Our History

      • As they say, the rest is history, but for now it is the future...

      • In June, to provide continuity during the covid-19 pandemic, Sheriff & Alderman Professor Michael Mainelli is asked by the City of London to take on the role of Sheriff for a second year, the first time this has happened since 1228.
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      • Z/Yen begins planning to address covid-19 in January, helps arrange personal protection equipment (PPE) that arrives in China in February, and enacts its own disaster recovery plan in February. Read Z/Yen's lockdown thoughts and stories, as well as Z/Yen's actions to help from April 2020 till April 2021. After years of product planning, on 1 April, Z/Yen launches Chair Miles, just in time to help with covid-19.


      • On 1 January, Z/Yen takes on the staff and management of the Esop Centre from Malcolm Hurlston who becomes Life President.
      • And in December we release All Eyes on Astana; an update on the progress being made in the Astana International Finance Centre (AIFC) in the realm of international financial competitiveness.

      All Eyes On Astana December  2018

      • update on the progress being made in the Busan International Finance Center (BIFC).

      Focus on Busan October 2018

      • GFCI 23 & GFCI 24 are launched in March and September respectively with a lot of attention.

      • On 14 March, the Global Green Finance Index (GGFI) is launched in Brussels. The GGFI ranks the world’s financial centres according to perceptions of the quality and depth of their green finance offerings. It's second edition is published in September.

      GGFI1 Cover

      • Long Finance's Distributed Futures publishes 8 reports and...

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      ...in conjunction with Financial Centre Futures launches a study on developing a Smart Jurisdictions Index. Such an index aims to help investors, governments, and regulators track how attuned financial centres are to attracting new lines of business such as fintech or new financial products. This evolves into the Smart Centres Index.

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      • Long Finance's Eternal Coin's “Economic Simulation And Control Of Cryptocurrencies” project develops the technical framework for a simulator, supported by two workshops and the publication of a report.

      Control Framework For Cryptocurrencies Cover.png

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      • Z/Yen is awarded the Diamond Quality Mark as a result of the staff’s continued contribution to charity through payroll giving.


      • Z/Yen continues its CommunityZ development work with the Church of England, with over 4,000 parishes submitting some or all of their data using the on-line system built by Z/Yen and the roll-out continuing to a further 10 dioceses in 2013.
      • The Long Finance, CISI and ACCA sponsored proposal on Confidence Accounting is published, with a number of events held during a four month consultation period. The proposal receives press coverage in The Financial Times.
      • The Long Finance Spring and Autumn Conferences are hosted by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and University College London respectively, with other Long Finance events taking place throughout the year.
      • Z/Yen is awarded the Platinum Quality Mark as a result of the staff’s continued contribution to charity through payroll giving.
      • The Price of Fish is awarded the Gold Medal in the Finance, Investment and Economics category of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
      • Z/Yen establishes its Swiss office in Geneva, headed up by Chiara von Gunten.
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    • Road To Long Finance

      • Index-linked carbon bonds are proposed at the World Bank Government Borrowers' Forum in Ljubljana as an incentive to governments to meet their reduced emission targets.
      • The Carbon Calculator goes live on the London Accord website, allowing anyone to explore scenarios giving the impact of a carbon price on business costs.
      • London Accord project publishes 780 page report at Mansion House with the City of London Corporation, 24 investment research firms and banks, and BP.
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      • London Accord has float in the Lord Mayor's Show.

