Miss Mei Sim Lai was appointed a deputy lieutenant of Greater London in May 2006 and representative deputy lieutenant for the London Borough of Brent in September 2007.
Born and educated in Malaysia, Mei Sim is of Chinese origin. She came to London in 1970 to train as a chartered accountant. In 1979 she became the first Chinese and female partner at the leading firm of City Chartered Accountants, Pridie Brewster, established in 1914. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountant where she is a member of the ACCA UK Small Business Committee.
Following 26 years as a partner at Pridie Brewster looking after the business and tax affairs of individuals, owner managed businesses and the UK end of international companies and developing the Pridie Brewster Charities & not for profit department, Mei Sim was appointed a consultant at the firm in 2005. She was Pridie Brewster’s ambassador in the City of London and the Business Community and undertook special projects and consultancy work for clients. Mei Sim also ran the free financial ACEVO/Pridie Brewster helpline for Chief Executives of charities and voluntary organisations for six years until 2006.
She is the managing director of LaiPeters Limited, a company she set up in 2005 for her management and business consultancy work. In 2006 Mei Sim set up her own chartered accountancy firm LaiPeters & Co based in the City of London.
Alongside her work at LaiPeters & Co, Mei Sim currently holds and has held a number of public, city and charity appointments.
Her public appointments include being a member of the Senior Salaries Review Body, a Public Works Loan Commissioner, a Member of the MoD’s Diversity Panel (2001-2007), a Member of the DTI’s Ethnic Minority Business Forum ( 2000-2007). She chaired their Access to Finance Group and was acting chair of the Forum from July 2004 to April 2005. She is also a member of the London and South East Regional Industrial Development Board and the Government of London’s BME Faith & Refugee Advisory Group. Mei Sim was appointed a non executive director of International Women of Excellence in 2007.
In 2007 Mei Sim was appointed to the University of Nottingham Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP) Strategic Advisory Board.
From 1999 to 2007 Mei Sim was a non-executive director of Westminster Forum. The Forum seeks to foster closer links between senior figures in business, the City and the professions with their counterparts in Westminster and other fields of public life.
For over eight years she was a non-executive director of St. Mary’s Hospital, Paddington as well as being a special trustee of this world renowned teaching hospital. She has served on government bodies dealing with race and employment and education issues. Mei Sim was also a panel member of the Financial Services Tribunal for seven years from 1994 to 2001.
Currently her charity appointments include being a trustee of The Attlee Foundation, a corporate ambassador for SSAFA Forces Help and an ambassador for Prostate Research Campaign UK. She is one of the official ambassadors for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2008 and was a committee member of the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2005. She served as the treasurer and a trustee of Womankind, an international development charity for eight years. Mei Sim has also been a member of the British Red Cross City of London Christmas Market Committee for many years.
Mei Sim is a member of the RFCA for Greater London and a member of the SaBRE Committee for Greater London.
Mei Sim’s involvement with groups in the City of London started in 1983 when she joined the City Women’s Network. She was chairman of CWN from 1988 to 1990 and belongs to several other networking groups including Forum UK, AIWF (Arab International Women’s Forum) , the 48 Group Club, Asia House, the Overseas Malaysian Executive Club and is a Charter Member of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs network). Mei Sim is also a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Since 1991, Mei Sim has been running the City of London Branch of the Institute of Directors as its honorary secretary. The City Branch has 1500 members and its chairman is former Lord Mayor Alderman Sir David Brewer CMG. She also runs their China Interest Group which was formally launched by the Lord Mayor and the Chinese ambassador in October 2006.
Mei Sim is on the Court of two Livery Companies in the City of London, the Worshipful Company of Horners and the Worshipful Company of World Traders. In 2006 she became the second lady president of the City Livery Club and its first Chinese president since the Club was established in 1914.
Mei Sim has a great interest in diversity issues and was delighted to be appointed OBE for services to equal opportunities in the 2004 New Year Honours. She was a finalist for 'Contribution to the Public Sector' in the 2005 Asian Women of Achievement Awards and a finalist in the 2006 ACCA Global Achievement Awards.
Mei Sim has served on the judging panel of Young Enterprise, London Region and also on the annual Enterprising Britain Awards London Region.
When she has the time she enjoys travelling, music and collecting oriental antiques.
Ms Lai Mei Sim
Honorary Secretary of the City Branch of the Institute of Directors