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Worshipful Company of World Traders

Worshipful Company of World Traders
Worshipful Company of World Traders crest.jpg
Armorial bearings of the World Traders' Company
Date of formation1985
(Charter 2013)
Company associationInternational Trade
Order of precedence101st
Master of companyDr Edwina Moreton OBE (2018-2019)
Motto"Commerce and honest friendship with all"

The Worshipful Company of World Traders is one of the 110 Livery Companies of the City of London.

The Guild of World Traders was formed in 1985 and it became a Company in 1993. Its petition for livery status was granted by the Court of Aldermen with effect from 2000. The Worshipful Company draws its membership from the international trade fraternity, with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of, and standards of practice in, world trade. The Company ranks 101st in the order of precedence of the City Livery Companies. Its motto is Commerce and Honest Friendship with All, taken from Thomas Jefferson's inaugural Presidential speech.


The founding of the World Traders Association movement

gave rise to the creation of trading complexes in over 160 cities throughout the world. London was the first in Europe, built in St Katharine Docks beside the Tower of London (though this World Trade Centre closed in 1994). Over 1,000 years earlier the same land was used by the Knighten Guilde to trade in foreign goods, and in 1979 the then Lord Mayor, Sir Peter Gadsden, suggested that this tradition be revived by the creation of the Guild of World Traders to represent members of the international trading community in the City of London.

The Company's founding Master was Mr Peter Drew OBE. From the outset the World Traders were determined to be a working Guild, only accepting members from the international trade fraternity, with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of, and standards of practice in, world trade.

The Company is a member of the Financial Services Group of Livery Companies, the other 11 members of which are the Worshipful Companies of Chartered Accountants, Actuaries, Arbitrators, International Bankers, Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Insurers, Information Technologists, City of London Solicitors, Management Consultants, Marketors, and Tax Advisers.


The UK, principally through London, has a £40bn trade surplus in financial and professional services representing 3% of UK GDP. World Traders represent virtually every form of financial service and are committed to retaining and growing London’s services. World traders consist largely of three groups.

People who trade services. A great number of members work within the financial services sector of the City of London, for example, ship brokers, insurance brokers, commodity brokers, stockbrokers and currency dealers.
People who trade tangible goods and products. These members are often importers and exporters, for example, of foodstuffs, pharmaceutical products, metals and various industrial products from doors to bridge builders.
Financial services
Professionals who have a specialty in supporting international business. These members include lawyers, bankers, accountants, patent attorneys, academics and consultants.

World Traders are at the forefront of debates shaping the future, for example the structure of the Eurozone, banking & insurance regulation, reducing trade barriers, growing the fledgling carbon markets, and long-term sustainability of the environment and finance.

The 250 World Traders are international. As well as UK-based British nationals, a significant number of the Livery are overseas nationals based in the UK, dual nationals, British nationals who live overseas and overseas nationals who live in their home country. World Traders host a large number of foreign visitors looking to relocate or establish trading connections with the UK not just from primary trading partners in the EU, China, Brazil, Russia, India or the Gulf states, but also from smaller countries which may benefit from personal support and contacts.

The Company’s hallmark annual event is the Tacitus Lecture, begun in 1988, now one of the largest intellectual events in the City of London’s calendar. The event gives a senior individual an opportunity to initiate discussion of serious concern to world trade in a global forum.

Key dates

23 November 1974 General Assembly of the World Trade Centers Association held at London Guildhall. Alderman Richard Charvet suggested the creation of the Guild of World Traders in London.

26 November 1979 Lord Mayor Alderman Sir Peter Gadsden laid foundation stone of International House (part of the then London World Trade Centre complex) and reiterates the suggestion of the creation of the Guild of World Traders.

24 October 1985 First meeting of the Guild of World Traders in London.

15 June 1993 Grant by the Court of Aldermen to become The Company of World Traders.

9 November 1999 Petition to become The Worshipful Company of World Traders agreed by the Court of Aldermen, with effect from 1 January 2000.

25 January 2000 Company received its letters patent in a ceremony at Mansion House, from the Lord Mayor, Alderman Clive Martin.

10 July 2013 Queen Elizabeth II granted a Royal Charter to the Company.

Arms, Crest and Motto

The Arms of the Company were designed by Sir Colin Cole, Garter Principal King of Arms, and presented by him at the Installation ceremony of Alderman Sir Peter Gadsden, the Guild's new Master, in 1987. These Arms depict five purses symbolising trade between the five continents, with the sword and wheel of St Catherine together with the water and quayside of the dock, as a reminder of the company's foundation. The Arms are surmounted by a carbocle containing a medieval merchant's cap and the supporters are a dolphin borrowed from the Company of Watermen and Lightermen, who originally gave the company sanctuary in the City of London, and the sea dragon of the City as a mark of respect for its commands.

