– Livery company installs first black Master-
– Olisa takes the helm at the Information Technologists’ Company; looks forward to strengthening relations with the Lord Mayor of London and launching a flagship academy school-
London, 12 October 2010: Ken Olisa, founder of technology merchant bank Interregnum, will be installed as Master of the Information Technologists’ Company ([url=http://www.wcit.org.uk/members/anon/new.html]ITC[/url]), the 100th livery company of the City of London, during a formal ceremony on 13 October 2010 at 6:00pm at Saint Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield. Olisa takes over from Charles Hughes for his year long tenure.
Olisa said of his appointment: “The Information Technologists’ is one of the most vibrant livery companies in the City of London representing one of the most meritocratic ‘trades’ of the 20th and 21st centuries. Throughout my year as Master I hope to emphasise those meritocratic credentials and to show by example that success in IT and the City is open to people of all ethnic origins and social environments across the UK.”
As Master, Olisa has chosen “Engagement” as his theme.
He said: “During my year, I intend that we will demonstrate our commercial and charitable strengths through engagement with the City and with the IT industry. Commercially, as members of the Financial Services Group of livery companies we will support the Lord Mayor of London’s mission to promote the City overseas as the best place to do business. At the same time, I hope that we will make the ITC even more relevant by persuading senior executives of major IT companies to make the ITC their principal personal and corporate channel for giving back to society”.
As an example of the ITC’s charitable work, the ITC and one of the oldest livery companies – the Mercers’ – are building a new school specialising in creative & digital media and IT. The Hammersmith Academy, located off the Goldhawk Road, will open during Olisa’s tenure taking its first students in September 2011.
Olisa said: “The ITC has just received our Royal Charter in June of this year, the Mercers’ were granted theirs in 1394. That one of the oldest Companies and one of the youngest can work together in this way for public good is a wonderful illustration of British tradition and the City at their best.”
“I’m looking forward to extending our engagement with the City of London. Information technology underpins every industry, and we intend to use our expertise to influence more companies to bring additional business to the City”.
Olisa’s wide ranging technology career spans more than 40 years, commencing as an IBM scholar at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. He held various posts at IBM and Wang before founding Interregnum, the technology merchant bank in 1992. Following his retirement from Interregnum, he now runs boutique technology merchant bank, Restoration Partners.
He is the first British-born black man to serve on the board of a major UK public company and is currently a director of FTSE listed ENRC and of Thomson Reuters. He serves on the board, or as adviser to, several privately held and innovative companies including Prevx, Independent Audit and Metapraxis. In 2009, he was appointed to the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA), the body charged with managing MPs’ expenses, pay and pensions.
Olisa is Chairman of Thames Reach, a charity seeking to end street homelessness by 2012, and was recently made an OBE for his services to the homeless of London. He is married to Julia and has two daughters, Elinor and Auriol.
– The ceremony which sees Ken Olisa appointed as Master will be held on Thursday 13 October at 6:00pm at Saint Bartholomew the Great, Smithfield
– Olisa will focus strongly on promoting the City overseas as the best place to do business with the Lord Mayor of London
– The Hammersmith Academy project represents a beacon for best practice in IT and digital communications
– ITC currently has 742 members, all of whom are senior practitioners in the IT profession. Membership is open to IT practitioners and those working in other areas such as finance, accountancy, law, health, personnel, marketing and PR with a strong IT connection