International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde will speak at the inaugural Helen Alexander Memorial Lecture in London on 17th September.
The annual address is devoted to the memory of Dame Helen Alexander, a much loved and pioneering figure in British business, and is supported by Helen’s family and by four organisations with which she was closely associated: The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), The Economist, the University of Southampton and UBM. This year’s lecture will be hosted by Bloomberg.
The overarching theme of the lecture is “Women on Business”. Each year, the speaker will be a prominent woman talking on an important aspect of business to an audience of business leaders.
Christine Lagarde is expected to focus on the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals, which encompass the idea that economic growth must be accompanied by social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, said:
“Helen was a brilliant champion of diversity and fought tirelessly to improve the gender balance in business leadership. Through this memorial lecture her legacy can continue to inspire change in the boardroom and beyond.
“I can’t think of a more fitting speaker than Christine Lagarde for Helen’s inaugural memorial lecture.”
Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief at The Economist, said:
"Helen brought a rare combination of talents to business - a mix of intelligence, level-headedness, humanity and decency. An annual lecture by a prominent woman on a topical business theme is an ideal way to build on her legacy, and Christine Lagarde is the ideal inaugural speaker."
John Micklethwait CBE, Editor-in Chief, Bloomberg News:
"We are delighted to host this event at Bloomberg. Helen was one of those business leaders whose legacy went well beyond commercial success; wherever you go in the world, you meet people whose lives she changed. She would have loved the idea of this lecture; and been even happier that Cristine Lagarde is delivering it."
Notes to editors:
About Christine Lagarde:
Christine Lagarde has been the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund since July 2011.
Before that she was the Finance Minister of France, the first woman to occupy that position in a G-7 country. During that period, she chaired the Ecofin council (which brings together Economics and Finance Ministers of the European Union), helping to foster international policies related to financial supervision, regulation, and strengthening global economic governance.
As Chairman of the G-20 when France took over its Presidency for the year 2011, she set in motion a wide-ranging work agenda on the reform of the international monetary system.
Prior to joining the French government, she had been Chairman of the Executive Committee of the international law firm Baker & McKenzie since 1999. Born in Paris in 1956, Christine Lagarde graduated from law school at University Paris X, and obtained a Master’s degree from the Political Science Institute in Aix-en-Provence.