Master & Wardens

master-2017-18-cropCullum McAlpine – Master

Cullum McAlpine has spent his career in the family construction business of Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.

In 1976 he became a member of the National Contractors Group of the Building Employers Confederation, which he chaired in 1989, before becoming the NCG representative on the Building & Civil Engineering Industry Joint Board.

From 1997-2003 Cullum chaired the Employment Affairs Committee of the newly created Construction Confederation. In 2003 he was President of the Grateful Society, a historical Bristol Charity, and in the same year he was invited to join the Board of MITIE Group plc, the Bristol based FTSE 250 provider of outsourcing and energy services. At MITIE he chaired the Audit Committee until stepping down in 2008. Cullum was a member of the CBI Construction Council until last year.

In addition, he was a founder member of The Exploratory in the Engine Shed at Temple Meads Station, prior to its permanent move to At-Bristol, and he is a Freeman of the Cities of Bristol and London.


_MG_9937Charles Griffiths – Senior Warden

Charles became a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers in 2004. He was Chairman of the Cote Charity for seven years and he has served on the St Monica Trust council for the past three years, becoming President of St Monica Trust in 2015.

During his working life Charles has been involved in many industries including clothing, furniture, soft drinks and care homes.  As a Director of Belmont Care Ltd, Charles helped oversee the building and establishment of two nursing homes in Portishead and Clevedon.





tony-kennyTony Kenny – Junior Warden

Tony is a Chartered Accountant and has specialised in providing corporate finance advice for most of his career. He joined Price Waterhouse in Bristol in 1985 and became a partner in 1997, founding and running their corporate finance business in the West region. He took over the combined Price Waterhouse and Coopers corporate finance business upon the merger of those firms to form PwC in 1998. He later worked in their London office. 

He retired from PwC in 2005 and has since been a board member and provided corporate finance advice in relation to the management buyout and later sale of a number of local businesses. These include Taylor Maxwell, a brick and timber distribution business; Tocris, a business producing chemical compounds for pharmaceutical research, which was sold to US based Bio-Techne Corp; and Integral UK Holdings which was recently sold to US-based JLL. Tony is also a director of a family business, Sarah Kenny Residential Lettings. 

As a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers, Tony has been involved with Merchants’ Academy since the very early days of its planning, as well as Colston’s School, where he has served as a Governor for many years and now Chairs the Governing Body. He is a Freeman of the City of Bristol.



Caroline Duckworth – Treasurer

Caroline Duckworth DL became Treasurer (de facto Chief Executive) of The Society of Merchant Venturers in November 2015.

Caroline had spent the previous 18 years working in the Charitable Sector, most recently as CEO of Quartet Community Foundation and prior to that as Managing Director of Common Purpose UK. Caroline started her career, following a degree at Aberdeen University, by joining Habitat as a graduate management trainee. Caroline also held retail operational management roles with Lewis’s Ltd and Maples Stores Plc.

Caroline is a Deputy Lieutenant for Gloucestershire, a Governor of Wycliffe College and a member of The Honourable Company of Gloucestershire.