Master and Wardens

Master Currier

Captain Maurice Blaber

Master Currier - Maurice Blaber

Maurice joined a small Stockbroker in the late 1960’s and reviewed all departments before realising that he wanted to go to the “floor of the house” where he became a blue button, trainee dealer.  From here he quickly discovered that the Jobber, market maker, held his admiration and he joined a specialist firm of North American Jobbers dealing in stocks and shares on Wall Street, America, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver Stock Exchanges.  These were very busy and exciting times because of the political climate in England and then Europe and as a small firm in London they were the only organisation to own a New York Stock Broking firm they eventually merged with what was then the largest listed Jobbing Company in the United Kingdom.

Maurice became a Member of The Stock Exchange in 1975 and remains to this day a Member of The Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment Advisors, the successor in London.  He also held the status of Registered Principle in the North American Stock Exchanges.

In the early 1980’s he was offered the position of Managing Director of a Canadian based Stockbroker in London, which became the first Canadian firm to be a Member of The Stock Exchange in London and followed more exciting times but soon to be followed by the crash of 1987!

Maurice having been at the sharp end of business for many years looked for a future career path which gave him the “adrenalin rush”. Being a competitive sailor and Private Pilot he decides to become in 1990 a Commercial Pilot, training in Australia and the Outback.

Returning to business he became Duty Manager at Harrods, moving then to run a specialist security company in Derbyshire.  He returned to flying however and became a Flight Instructor.  He continued to instruct flying in Jerez de La Frontera, Spain for what had been BAE Systems in Prestwick, Scotland.  The company eventually became a Spanish organisation. He returned to the UK as Head of Training at a Commercial School in Bournemouth and then in Kidlington, Oxford before retiring in April 2017; although he continues to teach and examine on a part time basis.

Elected 13th October 2017

Upper Warden

Mr Jeremy Kean

Upper Warden - Jeremy Kean

Jeremy was born in Buckinghamshire, and educated at Rugby School. He first worked on the floor of The Stock Exchange for Akroyd & Smithers in the early 1970’s before leaving the City to qualify as an accountant in 1981.

Jeremy's career included working in Insurance and banking, before becoming the Finance & IT Director at the Financial Ombudsman Service. During his career he spent time abroad working in Paris, which enabled him to learn to speak French and subsequently buy a holiday home in Northern France.

Retiring in 2010, he now spends his time as a Community First Responder with the South East Coast Ambulance Service, driving for a local charity that enables people to attend medical appointments, helping with a charity based in Malawi that aims to improve the lives of small farmers, and is a Trustee and Chairman of the Finance & Audit committee at the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing.

For his leisure activities Jeremy enjoys golf, walking, and watching cricket and rugby.  He is a member of the MCC. Travel is also high on his list of priorities and, as a member of the Wine Society, he enjoys visiting vineyards throughout the world. Jeremy lives in Surrey with his wife Judy and two children, one of who is a Freeman the Company.

Elected 13th October 2017

Renter Warden

Ms Mary McNeil

Renter Warden - Mary McNeil

Mary was born and raised in Hove, her father serving as Clerk to the Curriers throughout her upbringing, thus giving her an early schooling in the traditions of the Company. In 2001 she was the first woman to be clothed in the Livery of the Company and is both honoured and proud now to serve as a Warden for the Company.

Her University studies in languages led her to live and work in North Germany in the early 1980s, first taking a gap year as an au pair in Hamburg, then working as a language assistant in Aurich, Ostfriesland.

From language studies, Mary moved into the travel industry, working with the Thomson Travel Group for 15 years. Starting with a summer season as a holiday rep in Majorca in 1987, she then moved to Thomson Holidays’ head office in London in the Flight Planning department.

Reaching senior management after a few years, she became Head of Flight Planning, managing the routes, slots and scheduling for the largest fleet of charter aircraft in the UK. This expanded to include a fleet of Scandinavian aircraft after she transferred to Britannia Airways at Luton Airport and served as a key member of the Thomson Travel acquisition team through the years of big buyouts in the holiday industry.

Once Thomson itself had been bought out, Mary chose to leave the travel industry and moved to Kendal, enjoying rural life in the Lake District for 6 years before returning South in 2009 to run her own small business.

She now specialises in the fast moving field of online marketing, providing expert advice and hands-on marketing tech support for small businesses.

Mary sings with the Brighton Chamber Choir, follows Formula One and still gets a buzz from visiting airports and flying whenever she can. She lives in Sussex with her partner Nick and cat Jenson.

Elected 13th October 2017

Junior Warden

Mr Piers Williamson

Junior Warden - Piers Williamson

Piers was born and brought up in London and studied Economics at the University of Leeds.

He joined Nat West International in the City of London in 1983 and in his six years there performed a wide variety of roles including working in UK corporate marketing, financial futures broking and assessing corporate credit risk.

In the late 80’s he left to join a centralised mortgage lender run by the merchant bank Kleinwort Benson and began to specialise in bank treasury management and securitisation.

In 1992 he became the UK Treasurer of HFC Bank and specialised in all forms of bank funding and treasury management as well as completing a spell conducting mergers and acquisitions principally in Poland and Hungary.

In 2002 Piers took on his current role, as Chief Executive of The Mortgage Finance Corporation (THFC…not to be confused with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club!).  THFC is a specialist finance company lending over £6Bn of long-term institutional funding to UK Housing Associations.  As well as running THFC, Piers has spent a spell on the Board of the regulator of Housing Associations and has recently been advising the Australian Federal Treasury on housing matters.

Piers is a qualified professional treasurer and banker.

Outside work, Piers is a Trustee of Ealing Junior Music School (a Saturday school for over 300 budding musicians) and he also plays bass guitar in two bands.  His eldest daughter, Hannah has recently been made a Currier.

Elected 13th October 2017