The City of London Corporation is in many ways a unique body, combining traditional local authority responsibilities for the “Square Mile”, London’s traditional financial district, with wider responsibilities through a range of services to London and the country as a whole, including open spaces, educational and cultural facilities and the promotion of London as the world’s leading international and financial centre. The Corporation does not operate on a party political basis, the members each being elected individually. The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee holds the senior political role.
Catherine McGuinness was elected as Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee on 4 May 2017. She has been an elected Member since 1997 representing the ward of Castle Baynard, which takes in St Paul’s and Fleet Street. Catherine is a member of the Barbican Centre Board, Community and Children’s Services Committee, Education Board, Finance and Investment Committees.
As Chairman of the Policy Committee, Catherine is Deputy Chairman of TheCityUK, the promotional body for the UK financial services industry, and the International Regulatory Strategy Group.
She has previously been Deputy Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee, and has led the City’s work on education, as Chairman of the Education Board and the City of London Academies Trust, overseeing an increase in academies under the City’s sponsorship. She was initial Chair of Governors of The City Academy, Hackney, a school consistently among the top performing nationally in terms of pupil progress.
She is Chairman of the City’s Courts Sub Committee, the body responsible for the management of the Old Bailey and the City of London Magistrates’ Court.
Catherine has been closely involved with the City’s cultural offer, having chaired the boards of the Barbican Arts Centre and Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and with the City’s relationship with Northern Ireland, working in particular on business and cultural links.
She is a director of “London Works”, a recruitment agency launched by the East London Business Alliance, a commissioner on the IPPR Commission on Economic Justice, and on the council of St Paul’s Cathedral.
A solicitor by training, she practised in financial services law for several years, qualifying as a solicitor at Waterhouse & Co (now Fieldfisher), where she became a partner, and leading the London legal departments at Sanpaolo Bank and Banca Commerciale Italiana (now combined as Intesa Sanpaolo). More recently she has worked as a consultant in the alternative investment management sector.
Catherine studied PPE at St Anne’s College, Oxford University, and holds an honorary fellowship from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.