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Sir Roger Gifford (born 3 August 1955) is a London banker and was 685th Lord Mayor of London (2012–13).


Sir Roger Gifford
Roger Gifford at Chatham House.jpg
Gifford at Chatham House in 2013
685th Lord Mayor of London
In office
9 November 2012 – 8 November 2013
Metropolitan MayorBoris Johnson
Preceded bySir David Wootton
Succeeded byDame Fiona Woolf
Personal details
Michael Roger Gifford

(1955-08-03) 3 August 1955 (age 64)
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Nationality United Kingdom
Spouse(s)Jane Lunzer (1983–2004);
Clare Taylor (now Lady Gifford)
ChildrenOlivia (1985)
Fergus (1986)
Fred (1988)
Augusta (1989–1992)
Hector (1994)
Alma materTrinity College, Oxford
OccupationMerchant banker

Gifford has been UK head of Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) since 2000 and is also a Patron of the financial and enterprise education charity "MyBnk".[1]

Early lifeEdit

Gifford was born at St Andrews, Scotland to Douglas Gifford (of Argentinian and Lowland Scots descent) and Hazel Collingwood.[2] He was educated at Sedbergh[3] before going up to Trinity College, Oxford, graduating with an MA degree in Chemistry.


Gifford started his career in finance with SG Warburg (1978–82), working in international banking and capital markets. In 1982 he left to join a new merchant bank, Enskilda Securities, Skandinaviska Enskilda Bank and, from 1994 to 2000, he headed the bank's operations in Japan. Since 2000 he has been SEB's UK country manager.

A former chairman of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce (UK) and of the Association of Foreign Banks (UK), he is a Trustee of St Paul's Cathedral Foundation, Chairman of the City Music Foundation,[4] the English Chamber Orchestra charity and the Tenebrae Choir among other Arts involvements. He is a liveryman of the Worshipful Companies of Musicians, Cordwainers and Security Professionals. He served as Master of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers (2010–11) and is sponsoring Alderman for the Guild of Public Relations Practitioners.

Sir Roger joined the Bank Workers Charity Trustee Board in 2011 and, following his term as Lord Mayor of London, was appointed its President on 1 March 2014. He believes there is a continuing need to support banking industry employees and to enhance the ethics and culture of the sector.

Civic serviceEdit

Gifford was elected as Alderman for the City of London Ward of Cordwainer in 2004 and is a member of the City of London Corporation Culture Heritage and Libraries Committee; he served as Sheriff of London from 2008 to 2009.

In October 2012, he was elected Lord Mayor of London and took office on 9 November.[5] Speaking after his election, Gifford said: "Next month will mark exactly 30 years since I joined SEB and 35 years since I first started working in the City. During this time, London's Square Mile has become a truly global centre – and the focus of my year in office will be to underline that service is, and must be, at the heart of the financial services industry of the UK. In other words that the City must serve society – and be seen to do so."[6] While Lord Mayor, he carried the Mourning Sword at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, leading the Queen and Prince Philip in and out of St Paul's Cathedral for the ceremony. The last time it had been used was at the state funeral of Sir Winston Churchill in 1965.[7] Fortunately for the monarch, she narrowly missed being struck by the ceremonial sword as Mr. Gifford swirled around to go up the steps of the cathedral. The quick instincts of the Queen saved the day, and her consort seemed to have a good chuckle over the matter.

Gifford's Lord Mayoral charitable appeal, under the banner "The City in Society", focused on the City of London as a global centre for philanthropy and the Arts.

Personal lifeEdit

Gifford and his wife, Dr Clare Taylor (now Lady Gifford), live in London.[8][9] A Freemason,[10] Sir Roger lists his recreations as chamber music, singing, opera, gardening and forestry.


In 2013, as Chancellor ex officio, Gifford received an Hon DSc from City University and was knighted in the 2014 New Year Honours for "services to international business, culture, and the City of London":.[11] He was awarded an Hon LLD by St Andrews University in the same year.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Cuthbert Collingwood, 1st Baron Collingwood
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "City banker elected London Lord Mayor". Financial Times.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Marsden, Sam (17 April 2013). "Mourning sword in Thatcher ceremony was last used at Churchill's funeral". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "The Queen's New Year's Honours list 2014". Freemasonary Today. 15 January 2014. Retrieved 18 February 2014.
  11. ^ "No. 60728". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2013. p. 1.
  12. ^ New Year Honours 2014: Prime Minister's List

External linksEdit