“Commerce and Honest Friendship For All.”
Hello and welcome to our membership information page.
By becoming a member of the World Traders, you will find yourself amongst a body of people all similarly qualified and motivated, who support the ethos and the good works of traditional City life. From the outset the World Traders were determined to be a working Guild, with members connected with world trade and with the aim of raising awareness and understanding of, and standards of practice in, world trade.
You will enjoy opportunities to meet Liverymen of other companies, as well as being in an unrivalled position to offer corporate hospitality that is out of the reach of most business people.
Becoming a Liveryman offers a unique opportunity to participate in City life, both modern day business, and the traditions going back many centuries. Modernity and Tradition rest easily together in The City and The Livery.
The aims of all Livery Companies are fellowship, welfare, charitable support, and generally, to support the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council, that is, The Corporation of London.
The motto ‘commerce and honest friendship with all’ was chosen, taken from Thomas Jefferson’s inaugural Presidential speech. The Arms of the Company were designed by the late Sir Colin Cole, the then Garter King of Arms.
About the Worshipful Company of World Traders
The Worshipful Company of World Traders is a modern, vibrant and active Livery Company working within a fine tradition. Our membership comprises people from a diverse range of professions and backgrounds who come together at our social and business events to enjoy each other’s company and exchange their thoughts and ideas.
The Company is one of 110 livery companies based in the City of London. It was first formed in 1985, founded by Mr Peter Drew OBE, becoming a company in 1993.
We support the Lord Mayor as the Ambassador of the UK’s financial and professional services sectors, behave with integrity and professionalism, and believe in ‘giving back’ to society with our talents, time and charitable donations.
We believe that by ensuring competitive advantage and the benefits of specialisation are not unnaturally hindered, world trade:
- Creates prosperity
- Distributes that prosperity and wealth more broadly
- Collectively enriches our global society and communities
- Facilitates greater human understanding and increases the likelihood of mutual support
Amongst our notable events within the City of London, we host the Annual Tacitus Lecture each February to bring together key figures from around the world to discuss some of the most pressing matters and concerns facing global trade today.
Please note: the date for Tacitus 2023 is in May.
Joining the World Traders
Being a member provides you with countless opportunities and benefits within the City of London and globally.
- Experience the pageantry, and understand the history and ancient traditions of the City of London.
- Attend stimulating events – business lunches, formal dinners, informal social events, industry visits, lectures and more.
- Give back to society – with your time, talent and money.
- Enjoy the fellowship of like-minded people.
- Increase your understanding of world trade and its impact.
As a democratic Company, you could also have the opportunity to help shape the World Traders for future members. Find out more about Livery Companies here.
Types of Membership
Initially, most people join a Livery Company as a ‘Freeman’. However, if you are aged between 18 and 25, you can apply to join the World Traders as a ‘Journeyman’ at a reduced rate. Both membership types allow you to attend events, get to know the other members, and become involved in most activities of the Company.
In due course, and with the support of the Company, you will be encouraged to apply for the Freedom of the City of London, an honour which has been granted since 1237. You will thereby become a ‘Citizen and World Trader of London’. Subsequent to achieving this, you could be considered for admission as a ‘Liveryman’ – a full member. This is dependent on your contribution to the work of the Company and your attendance at events over time.
As a Liveryman you will not only be able to take the fullest part in the activities of the Company but will in addition be eligible to vote in the annual elections for the Lord Mayor, Sheriffs and certain other City Officers.
Responsibilities of Membership
The obligations of those fit and proper persons who are admitted to the Freedom and the Livery of the Company are set out in a formal declaration to the Court at the admission ceremonies. They are what are expected of a good citizen of the City. If you would like to find out more about this declaration, you may contact us for an informal discussion.
Additionally, we encourage our members to become involved with Company initiatives, such as our education and charitable efforts, our events, and our Committees wherever possible. While this is not a mandatory requirement, we do consider comradery and community to be pillars within the World Traders, and believe that it is a collective responsibility of all members, Court and Company Officers to ensure the smooth running of the Company.
Membership costs consist of two distinct elements – a one-off joining fee (known as ‘The Fine’) depending on your age, and an ongoing annual fee (known as ‘Quarterage’) again, depending on your age. These are as follows:
- Journeyman – £60, and reduced to £58 if paid by DD or BACS
- Young Freeman (aged 35 and under) – £225, reduced to £215 if paid by DD or BACS
- Freemen aged over 35 and Liverymen – £450, reduced to £430 if paid by DD or BACS
There is no Fine for Journeymen. For Freemen, the Fine is £250, reduced to £125 for those aged under 35. For Liverymen, the Fine is £500.
For further cost information please read our leaflet here.
Admission to the Company
Many older established livery companies have diminished links with their trade (usually because that trade has itself diminished). This Company, however, is particularly keen that its members do have strong links with World Trade, so that we can play an active role in the promotion and encouragement of international trade. The Company is governed by its Court of Assistants which meets four times a year (analogous to a company board of directors or club committee), and which is chaired by the Master, who holds that office for one year.
Membership of the Company is open to anyone with a connection to or interest in world trade in all its variety. To join us you will need someone to sponsor you and to have attended at least one Company event. You don’t need to know a member before considering joining us.
The maximum number of Liverymen permitted by the Company’s constitution is 300. Candidates in excess of that complement can be admitted to the Freedom of the Company, and then await a vacancy in the ranks of the Livery.
Those interested in membership are welcome to join our informal gathering at Tower Suites, 100 Minories, London, EC3N 1JY at 6pm on the first Tuesday of each month. Contact us to check the date of the next gathering, and feel free to turn up – no need to pre-book.
You can also book to attend Company events before being a member by contacting the Clerk through the details below.
You are most welcome to contact the Clerk for further information.
Details of how you can apply can be found here:
Please send your accompanying CV and headshot to:
Mrs Gaye Duffy
The Worshipful Company of World Traders
13 Hall Gardens
Herts AL4 0QF
Tel: 01727 822181
You can view our Governance Booklet here.