The Rt Hon. the Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow, hosted the first celebration of the Hindu festival of Diwali at Mansion House on Monday 2nd November 2015. The event, a first since the construction of Mansion House 250 years ago, was attended by key Asian influencers in the City of London including Subhash Thakrar, Deputy President of the London Chamber of Commerce; investment banker Dixit Joshi, financial securities specialist Arup Ganguly, foreign exchange entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal, representatives from the accountancy firms in the city, members of the City’s Hindu and Sikh networks and guests. The Lord Mayor of London was introduced by City of London Councillor (Common Councilman) Dhruv Patel who spoke about the Hindu right of ‘Dharma’, the universal message of truth and righteousness, and Diwali as “dharma embodied”, before inviting the Lord Mayor to light the traditional Diwali diya (candle) inaugurating the celebration.
“We are delighted that Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and indeed people of all other religions come to the City, roll their sleeves up and do well. The Square Mile is one of the few genuine meritocracies in the world, and it’s part of what makes us such a unique and successful place. We value different views and different beliefs, we don’t bash it down or try to pretend that it doesn’t matter,” said Alderman Yarrow. “The City is not about our differences – it’s about our similarities and what can bring us together.” He ended by wishing everyone a ‘Happy Diwali’ and hoping that the relationship between the City of London and its Hindu communities would continue to flourish.
About the City of London
The City of London Corporation is a uniquely diverse organisation. It has a special role and wide remit that goes beyond that of an ordinary local authority with three main aims:
– to support and promote London as the world’s leading international financial and business centre and attract new business to the capital and the whole UK
– to work in partnership with local communities to increase skills, employment and opportunities for all Londoners, including through the City Bridge Trust
– to enhance the capital as a hub of culture, history and green spaces for Londoners – residents, workers, and visitors.
Many of these services are funded from its own resources, at no cost to the public, and benefit London and the nation. The City of London Corporation is based at Guildhall but also has offices at Mansion House, Walbrook Wharf and outside the Square Mile in relation to green spaces and other facilities.
The City Corporation is older than Parliament – its constitution is rooted in the ancient rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens before the Norman Conquest in 1066 – and tradition underpin its modern role as the provider of key services. Elected Members, headed by the Lord Mayor, operate on a non-party political basis.
Statistics about firms in the City of London
- There were 15,105 enterprises located in the City of London in 2013.
- The vast majority (98.5%) of City firms are SMEs.
- High Growth SME Firms make up almost 10% of the SME business population in the City.
- Well-represented sectors are professional services, financial and insurance services, business services and information and communication.
- 392,400 people are employed in the City of London
- 529 foreign companies listed in London, representing 20% of the global foreign equity listings.*
- 251 foreign banks in London*
- $330bn of worldwide premium insurance income in the UK in 2013. The UK has the largest insurance industry in Europe and the third largest in the world. (Association of British Insurers, 2014).
- 20% of the world’s foreign equity market is listed in London.
- The City of London is a leading western centre for Islamic finance, with 22 banks supplying Islamic financial services, five of which are fully Sharia compliant*.
- 18% of cross-border lending arranged in the UK.*
- $2.7trn of foreign exchange turnover each day – 41% of global foreign exchange*.
* (TheCityUK, October 2014)
For further information visit www.cityoflondon.gov.uk