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Sheila Nicoll OBE to become Lay Canon at St Paul’s

Sheila Nicoll OBE, Head of Public Policy at Schroders, has been appointed as a Lay Canon and member of Chapter at St Paul’s, the Cathedral’s governing body. 

The appointment was approved by the Bishop of London, and Sheila will be installed at Evensong in the Cathedral in November.

As a Lay Canon, Sheila will be a full member of Chapter and will share in the governance and oversight of the Cathedral’s work and worship. Lay Canons work part-time and bring much experience and expertise which is vital to helping shape and implement the policy of Chapter.

Sheila has been closely involved in the development of the financial services regulatory system in the UK and Europe since 1982 and has, more recently, been involved in church-sponsored initiatives to promote responsible finance.  She will have a particular oversight of finance and business on Chapter, working alongside Lay Canon Gavin Ralston.  

She is an Elder at St Columba’s Church of Scotland in London.  

Before joining Schroders Sheila was a Senior Adviser at EY. From 2007 to 2013 she was at the Financial Services Authority where she led a division supervising mid-sized financial services institutions during the financial crisis, before becoming Director of Conduct Policy and part of the leadership team which created the Financial Conduct Authority. 

Previously she was Deputy Chief Executive of the Investment Management Association and held several policy roles at the London Stock Exchange, including before and after “Big Bang”.

Sheila has been chosen as one of the Financial News 100 Most Influential Women in European Finance several years running, including in 2017 and is a member of a range of industry boards and committees.    

She holds a non-executive role as Secretary of the Churches’ Mutual Credit Union, an ecumenical initiative of British churches to provide responsible financial services. She was also a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Task Group on Responsible Credit and Savings and is a trustee of the Just Finance Foundation, which oversees the core programmes initiated by that Group. 

Speaking about her appointment, Sheila said: “I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to contribute to the work and witness of St Paul’s as a Lay Canon. I very much look forward to being part of the Cathedral community, joining such a talented group of people in the Chapter and supporting its outreach and worship. It is a particular pleasure, as a member of, and elder in, the Church of Scotland, to have been invited to take on this role, which is in the spirit of the Columba Declaration which was signed in November 2016 by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and which commits the two churches to growing together in communion and in strengthening our partnership in mission”.     

The Very Reverend David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s, said: “The Chapter of St Paul's are delighted to welcome Sheila Nicoll OBE as its newest member, as she brings wide experience of finance and business in Britain and beyond to help us with our governance of the Cathedral, together with a personal commitment to socially responsible financial initiatives. We also welcome her as an elder in the Church of Scotland at St Columba's in London, enriching our ecumenical links in the UK; and we value her European connections at a time of transition for the UK in its relationship with Europe. We look forward to the contribution she will make to our work in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the city around us.”