The Rector of City, University of London is The Lord Mayor of London and appointed each year in November.
Alderman William Russell took office as the 692nd Lord Mayor of the City of London on 8th November 2019.
Because of the pandemic, uniquely he continues in office for a second year, commencing in November 2020.
He served as a Sheriff of the City of London in 2016-17 and, in that capacity, supported the then Lord Mayor, undertaking numerous visits and official functions.
His mayoral theme for his first year in office was Global UK: Trade, Innovation and Culture, aiming to grow global trade, champion innovation and promote a rich and vibrant cultural and creative economy.
Alderman Russell has over thirty years’ experience in the City and held senior positions in national and international Banking sector.
In 1987 he joined First Boston Corporation before moving to Merrill Lynch in 1992 as an Investment Banker in Institutional Equity Sales, working in Asia, New York and London. He is currently Chair of CDAM, a London based Asset Management business and Senior Advisor to STJ Advisors.
Alderman Russell served on the Board of Innovate Finance, the industry body for the UK based Fintech community and is an educational entrepreneur, as the co-Founder and Chair of Knightsbridge School and a Director of Knightsbridge School International (KSI).
He is a member of the Campaign Board for Durham Inspired, a landmark philanthropic campaign focused on ensuring Durham remains at the forefront of learning, research and education for generations to come.
Alderman Russell has several charitable interests. He has served as Chair of the Development Board of the Royal Court Theatre, he is a Board Member of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and is on the Council of the Royal Theatrical Support Trust.
He is immediate past Chair of Prostate Cancer UK and is currently Deputy Chair of Place2Be, a children’s mental health charity. Since July 2019 he has been a member of the Barbican Centre Board.
William was elected Alderman for the Ward of Bread Street in March 2013 and has since served on a number of the City of London Corporation Committees including the Policy and Resources Committee and the Education Board.
William is also a Governor of the City of London School for Girls and is a past Governor of the Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, Adams Grammar School and Abraham Darby Academy.
He is a Court Assistant to both the Haberdashers’ and the Feltmakers’ Livery Companies, as well as an Honorary Liveryman of the Paviors’ Company.
Alderman Russell was born in London in 1965 and was educated at Eton College and Durham University. He is married to Hilary who also went to Durham University. They have four children: Edward (27), Nicholas (24), Alistair (22) and Helena (17). His interests include cricket, tennis, rugby and the theatre.
He has a strong family history with the City of London. He is the fifth member of his family to be Lord Mayor in the past 110 years. His grandfather, Sir Ian Bowater, was Lord Mayor exactly 50 years ago from 1969 to 1970 and his great grandfather, Sir Frank Bowater, was Lord Mayor from 1938 to 1939.