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Sir Roger Gifford: A Tribute


By Dafydd Rees

It was with much sadness that SEC Newgate UK learnt of the untimely death of Sir Roger Gifford from myeloma. The overwhelming response on social media from across the political, financial and cultural spectrum to the news is a testament to the respect and high regard in which he was held in different sectors of our national and business life.  

Across the agency, Sir Roger had made many friends and been involved in several of our campaigns and initiatives. His support for St Paul’s Cathedral’s recent Remember Me campaign, to pay tribute to all those who have died from the COVID-19 pandemic, is but a recent example.

Sir Roger, a former Lord Mayor of London, was also a trustee of the Barbican Centre Trust. Our CEO, Emma Kane, who served as Chair, was a close colleague for many years. The two of them had stepped down from the Board only this week.

However, it was in his role, as Chairman of the Green Finance Institute that many of us working at SEC Newgate UK had come to know Sir Roger well.

I last spoke to him a month ago ahead of an interview on the Today Programme. His unbridled enthusiasm and energy was inspiring. He had a special ability to communicate. As I said to him, a career in finance could very well have been substituted for a career in broadcasting.

In particular, I admired his personal commitment to championing ways in which global finance could offer nature-positive solutions to some of the complex economics of biodiversity. As a member of the Advisory Panel to the Dasgupta Review he brought a drive and a knowledge to that work which will be sorely missed.  

Throughout his professional career in the City of London and beyond, Sir Roger made the positive case for the purpose and relevance of finance and the importance of global collaboration. Those values he represented so well have never been more in demand.

Our deepest respects to all his family and friends.