An alumnus of the Secondary School Exchange, Laurence has a background in finance and financial markets research and has worked for companies including Morgan Stanley and BNP Paribas. Here, he tells us a little about himself and his most unusual collection:
When did you first hear about the ESU?
In the sixth form at school. I spent a semester at Cranbrook School, in the northern suburbs of Detroit, Michigan, on the Secondary School Exchange. It opened my eyes to how different it is to grow up in America compared to the UK, gave me a great love of America – and is probably responsible for my career starting in an American bank!
Why did you want to become a trustee?
I admire the founding idea of the ESU – that better communication will lead to a better world – and I am proud of the programmes, both domestic and international, which the ESU runs in pursuit of that goal. As one who has benefitted greatly from what the ESU does, I want to contribute as best I can to ensuring that others continue to benefit as I did.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
In my professional life, I have taken great satisfaction in building and leading effective teams. I have found that when you bring together people with a range of perspectives and give them the mutual trust and confidence to debate and challenge each other, you get better ideas and more successful outcomes.
What do you regret most in your life?
I have been lucky enough to travel extensively for my work, and to meet lots of interesting people, but I was always rushing to get back home, especially when I had a young family. I’m not sure how I could have managed it better without missing out on being with my children, but I do wish I had been able to spend more time in the places I was privileged to visit.
Tell us something surprising about you.
I have an extensive collection of air sickness bags (unused) – friends now send them to me from all over the world!
What’s your guiltiest pleasure?
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you?
Switch it off and switch it on again.