Principal, LaiPeters & Co
Of Malaysian Chinese origin, Mei Sim Lai has lived in the UK since 1970. A Chartered Accountant by profession she is a Fellow of the ICAEW and ACCA. She became the first female partner of Pridie Brewster (now part of PKF UK LLP) in 1979 and in 2007 she founded LaiPeters & Co Chartered Accountants, based in the City of London looking after SME clients including women entrepreneurs and international clients as well as clients in the charity and voluntary sector.
Alongside her work as a Chartered Accountant, Mei Sim has for the past 22 years, served on the boards of several Public, Private, Charity/ Voluntary sector and City of London organisations. These include being a Non Executive Director of the world renowned teaching hospital, St Mary’s in Paddington, advising the Prime Minister on the pay of the Top Civil Servants, the Judiciary and the 2 star generals upwards whilst on the Senior Salaries Review Body, advising the Chief of Defence Staff and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence on the MoD Diversity Panel, being a Public Works Loan Commissioner that looks after over £50 billion of UK government lending to local authorities and running the City of London Branch of the Institute of Directors as its Honorary Secretary.
Mei Sim is also greatly experienced in advising charities having served on the Boards/committees of several charities such as Womankind, The Attlee Foundation, The Lord Mayor Appeals, the British Red Cross City Christmas Market, Wellbeing of Women, Chinese Welfare Trust and a number of City livery charities. In 2006, Mei Sim was greatly honoured to be appointed one of Her Majesty the Queen’s Representatives in Greater London, with responsibility for the London Borough of Brent.
Mei Sim’s involvement with women’s groups started in 1983 when she learned about the City Women’s Network in the Financial Times, subsequently joining and becoming its Chairman in 1988. In 2010 she was elected Chairman of Forum UK (now IWF UK), the top women’s organisation in the UK for eminent women of diverse achievement and part of a group of some 4,200 women leaders globally. Mei Sim is a Non Executive Director of IWE (International Women of Excellence), a founder Charter member of PAWA (Pan Asian Women’s Association) and joined AIWF, when it was founded in 2001.
In 2004 she was appointed OBE for services to Equal Opportunities. She is a Past Winner of TIA100 Women in the World who make a Difference Award. In 2012 she won the Asian Women of Achievement Award in the Public Service category.
In October 2011 Mei Sim was installed as the Master of the Worshipful Company of World Traders, the first ever Chinese person to be Master in the very long history of Livery Companies in the City of London. She has promoted trade opportunities in the China and Asia Pacific Region through a series of presentations culminating in a Trade Conference in Shanghai with the Rt Hon The Lord Mayor in September 2012.
Having completed her year as Master she is now the Chairman of the World Traders Charitable Trust.