New Master reveals plans for an active year ahead

In keeping with a 500-year old tradition, the Society of Merchant Venturers (SMV) has announced the appointment of a new Master who will hold office for the coming 12 months. For the year 2018-19, Tony Kenny, a member of SMV since 2006, will spearhead the Society’s work across five key pillars: Education; Care for Older People; Charitable Giving; Social Business; and Stewardship of the Clifton and Durdham Downs.

Tony graduated from Oxford Polytechnic in 1985 and moved to Bristol where he was articled to Price Waterhouse. After qualification he set up a corporate finance business for the firm in Bristol and was admitted to the partnership in 1997. He later led the corporate finance business for PwC in the South West and Wales and worked for a period in their London office. After retiring from PwC, Tony set up a specialist corporate finance business in Bristol and advised on the management buyout and subsequent sale of a number of prominent local businesses. Today, Tony still acts as a non-executive director for several Bristol based companies.

Education has always been an important part of Tony’s work with SMV. He was involved in the planning for Merchants’ Academy and served as a governor and Chair of the Finance Committee from the time of its opening in 2008. He has also been a governor of Colston’s School since 2005, where he was Chair until November 2018.

In the year ahead, Tony plans to look closely at the sixth form provision across the Society’s three secondary schools and help to grow the network of businesses that can provide real-world educational opportunities for students.

Tony also plans to help facilitate productive engagement between the various businesses and organisations that promote the region as an attractive location for inward investment. “By bringing both national and international investment into the South West, new opportunities and jobs are created which significantly contributes to the long-term sustainability of the region’s economy,” he said. “We can add value through the wide-reaching expertise of our members, combined with the strong relationships the Society has developed with businesses and organisations across the region.”

The annual appointment of the Society’s new Master always takes place on Charter Day which commemorates the granting of the Royal Charter by Edward VI in 1552, endorsed by Charles I in 1639. Charter Day takes place on 10th November, or on the closest Monday after the 10th if the 10th falls on a weekend. Following a service held in the Cathedral, the Master, together with two Wardens, twelve Assistants and the Treasurer, is sworn in at Merchants’ Hall.