Professor Michael Mainelli

Michael Mainelli

Chairman, Z/Yen Group

Professor Michael Mainelli MStJ PhD MPhil BA FCCA FCSI(Hon) FBCS FRSA CITP FIC CMC MEI is a qualified accountant, securities professional, computer specialist, and management consultant, educated at Harvard University and Trinity College Dublin. He gained his PhD at the London School of Economics where he was also Visiting Professor of Innovation & IT. Originally a research scientist in aerospace (rocket science) and computing (architecture & cartography), after directing mapping projects in Switzerland he became a senior partner with accountants BDO Binder Hamlyn directing global consulting, and Corporate Development Director for Europe’s largest R&D firm, then the Ministry of Defence’s 14,000 strong Defence Evaluation & Research Agency. During a mergers & acquisitions spell in merchant banking with Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, he founded Z/Yen in 1994, the City of London’s leading think-tank, promoting societal advance through better finance and technology, renowned for its Global Financial, Green Finance, and Smart Centres indices.

[Michael is on sabbatical while serving as the 695th Lord Mayor of London]

Michael’s career summary is a decade of technology research, a decade in finance, then three decades at Z/Yen combining research and finance for social purposes. Career highlights include:

  • developing a £100M+ business within the UK Ministry of Defence operating as grade 3/military 2-star equivalent commercialising defence technology;
  • growing a global accountancy consultancy, BDO Consulting, profitably to 100+ people with finance, technology, government, professional services, and NGO clients, several international privatisations;
  • conceiving, creating, and directing the first complete digital map of the world project, Mundocart (a 1980’s Google Earth), and the $20M Geodat consortium cartography project;
  • investment and start-up successes, e.g. built Sirius Minerals plc to £1bn valuation, floating US$160M medical imagery firm, numerous tech start-ups, several large privatisations and fund turnarounds.

Michael is Chairman of Z/Yen Group; Emeritus Professor of Commerce and Honorary Life Fellow of Gresham College; Senior Independent Director of the United Kingdom Accreditation Service and AIM-listed Wishbone Gold plc; City & Guilds Council Member; Trustee of Morden College; Fellow of Goodenough College; Visiting Professor at UCL’s Bartlett School. Awards include a UK Foresight Challenge Award for the Financial Laboratory; UK Smart Award for prediction software; Technology Strategy Board Challenge Award for financial avatars; British Computer Society Director of the Year; Gentiluomo of the Associazione Cavalieri di San Silvestro; Consigliere del Senato Accademico of L’Accademia Tiberina; ‘Hons’ award from the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment; Member of the Order of St John; Honorary Fellow of King’s College London; Honorary Bencher of Middle Temple.

He is an Alderman of the City of London, Trustee of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, Director of the Lord Mayor’s Show, and late Sheriff of the City of London 2019-2021, with charity interests in the environment, education, and care. Michael is Past Master of the World Traders, Craft-Owning Freeman of the Watermen & Lightermen, Honorary Liveryman of the Worshipful Companies of Furniture Makers, Water Conservators, Marketors, Tax Advisers, International Bankers, Management Consultants, Security Professionals, Engineers, Architects, Makers of Playing Cards, and Scientific Instrument Makers, Honorary Freeman of the Educators, and member of the City Livery Club and Guild of Freemen.

Michael has published over 60 journal and 250 commercial articles. His third book with Ian Harris, The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions, won the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize. Michael’s interests include skiing, woodcarving, bagpipes, glassblowing, and racing boats & barges. With an international family, he speaks English, German, French, and Italian poorly, but even worse Chinese, while not sure about Flemish and Dutch. All Michael's articles can be read here.

Interest Links

mrm cartoon drawing - 2023 edit


Z/Yen, Long Finance, Financial Services Club, and Esop Centre

Global Financial Centres Index, Global Green Finance Index, Smart Centres Index, ChainZy


City of London Corporation, Broad Street Ward & Broad Street Ward Club

Non-Executive Director:

United Kingdom Accreditation Service

Wishbone Gold plc


Gresham College

City & Guilds

Morden College

Goodenough College

The Lord Mayor’s Appeal

The Lord Mayor’s 800th Anniversary Awards Trust

Sea-Change Sailing Trust

The Thames Match


Mainelli Blog

Professional Articles

Gresham Lectures

The Price Of Fish: A New Approach To Wicked Economics & Better Decisions, Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2011 - - winner of the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards Finance, Investment & Economics Gold Prize - Kindle

Finally, a bit of fun, my 'Chinese name' 梅睿孟 [Mei Rui Meng] "the wisdom of Mei is priory", and travels over time in red:

MapChart_Map MRM World Tour 2023

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