      Lord Mayors Show 2007 London Accord Float V2

      • Z/Yen receives gold award for charitable giving in the workplace.
      • Z/Yen selected as finalists for the Working Families Innovation Award.
      • Z/Yen moved into its new, larger office at the end of September, but the address is still 5-7 St Helens Place!
      • Michael Mainelli chairs first Farsight Award won by Citigroup.
      • Z/Yen helps NSPCC and The Children's Society to launch co-sourcing venture "Charityshare".
      • Michael Mainelli honoured with a British Computer Society Individual Excellence Award, 2004/2005 Medallist - IT Director of the Year (SME).
      • Z/Yen Financial Services benchmarking has grown so much we establish a permanent Far East presence in Singapore.
      • Z/Yen achieves 40% market penetration of UK Voluntary Sector.
      • Michael Mainelli takes on Chairmanship of the Broad Street Ward Club 2004/2005.
      • Z/Yen launches VizZy, a complementary visualisation system for PropheZy.
      • Z/Yen launches PropheZy in January. Two clients use PropheZy in first two months. Department of Trade and Industry bestows Smart Award of £45,000 on Z/Yen for PropheZy.
      • A record number investment banks and brokerages participate in a record number of global studies and benchmarks. Z/Yen conducts major liquidity analysis for a large stock exchange and extensive customer study for a clearing house.
      • The US Journal of Business Strategy serialises Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen.
      • Z/Yen works with Prime Minister's Strategy Unit on sustainable fishing using risk/reward.
      • Z/Yen's charity insurance benchmark helps charities tackle rapidly rising costs.
      • Z/Yen acquires Aspect Consulting from Kaizo and gains a new director, Stephen Martin, to head up the Intelligence Practice.
      • Mark Yeandle joins to head up SpecialiZm, Z/Yen's expert resourcing division.
      • Project Auguri, led by Alan Helmore-Simpson, begins research into statistical prediction leading to PropheZy.
      • ICSA Publishing brings out Z/Yen’s Information Technology for the Not-for-Profit Sector as well as a Best Practice Guide, Information Technology Governance in the Not-for-Profit Sector.
      IT for Not for Profit

      • Z/Yen takes assignment-related stakes in HTTP Technology Inc and CityAxis Limited. HTTP’s Medicsight system for cancer detection, built with Z/Yen assistance, goes into trials. Z/Yen sells its stake in Milet to an MBO.
      • Competitive cost comparison work for investment banks extends to four studies in the year involving over 23 banks across Europe.
      • Marine Stewardship Council yields two public relations coups: a version of the Z/Yen bourse game at St James’ Palace with prizes presented by HRH The Prince of Wales plus coverage of our “fishy maths” work in the Economist.
      • Z/Yen wins a cricket match for the first time in its history, beating The Children’s Society by a short square leg.
      • Jeremy Smith, a former Managing Director with Deutsche Bank, joins Z/Yen as the director to head up the Financial Services Practice.
      • Z/Yen conducts the first of what become many Competitive Cost Comparison studies for investment banks with 10 participants.
      • Z/Yen establishes the multi-cultural and children’s publishing firm, Milet and takes assignment-related stakes in Zaroo.com plc.
      • Z/Yen’s long-awaited humorous risk/reward management novel, Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen, is published by Milet. The novel is acclaimed Sunday Times “Book of the Week” in July.

