Forty finance professionals have been highlighted for the good they do for others in this year’s Financial News Extra Mile 40, proving that philanthropy is thriving in the Square Mile.
From a solicitor running 150 miles across the Sahara Desert to an energy trader who spends their spare time mentoring London’s disadvantaged children; this year’s list provides an insight into how some City employees are using their skills, time and capital to have a positive impact on a variety of causes.
The list of 40 is broken down into seven categories: pioneers, campaigners, fundraisers, doers, givers, role models and young achievers and were chosen by a panel of philanthropy figures from the City.
One inspirational giver on the list is Patrick Smulders, Managing Partner at Bregal Freshstream, who, along with his wife, set up the Horizon Foundation, which provides educational opportunities at top boarding schools for children in refugee communities. Since its creation in 2006 more than 100 students from some of the most troubled areas such as Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq have been through the programme and attended top schools such as Eton and Rugby.
The list demonstrates the determination of people to do good for others, especially in the young achievers category. Tom Bramah, a trainee solicitor at Norton Rose Fulbright, who completed the Marathon des Sables, the world’s toughest long distance race is indicative of this new generation of City employees. Not only did he complete the 150 mile race across the Sahara in temperatures up to 50°C and raise thousands of pounds for charity, but he trained for the race in the middle of the night because he was reluctant to ask for time off from his new employer.
Graeme Kerr, Editor of the Extra Mile 40, said: “I created the Extra Mile 40 after seeing a well-known banker helping a friend’s charity on the quiet. I thought how intriguing it was that despite the bad reputation that bankers have in the press, here was someone doing something totally admirable without any public recognition. I wondered if there were other unsung heroes working in finance doing similar noteworthy activities. The Extra Mile list proves that there definitely are.
“The list shows that finance is a much diverse area than is sometimes reported. There are a huge variety of people represented on the list involved in a huge range of good causes.”
When asked about how philanthropy in the City today compared to 20 years ago Kerr said: “It is difficult to say but we added a ‘Young Achievers’ section after noticing how many younger professionals were involved in new initiatives so there are definite signs that the new generation of finance workers are showing a real interest in giving back.”
To read the list in full visit Financial News’ Interactive List