made to the development and success of the City, adapting and responding to challenges.

This ability to respond to change, to challenges and to uncertainty is founded on key values – on excellence and innovation; on trust and integrity; on looking after others as well as oneself; and on taking a long-term view.

I want to ensure that we take every opportunity to promote those values as they are key to the extraordinary success of the City. And because they represent everything we stand for – personally and professionally.

London and the City offer an unrivalled combination of skills, resources, infrastructure, language, judicial system, culture and lifestyle. And it is this unique combination, built up over generations, that has made the City the pre-eminent centre for international finance and trade.

But that is now; what about the future?

If elected, I will serve during the period when this country will depart from the European Union. Brexit has generated considerable uncertainty both here and abroad. We must address that uncertainty by convincing people that the reasons why the City has been so successful will not be changed by Brexit.

We need to convince those who determine whether businesses stay in London, and those who decide whether to invest in the UK, that we will still have the qualities and skills that made the City so attractive before Brexit – so that they can have confidence to commit to Britain going forward. Then the whole country can take advantage of the opportunities post Brexit.

I believe we can do this.

I know what it takes to promote the British business model abroad. As a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, starting from a UK base, I set up international joint ventures and new offices worldwide.

I have practical knowledge of international regulatory and financial matters through my work with the Financial Reporting Council and the National Audit Office.

More recently I’ve been a member of the Lord Mayor’s Trust Advisory Group which led to the Lord Mayor Elect’s initiative “The Business of Trust”, which will be launched this Thursday.

So – if people ask ‘Why is Richard Fleck standing?’ – please tell them first, that I’m a Liveryman to my boots, with a special interest in education and the young, and second that, regardless of the Brexit outcome, I want to help the Lord Mayor promote the City both here and abroad.

I believe I can make this contribution to the civic team because I’ve done it before with my own law firm. I think international negotiating experience is one of the things that makes me different from the other candidates who have declared at this stage.

I hope very much that I may count on your support next June.

Thank you.