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Tribute to Sir Roger Gifford

Posted on: 28 May 2021

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Sir Roger Gifford, who died at home on 25 May.

Sir Roger, who served as Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2012-13, was knighted in 2014 for services to international business, culture and the City. Most recently he was Chair of the Green Finance Institute and a senior banker at SEB in London. Sir Roger was also previously Chair of the Green Finance Initiative, launched in London in 2016 to focus on growing the contribution of the financial sector to the G20 climate agenda, and chaired the UK Government’s Green Finance Taskforce.

Maritime London Chairman Lord Mountevans said reflecting on Sir Roger Gifford’s life: “I knew Roger well from my time on the City of London Corporation, where he was first elected in 2004. He was in his late 40’s, which is young for an Alderman, an early indication of what an outstanding man he was. He served as Lord Mayor in 2013-14, when as Sheriff I had the great privilege of working closely with him and getting to know him well. Always cheery, upbeat, and positive, he had huge charm, great ‘joie de vie’, a disarming smile and a delightful sense of humour. Behind this lay a shrewd mind and great ability.”

“After Oxford, where he read Chemistry, he entered the leading merchant bank S.G. Warburg, moving to the Swedish bank SEB in 1982. Following a spell in Tokyo, he rose rapidly, ultimately heading the bank in London. The bank has close links to the important Wallenberg interests in Sweden where he became a trusted adviser.

“Roger had a special gift for making friends, including right across City and wider business worlds as well as internationally, and in arts and culture circles, especially music.

“He leaves a significant legacy, but for us in maritime, probably it was his championing of Green Finance that will be specially valued and best remembered. He was the first chair of the Green Finance Initiative, launched – to my great pleasure –  at the Mansion House when I was Lord Mayor in 2016. He went on to chair the Green Finance Institute. He was an evangelist for the role of Green Finance to enable the transition of all industries, including maritime, to a low carbon future.

“He had a genuine interest and enthusiasm for maritime, indeed one of his sons became a shipbroker. He was a friend and supporter of Maritime London and I was always very grateful to him for his shared enthusiasm for maritime, which helped to generate increased awareness of our important sector in the City Corporation.”

Maritime London joins with many City organisations and individuals in sending our deep condolences to wife Clare and all Sir Roger’s family.

What is Maritime London?

Maritime London – the promotional body for UK based companies providing professional services to the international shipping industry

Funded by over 100 companies and organisations from a wide range of disciplines, Maritime London ensures that the UK remains a world beating location to base a maritime related business. Maritime London’s mission is to promote the UK as the world’s premier maritime business centre.

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