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Paul Lester on Following Your Passion and Investing in Younger Generations

Mar 7, 2024 | ArtXCity, TEA Insights

AxC Podcast with Paul Lester

The meeting point of art and commerce is ever-changing and hard to define. What place does art have in the world of finance? How can young, savvy individuals learn to secure their footing in the world of work through smart investment? What advice do successful entrepreneurs have for the youth of today about finance, culture, and belief in the self? These are all questions ‘Art and the City’ seeks to answer, by interviewing some of the brightest and boldest minds in both the art world and the city. 

In this week’s episode, we interview Paul Lester, CBE, who boasts impressive experience of over 30 years in the roles of non-executive director and chair. Paul is a chartered engineer from the West Midlands, and a Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers who has also been awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws. He became a Freeman of the City of London in 2006 and has great experience working for PLCs, including those in the FTSE 100. He is a great friend and ally of TEA.  

Paul begins by outlining his journey to the city as one that took the advice, “follow what you like and what you’re good at”. Despite starting out as an engineering student in Birmingham, and spending time on factory flaws learning about all aspects of the job, he soon realised he had a passion for business that was greater than his degree. After following his gut and the important words “if you feel it’s not right for you, change.”, he started a career in the city, and encourages others to have a similar philosophy.  

After 30 years of working in industry, the biggest change Paul would like to see is in the domain of shareholder equity and accessibility. He encourages those with pension funds to invest back into businesses, and also for retail investors to continue putting back into companies and individuals, to make up for institutional failures. This is part of Paul’s work with The Engagement Appeal, which supports increased diversity, equity, and transparency in the world of shareholder engagement and investment.  

Paul also speaks on the important of thinking outside of the box, even in science and maths-based subjects. And finally, he chooses to spend his symbolic £10 on investing in future generations, specifically his granddaughter, a successful touring DJ.  

To learn more about shareholder engagement, please head to: 

Listen to the podcast episode: Art x City Podcast feat. Paul Lester

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