The Master – Nigel MacDonald
Nigel Colin Lock Macdonald is a former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (“ICAS”). He retired from partnership in Ernst & Young in July 2003 after serving for 28 years in that position and continues to act professionally in a number of roles.
He is Chairman of James Lock & Co, the country’s oldest hatter, having been formed in 1676, and is a seventh-generation member of the Lock family. Nigel is a member of the Board of Coca-Cola Hellenic, a FTSE 100 company and one of the largest bottling companies in the world, operating in 28 countries, and is Chairman of its Audit Committee. He was a member of the Cadbury Committee, whose report is recognised throughout the world as the foundation for the establishment of best practice guidance in Corporate Governance. He then contributed to the OECD study and was a joint author of a study for the European Commission on this complex topic. Nigel is Chairman of the Royal Museums Greenwich Foundation and was formerly Senior Trustee of the National Maritime Museum from 2003 until 2012. He is currently Chairman of the Awareness Foundation, a charity concerned with building better relationships between Christians and followers of Islam.
He and his wife are Elders of their church and both are in active leadership roles there, with Nigel currently serving as Church Secretary. He is also a lay preacher and is an advisor to his denomination’s national trustee body. Nigel also chairs the ministerial deployment committee of his region within the denomination. In addition, he is Chairman of a pre-school owned by his local church and Vice Chairman of a housing charity for the elderly, based locally to his home.
Nigel was installed as Master Feltmaker on 5th July 2021 and will serve an extended term until 7th October 2022.
Upper Warden – Neil Edwards
Neil Edwards joined the Livery in 1997. After 2 years as a Steward, he was elected to the Court in 2007 where his highlight has been proposing the toast to the guests at dinners for three Masters: Past Master Geoffrey Vero, Past Master Eda Rose Lawson and Past Master Peter Simeons. At the latter’s Installation Dinner in October 2015 he commenced his toast by blowing a referee’s whistle as it coincided with the start of the 2015 Rugby World Cup!
Neil is founder and chief executive of Green Parking, who offer boutique parking services to the property industry, and has built and operated two other parking businesses, one of which was sold to NCP in 2002. He initially qualified and trained as a Chartered Surveyor with Healey and Baker where the late Past Master Peter Winfield introduced him to the Livery. Seconded by Past Master Peter Keens, he was admitted at the Spring Dinner at Trinity House in 1996.
Educated at City of London School, Neil has had a long understanding of the Corporation of London and its traditions and events. He has also been on the Livery Society Committee and organised the Master’s Golf Day for a number of years. Most recently he was appointed Chairman of the newly formed Feltmakers’ Events Committee .
Outside work and the Livery, he is on the committee of the East India Club and has been a keen sportsman over the years, playing rugby for Harlequins, the Barbarians and Scotland, earning six caps during his playing career. These days are spent following Quins from the stands, as well as enjoying racing over the flat and jumps.
Neil is married to Nicki with a son Jamie 24 , an actor and illustrator and a daughter Jody, 22 who herself is enjoying a successful sporting life and in her third year at Leeds Beckett university.
Renter Warden – Simon Wilkinson
Simon Wilkinson was born and bred in Buckinghamshire. Following his father John, he joined the Livery in 2000 and the Court in 2006. His association with the hat trade dates back to his great-grandfather who owned hat factories in Luton from the late 1880s to the 1920s, where he was also Lord Mayor.
Simon is principal of the family owned land and estate agency practice, focusing on strategic development in the Oxford to Cambridge arc. He is on the board of Propertymark, sits on two government ‘Working Groups’ recommending changes to the house buying/selling process and to regulations. He also sits on a Bank of England panel.
In 1980, he joined the Territorial Army (Royal Green Jackets) and was commissioned in 1987. In 2003, Simon was compulsorily mobilised for six months as a Lieutenant Colonel and was Chief of Staff for all the Humanitarian Operations across Iraq. More recently, he has held key posts in the Army Reserve in a variety of disciplines.
Simon is Chairman of Trustees for the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust, representative County Colonel for The Rifles in Buckinghamshire and County President of Buckinghamshire Royal British Legion. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Buckinghamshire in 2007.
For his R&R, Simon enjoys country pursuits, good rations and entertaining company.
Third Warden – Jeremy Bedford
Jeremy Bedford joined the Feltmakers in 2000, following in the footsteps of his father, who was Master in 2004/5. After taking a degree in Political Science at the University of North Carolina, Jeremy joined the Corporate Finance department of Salomon Brothers in 1991 and then worked at Morgan Stanley from 1997 on the UK Equity Desk, after which he ran the Equities team at Investec in London, New York, Johannesburg and Cape Town from 2003.
In 2006 Jeremy joined the then recently founded Fulcrum Asset Management, where he became a Partner, and helped build the business to become a major institutional asset manager before setting up his own capital raising and consultancy business in 2018.
Jeremy is a Governor of Sedbergh School and is also Chairman of the Sedbergh School Foundation.
Immediate Past Master – Lady Yarrow –
Lady Yarrow served as Master of the Feltmakers from October 2019 to July 2021. Gillian Yarrow (née Clarke) was born in the UK in 1950 to parents who had married in India during the war. Much of her childhood was spent in the Far East: Ceylon, Hong Kong and Singapore, although she attended New Hall Convent, a boarding school in the UK, from the age of 9 and only flew back to her family and 2 sisters in the summer holidays.
She read history at Cardiff University attaining a 2:1 honours degree before moving to King’s College London for her PGCE. She went on to teach history in London comprehensive schools.
Married to Alan Yarrow in 1975, they have 2 sons, Max and Guy. Once Max had been diagnosed with learning difficulties and epilepsy, she gave up her teaching career to look after the family but retained her interest in education by becoming a Governor of her local comprehensive school and Chairman of Governors of Finton House, a private preparatory school in Wandsworth. She is currently on the Board of Governors of the City of London Freemen’s School in Ashtead. For the last 15 years she has been involved in fundraising for Mencap, organising a Special Events committee and helping to ensure that, when her husband became Lord Mayor in 2014, Mencap as well as Scope were beneficiaries of his Lord Mayor’s Appeal. She was also actively involved in helping with the fundraising events during his year.
In 2008 Gilly was admitted to the Feltmakers’ Livery and in 2011 elected on Court, becoming Fourth Warden in 2016. Her hobbies include reading, swimming, tennis, golf and kitchen bridge! She is a member of the Hurlingham Club and the Royal Wimbledon and St Enodoc Golf Clubs.