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Alumni spotlight: Stephen Lloyd, President, US Foundation

Right: Stephen Lloyd at the recent New York networking event

18 October 2017

From why he came to Bristol, to how Bristol influences him today, Stephen Lloyd (BSc 1982), President of the US Foundation, tells us how Bristol impacted his life.

My Background

I went to Bristol from 1979 to 1982. My initial degree choice was Economics, but I added Accounting after enjoying a first-year course in that topic. That choice led to an internship at KPMG, and my eventual choice of KPMG as my career choice in audit. I spent 10 years at KPMG involved in audits of banks and securities firms. I was based in London, close to my family in Surrey. During that time I had the opportunity to spend two years in KPMG’s New York office, following my interest in auditing financial service firms.  That was my first experience of America, and it was influential in the choice of my next employer, Morgan Stanley, when I looked for a new role working more closely with management in an internal audit capacity.  I have now been with Morgan Stanley for almost 25 years, doing internal audits within many different areas of the company, and I’ve also had the opportunity to work in the New York, London and Tokyo offices. During my time in Tokyo, I met my future wife in the company’s Seoul office. Our son was born in New York and my daughter in the UK. But since 2005 we’ve lived in Rye, NY, living a typical suburban lifestyle, much as I had growing up in Epsom, Surrey in the UK.

Choosing Bristol

I chose Bristol because of its reputation as one of the top universities in England. I visited Bristol, along with Durham, Cambridge, Exeter and Southampton, during my final year at school, and loved the way the University was integrated into the city compared with some other universities with separate campuses. Although I had no prior connection with Bristol, I discovered a wonderful diversity of life and landscape. The city was not too large and there were many beautiful aspects such as the port and the Avon Gorge. I appreciated the architecture and the history and I felt this would be quite a peaceful place to study.

Bristol Memories

As for many others, this was the first occasion I had lived away from home, and I took full opportunity to enjoy myself with many social activities. My most important memory was the time spent with new friends, some of whom I still am in contact with today despite my move to America. In fact my first year neighbor in Clifton Hill House coincidentally came from the same town (although I had not met him before Bristol) and was the best man at my wedding!

Reconnecting with the University

While I had visited Bristol a few years after leaving, like many others I had fallen out of touch, other than receiving the Nonesuch magazine. I had donated a small sum annually since the early 90s, but it was two events in 2008/9 that finally reconnected me. The first was a visit from Stephanie Lear from Bristol’s alumni and giving team. She gave me lots of information about how Bristol used major gifts to improve the University’s facilities and support research projects, as a result of which I ended up giving a donation to support the social sciences library, a place in which I had spent many hours studying! Soon after that, it was Bristol’s centenary and I met up with some old friends in Bristol over the centenary weekend.  This was the first time in 27 years we had all been back in Bristol together, and of course it brought back so many wonderful memories as we toured around all the old haunts and places of residence!

Valuing the University Relationship

I look at how passionate Americans are about their alma mater, and I am delighted that Bristol realizes the value of such connections as well, and it has come a long way under Sir Eric Thomas and now Professor Hugh Brady to build its connections with alumni. I’ve been excited to be able to monitor this great progress in my position as a Director of the US Foundation. I have a good feeling about ‘giving back’ to Bristol, with my time and donations, as this gives me pride that something valuable is happening as a result. In particular, I would highlight the new Temple Meads Campus project; this is very exciting in terms of what it could mean for the future of education.