The Master's Badge of office displays the Company's coat of arms mounted on a piece of rock crystal, donated by the World Trade Centre of Rio de Janeiro, carved with an outline of five continents.

The motif on the Company tie derives from the Company's crest: it comprises the helm, torse and mantelling surmounted by the wheel of St Catherine upon which is a medieval merchant's cap.

The Company's motto is "Commerce and honest friendship with all", a quote from Thomas Jefferson's inaugural Presidential speech.

Company Officers

Master: Dr Edwina Moreton OBE

Senior Warden: Mr Peter Alvey

Junior Warden: Mrs Sue Algeo

Clerk: Mrs Gaye Duffy

The Worshipful Company of World Traders is governed by its Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, and a Court of Assistants which elects the forthcoming Master and Wardens. The chief executive officer of the Company is known as the Clerk. The Master and Wardens serve the Company in their respective roles for a period of one year, after which time the Master becomes 'Immediate Past Master', the Senior Warden becomes the Master of the Company and the Junior Warden is promoted to the role of Senior Warden. A new Junior Warden is then elected by the Court of Assistants. Past Masters advise the incumbent Master and can resume as Master should the need arise. The appointment to the office of Clerk is not subject to annual election.

Past Masters

Prof Michael Mainelli Immediate Past Master

Mr Robert Woodthorpe Browne MBE 2017-18

Miss Wendy Marilyn Hyde CC 2015-16

Mr Mark Hardy 2014-15

Dr Heather McLaughlin 2013-14

Mr John Burbidge-King 2012-13

Miss Mei Sim Lai OBE DL 2011-12

Mr Graham Bishop 2010-11

Mr Michael Wren 2009-10

Baroness Garden of Frognal 2008-09

Mr Robert Alston CMG QSO DL 2007-08

Mr Jack Wigglesworth 2006-07

Mr William King 2005-06

Mr Eric Stobart 2004-05

Mr Eric Tracey 2003-04

Mr John Stace 2002-03

Mr Bryan Whalley TD 2001-02

Miss Susan Hughes 2000-01

Sir Roger Cork 1999-2000

Mr Peter Wildblood OBE 1998-99

Mr David Watt 1997-98

Mr Jim Davis CBE 1996-97

Mr Bryan Montgomery 1995-96

The Venerable Peter Delaney MBE AKC 1994-95

Mr George Capon 1993-94

Mr Peter Drew OBE 1992-93

The Patrick Pery, 6th Earl of Limerick KBE, AM 1991-92

Mr Richard Charvet RD KStJ JP 1990-91

Mr Peter Bowring CBE 1989-90

The Lord Bellwin of Leeds JP DL LLB 1988-89

Sir Peter Gadsden GBE AC JP FREng 1987-88

Mr Peter Drew OBE 1985-87


The Worshipful Company of World Traders fosters links between other bodies for mutual benefit. These arise from the specific interests of our members, or because they have intrinsic relevance to world trade. At present there are three affiliations.

The Annual Country Partnership Each year the incumbent Master chooses a country with which to foster a relationship. The purposes of this may well be obvious: to learn more about that country, to offer the hand of friendship to their representatives, and of course to facilitate for liverymen any trading opportunities that there may be with the country in question.

1st Battalion The Rifles During the Summer of 2010 a formal affiliation between the Worshipful Company of the World Traders and The Rifles, the Army's biggest and youngest Infantry Regiment was established. The affiliation is run through the 1st Battalion The Rifles. The Rifles was formed in February 2007 from The Devonshire and Dorset Regiment, The Royal Gloucestershire Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, The Light Infantry and The Royal Green Jackets. The Rifles is the largest infantry regiment in the British Army and recruits nationally, it has five Regular battalions and 2 Territorial battalions as well as a raft of Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force detachments and a healthy Veterans' community populated by ex-members of the current and forming regiments.

HMS Dauntless Like other livery companies, the Worshipful Company of World Traders has formed an affiliation with a unit of HM Armed Forces. In 2010 arrangements were made with the Admiralty for the Company to "adopt" HMS Dauntless.

28 (AC) Squadron The Worshipful Company of World Traders is proud of its affiliation with 28 (AC) Squadron which was officially re-formed on 17 July 2001 as home to the Merlin helicopter. After the transfer of the Merlin platform to the Royal Navy, the Sqn was re-branded as a Puma and Chinook Operational Conversion Unit. The Worshipful Company of the World Traders are proud to present an "Airman of the Year" award which is voted for by Sqn members; the Airman of the Year for 2018 is A/Sgt Bolt.

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