      • Z/Yen’s first patent submission is cleared for the game of FatCat.
      • Z/Yen bids adieu to an old friend whose work is done, Taskforce 2000, a few months in to the year 2000.
      • Z/Yen’s joint establishment in 1996 of Taskforce 2000 with the Ministry of Defence and Computing Services & Software Association comes to a successful end, thanked profusely by the financial services sector.
      • Z/Yen and other COMAX founder shareholders realise gains from COMAX’s sale to Amey plc.
      • Z/Yen undertakes a major study across Europe into the market for OTC derivatives outsourcing.
      • Z/Yen hosts a new start-up in Jaffe Associates Limited, a marketing consultancy specialising in professional services. Several joint ventures begin immediately.
      • Not-for-profit sector work goes from strength to strength, with extended work with Cancer Research Campaign, BEN, The Children’s Society and others, plus significant gains at British Heart Foundation and UNISON.
      • Z/Yen is commissioned to work on two audacious projects with The Children’s Society, project managing a short, sharp rollout of Windows in months rather than years, and commencing work on the much quoted “evidence of worth” measurement initiative for projects and units known as MART.
      • In the technology arena, Z/Yen does some pioneering work on the implications of quantum computing, including helping to establish the European Centre for Quantum Computing with Charles T Ross, and moves to providing its own web server support rather than just Compuserve.
      • Z/Yen begins the first of the popular Boating Bourse games on S.B. Lady Daphne. This original Technology Bourse is followed over the years by the Legal Bourse, Facilities Management Bourse, Cashing in on Catches Bourse (environmental), and Bull-Bear Biotech Bourse.
      • Z/Yen cranks up the effort to support Taskforce 2000. The press makes much of the fact that this shoestring organisation punches above the weight of the government’s heavily funded Action 2000. The press seems oblivious to the fact that Taskforce’s resourcing is Z/Yen people’s part-time jobs!
      • Z/Yen continues to assist and participate in the Management and Employee Buy Out of DERA’s Support Services Division, renamed COMAX Secure Business Services.
      • Z/Yen pays off founding loan, restructuring the remaining (much reduced) burden onto Messrs Harris and Mainelli.
      • Z/Yen’s client Ideal Hardware plc wins a prestigious human resources award for the HR strategy work it is doing with Z/Yen, a few days after the assignment begins (for the ideas in the proposal!). Mercifully, Ideal also wins the award again the following year for seeing the ideas through.
      • Z/Yen undertakes several prestigious IT strategy assignments for charities, including Barnardo’s, WRVS and The Children’s Society.
      • Helping to put in context the dangers of beef-on-the-bone and BSE, our team alert the public to the far-more-deadly risks of Christmas which is picked up by The Telegraph.
      • Z/Yen begins its series of famous boating trips on S.B. Lady Daphne.
      • Z/Yen establishes the £1.9M Financial Laboratory, an innovative joint venture between BZW (now Barclays Capital), Royal and Sun Alliance, The London Stock Exchange, DERA (now QinetiQ), City University, City University Business School, The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Silicon Graphics. The Financial Laboratory wins a £750,000 DTI Foresight Challenge award later that year.

      • Z/Yen conducts a major study, jointly with DERA, on central counterparty risk for the London Stock Exchange. Z/Yen works with Bloomberg in New York on its financial systems strategy.
      • Z/Yen implements a data structure, 'stacks & sleeves', for sharing confidential data among three children's charities, as covered in the FT (yes, the term also pops up in Richard K Morgan's wonderful 2002 novel, Altered Carbon).. These data structures later become known as 'blockchains' and the system evolves into Z/Yen's ChainZy blockchain.
      • The Edinburgh office opens under the stewardship of Dr Kevin Parker.
      • With co-sponsors as the Ministry of Defence, the Department of Trade & Industry, the Cofederation of British Industry (CBI), and the Computing Services and Software Association (CSSA), working with Robin Guenier Z/Yen plays a major part in founding and hosting Taskforce 2000, a private sector initiative to alert people to the Millennium Bug.
      • Z/Yen wins a major assignment to determine the Corporate Development Plan for the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA, now QinetiQ). The plan wins Ministry of Defence and HM Treasury approval and leads to the privatisation of DERA’s Support Services Division.
      • The team undertake a large assignment for British Gas establishing risk/reward contract management for a few hundred million chunk of IT outsourcing with particular attention paid to the legacy systems.
      • Z/Yen begins work with a leading computer games company, Argonaut, which then really takes off.
      • Z/Yen begins a long-term relationship with the European Fertiliser Manufacturers’ Association establishing a risk-adjusted rate of return for a viable industry which is still regularly updated.
      • Z/Yen undertakes a comprehensive strategic planning exercise with Broadcasting Support Services leading on to help with Science Line and the BBC Radio Helpline.
      • In September, Z/Yen moves from Gresham Street to St Helen's Place. Despite the fact that Z/Yen employs only five men and one woman, romance blossoms and two of the original team of six marry!

    • Z/Yen begins operations with five working directors and one practice manager. Two of the founding directors, Michael Mainelli and Ian Harris, remain on the board today.



      • Z/Yen’s first clients are ICS (a distribution company) and, in our first competitive tender, National AIDs Helpline run by Broadcasting Support Services (a charity providing care-based call centres and fulfilment) who remained a client for many years. Z/Yen boasts a 100% success rate in competitive tenders for many months.
      • The original offices were in Gresham Street, thanks to Nick Pickering of Rochester. We couldn’t get any property company to let premises to a start up, but “Uncle” Nick kindly took the space and sub-let to us.
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