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Ali Azeem, Co-Chairman
Ali has been involved in City Future since it was founded in 2007; developing the organisation as well as providing support on policy. Through this work, he took on a role working for George Osborne MP, on economic policy development, in his Treasury team. Following this, Ali ran in Chadwell during the May 2010 elections, where he cut the needed swing by almost half. He was also Deputy Chairman of Conservative Future London.
Outside of politics, Ali worked at the WPP-owned strategy house, Millward Brown Optimor, where he became the company’s youngest Associate Director. During his time at Optimor, Ali was presented with the prestigious international award of ‘Consultant of the Year’ by the professional body CIMA, where he had previously qualified as a Chartered Management Accountant. He has since gone on to start his own investment-backed businesses in technology and consulting.
Ali graduated from Cambridge University, where he studied Mathematics and Computer Science. While at Cambridge, he was on the committee for the Cambridge Union and Cambridge Future, and director of Varsity Newspaper. Ali is also currently Treasurer of Oxbridge Muslim Alumni. Follow @
Sean Garman, Co-Chairman
Sean joined City Future’s Shadow Treasury team in 2008 before becoming a committee member in 2009 and Co-Chairman with Ali Azeem in 2011.
He is an Associate at Lloyds Banking Group, working in the award-winning Acquisition Finance department. Sean takes part in a number of UK and European transactions involving private equity clients. He started in Lloyds in 2007 as a Graduate Trainee, became a Member of the ACCA and moved to leveraged finance in 2010. In 2012 Sean was seconded to the restructuring unit at Lloyds focusing on distressed, pan-European leveraged finance borrowers.
Prior to this, he graduated from with a Bachelor of Commerce-Accounting from Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. There, Sean was the Vice Chairman of the Students’ Council and President of the Liberal Club for two years, and was the Student Representative on the University Disciplinary Committee. He has been a committee member of the Young Icebreakers, the under-35 arm of the historic ‘Club 48’, promoting Sino-British business relations and trade, and has written a number of articles for ConservativeHome, City Future and Platform 10. Sean is interested in economics, foreign affairs, history and rugby union. Follow @seansjg
Daniel Yates, Policy – on sabbatical
Daniel read economics at Nottingham University where he specialised in advanced macro-economics. It was his desire to understand the intricate relationships between macro-economic variables that sparked his interest in finance and the relationships between asset prices. He is interested in economic policy and regulation of the banking industry.
Upon graduation Daniel started work at WestLB, a German Investment Bank, where he gained a thorough grounding in the global financial markets working on the foreign exchange, structured credit, interest rate derivatives and emerging markets trading desks during his training program. Daniel was most recently an Associate Director at Portigon Financial Services within Emerging Markets trading.
In addition to his role chairing the Policy Committee Daniel also sits on the Professional Standards and Market Practices Committee for the CFA Society of the UK where he contributes to consultation responses. In 2010 as part of Project Umubano, Daniel advised the Capital Markets Advisory Council on how to develop the Rwandan capital markets. Keen to promote entrepreneurship, Daniel is also a business mentor for the Prince’s Trust.
Andrew White, Policy
Andrew has been involved with City Future since 2009 and has been a member of the policy committee since its inception in 2010. He has contributed a large number of articles to the blog, as well as to City Future’s formal submissions to the budget, consultations on financial regulation, and the setting up of the Prudential Regulations Authority and Financial Conduct Authority.
Andrew has an academic background in Economics having gained a scholarship and a First in PPE from Oxford. His professional background is in the subject, having worked for the boutique economics firm Vivid Economics, and currently working in the economics arm of FTI Consulting.
Andrew has also worked in operations for Tesco, building demand forecasting models for special event periods like Christmas and Easter, and as an advisor to the Conservative MPs Matthew Hancock and Richard Spring. Follow @white_andy
Raveem Ismail, Internal Communications
Raveem has an MPhys, MSc and DPhil in Physics from Oxford (Queen’s, Wolfson, St Edmund Hall), where he was involved in rifle shooting (Half-Blue), heraldry, riding, Muslim outreach and Muslim-Jewish interfaith. He is now on the committee of the Oxbridge Muslim Alumni and sub-committee of the Aldgate Ward Club, and works in the (re)insurance sector in the analysis of catastrophic terrorism and political risk. Follow @raveem
James Symes, Events
James is currently an Associate with KPMG in the financial services sector. He works across a broad range of engagements specialising in Investment Management and Funds.
Prior to joining KPMG, James studied Accounting and Finance at Exeter University attaining a first. There he set-up a specialist mountain bike parts manufacturer, Drift-MTB, in Cornwall. The company raised start-up capital through the university and is still operating today.
James is interested in international development and travelled to Rwanda as a volunteer with Project Umubano. In Rwanda he was a course leader on the Financial Literacy Programme which helped SMEs gain a greater understanding of finance to improve access to capital.
In his spare time James enjoys watching cricket and is a school governor. Follow @JSymesUK
Bim Afolami, Secretary
Bim is an Associate at law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP.
At Oxford University, Bim played football for the University and for his college. He served on many positions in the Oxford Union, culminating in occupying the post of Oxford Union Librarian (Vice President). Since then he has spent time working for leading members of the Shadow Cabinet such as former MP Howard Flight and Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, and for the think-tank The Centre for Social Justice.
In his spare time Bim is a school Governor, reads history books, plays squash, and spends too many lazy Sundays watching the Good Wife, Homeland and Downton Abbey. Follow @BimAfolami