2021 has been another turbulent year.
COVID-19 retains centre stage and continues to stress test the resilience of all financial markets. For us in the bullion market, we are at least able to draw on a long history, strong networks and deep expertise to retain our resilience.
The many different elements of gold – from rock to ring – have all been disrupted to varying degrees, but the market has largely been able to continue operating, despite shutdowns and home working for some. London vaults and benchmark auctions have kept operating, there has been sufficient refining capacity and dealers have been trading remotely.
It’s now just over a year since I took the reins as LBMA’s Head of Communications. In some ways, it feels much longer, but perhaps that is because we have been in the midst of unusual times whilst striving to deliver a packed programme of events, communications and campaigns.
I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight what we’ve been working on since I arrived. I won’t say too much about what is probably the cornerstone of what LBMA does – Responsible Sourcing – as you can read all about these developments in our second Responsible Sourcing Report, published just last month. And more recently, we have also published the latest iteration of our Responsible Sourcing Guidance, version 9, which builds on ESG initiatives. I would encourage you to read both reports.
For us in the bullion market, we are at least able to draw on a long history, strong networks and deep expertise to retain our resilience
One of my objectives when I arrived at LBMA was to strengthen our channels of communication to keep the market and our Members up to date with the latest news and market developments.
With that in mind, we have improved our Weekly Newsletter and bi-weekly webinar programme, and have also introduced more regular market updates, including a quarterly market report and a country/sector spotlight feature in partnership with Metals Focus.
On the publications front, the Alchemist continues to fly the flag and we will shortly launch our fifth Annual Report.
The Alchemist continues to fly the flag and we will shortly launch our fifth Annual Report
In March this year, we launched our redesigned website. We improved our site navigation and launched new functionality and features, such as the ability to download prices and data. The relaunch also included a refresh to our Newsroom and Events page, where you can find our latest news, features and events. A new Press page provides a handy reference for journalists, including quick links to publications and resources that outline our key strategic priorities.
Earlier this year, we released a digital exhibition entitled ‘The Wonders of Gold’ – curated by Stewart Murray, LBMA’s GDL Consultant. The online exhibition showcases approximately 150 items from around the world and is a real treasure trove of artefacts.
Our in-person events have unsurprisingly taken a hit this year as we had to cancel first our Conference in Lisbon and then more recently our annual black-tie Dinner at the Natural History Museum. This was very disappointing, not just from a personal perspective but also for the market, who I know really relish those opportunities to meet face to face with colleagues, clients and friends. We did manage to transition much of the content to a virtual format for the Conference as well as the Seminar that was scheduled to take place prior to the Dinner. Both events proved popular and we have had some great feedback.
As we approach a new year, while it can be useful to look back over the last 12 months’ achievements, we also must look forward with our new three-year Strategic Plan 2022-2024. Our mission continues to be the advancement of global standards, with our strategic thinking focused around four key pillars: Responsible Sourcing, Physical Market, Financial Market, and Communications and Engagement. We have also set ourselves some challenging strategic objectives to strive to better serve our Members and the industry at large.
We have also set ourselves some challenging strategic objectives to strive to better serve our Members and the industry at large.
Independent Membership Survey
A key part of measuring how we are at meeting our strategic goals is through key metrics, such as Member Satisfaction rates. This is why we commissioned an independent Membership Survey in the autumn to seek feedback from Members, Refiners and Subscribers on how LBMA is delivering against its strategic mission, as well as to consult on the key pillars of our new Strategic Plan.
The full results of the Survey will be published early in the New Year, but I can share some preliminary results with you.
Overall, LBMA is performing well, achieving an overall Members Satisfaction rate of 67%, with 20% saying they are extremely satisfied. There was also good support for the key workstreams identified for the Strategic Plan.
We would like to thank you all for taking the time to participate in the Survey and provide your feedback. We would encourage you to provide more feedback as we consult further on our Strategic Plan in the New Year.
Overall, LBMA is performing well, achieving an overall Members Satisfaction rate of 67%, with 20% saying they are extremely satisfied.