MANXWOMAN Wendy Mayall has spoken of her joy after being judged one of the 100 most influential women working in European finance.
Mother-of-two Wendy, 54, attended a glittering event at Christie’s in London and said she was delighted to be picked as one of the cream of female executives working in European financial markets.
She has enjoyed a sparkling career which has seen her hit the public spotlight but told Business News: ‘I am proud of my Manx roots and always look forward to coming home.’
She also hinted that she and her barrister husband David may one day buy a home of their own in the island.
Her parents Peter and Rosalia Black are preparing for their 60th wedding anniversary this coming weekend and Wendy is looking forward to sharing in the occasion.
The 100 Most Influential Women were selected by Financial News’s editorial panel from a long list of women working in finance.
Wendy’s brother Geoff Black is one of the bosses of Black Grace Cowley in the island.
And her parents who are now retired, once ran the Alexandra and Douglas Bay hotels.
Her maternal grandfather Carlo Raineri was responsible for establishing the hotels as part of a chain of establishments in the island.
The Raineri family were generally renowned as a major player in the island’s tourism.
Wendy has fond memories of her childhood, riding horses and making life-long friends. She attended Douglas High School before going to the University of Manchester where she attained a BSc in Management Sciences and later an MSc in Business Finance.
She was awarded the Lomax Memorial Prize for the best dissertation by a final year student. In 2000, Wendy was presented by The University of Manchester with the award ‘Outstanding Alumna of the Year 2000’.
Wendy was destined for a high-flying career and after various leading positions with companies including Thorn EMI, Rogers, Casey and Baksdale, Stamford Associates she joined Unilever in 1994 as consultant to corporate pensions.
She became chief investment officer of the Unilever UK Pension Fund and it was in this top role that she hit the global headlines 10 years ago.
On October 15 2001, Unilever, the consumer giant, took on Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, in the highest profile legal dispute ever seen between a pension scheme and its fund manager.
Wendy was thrust into the public spotlight as she clinched one of the most famous victories the City of London had witnessed for years.
Wendy reiterates the comment she made at the time : ‘pleased, pleased, pleased’ to describe her reaction to the court victory which was covered extensively in the press and TV.
During her long tenure at Unilever, she led the in-house investment team in the development of investment strategy solutions, asset – liability management, and the development, implementation and monitoring of portfolios across all asset classes, incorporating investors and investment managers from around the globe.
Wendy joined consulting firm Stamford Associates last year as head of strategy but feels it is time to look at other opportunities in the financial world of business.
Wendy married David at St Peter’s Church, Onchan. Barrister David is a part time immigration judge and recorder in London. Their son James, 23, is a trainee solicitor and daughter Sophie, 21, is a politics student.
Speaking from her holiday apartment in the Algarve, Wendy, who lives in London, said she is looking forward to returning to the island this weekend. ‘The island is such a sociable place and I’ll be meeting up with some good friends.
‘One of the things I love about the island is you are never far from the sea. It make such a change from London.’ And she added: ‘We may even consider having our own house in the island one day.’