By a Charter of King Henry I, London liverymen were given the right to elect two sheriffs. There are about 23,000 liverymen belonging to 108 livery companies, and their major purpose these days is charitable. Each year, the livery companies are able to distribute in total more than £40 million.
The office of sheriff is older than that of the Lord Mayor itself, dating from 1131. The duties of the sheriffs are to oversee the smooth running of the Old Bailey. The sheriffs also attend the Lord Mayor in her official duties (the Lord Mayor in the coming year will be alderman Fiona Woolf CBE, only the second female Lord Mayor in the history of the City). The main object of the Lord Mayor and the sheriffs is to promote London's financial services at home and abroad.
On 24 June, two sheriffs were elected and, for the second time, one of the sheriffs is an actuary. Adrian Waddingham CBE, a past master of the Worshipful Company of Actuaries (WCA), was elected as the non-aldermanic sheriff. Sir Paul Judge was elected aldermanic sheriff. Adrian follows in the footsteps of actuary Ken Ayers, who was sheriff in 1995/1996.
The new sheriffs took up their office on 27 September, and will live in the Old Bailey for their year of office. The new Lord Mayor takes up office on 8 November and her election is marked by the colourful Lord Mayor's parade around the City on 9 November. This parade is well worth seeing, and will be live on BBC. You will see the current master of the WCA, Charles Cowling, in one of the horse-drawn carriages.
The WCA has also entered a float with the theme that 'maths is fun'. The float includes TV celebrity Johnny Ball. The sponsors of the float in addition to the WCA are the Association of Consulting Actuaries, SIAS and Barnett Waddingham LLP.