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Z/Yen Group
Industry Consultancy, Think-tank
Founded 1994

City of London

Key people

Michael Mainelli

Ian Harris

Mark Yeandle

Mary O'Callaghan

Z/Yen is a commercial think-tank, consultancy and venture firm headquartered in the City of London. It works in the financial services, technology and voluntary sectors on a range of projects from research to performance review and strategic management. Founded in 1994 and with associates around the world, Z/Yen has developed collaborative projects such as the London Accord, the Global Financial Centres Index, the Global Intellectual Property Index for Taylor Wessing and Taskforce 2000 (the UK industry response to the Millennium Bug). The London Accord and GFCI are constituent programmes of Z/Yen’s Long Finance initiative, which seeks to answer the question “When would we know our financial system is working?”

Z/Yen conducts market research and intelligence. It publishes most of its research freely on its own website.[1]


  • History 1
    • Early Years (1994-2000) 1.1
    • Turn of the Millennium (2000-2005) 1.2
    • Recent Years 1.3
  • Publications 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Early Years (1994-2000)

In its formative years Z/Yen’s research and consulting included work for British Gas, the London Stock Exchange, the Defense Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA, now DSTL and QinetiQ) and Bloomberg, amongst others. Z/Yen played a major part in the founding of Taskforce 2000, the private sector initiative designed to alert people to the Millennium Bug. In 1996, Z/Yen established the £1.9M Financial Laboratory, an innovative joint venture between BZW (now Barclays Capital), Royal and Sun Alliance, The London Stock Exchange, DERA (now QinetiQ), City University, City University Business School, The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and Silicon Graphics. This project won a £750,000 DTI Foresight Challenge award later that year.

In the late nineties Z/Yen’s not-for-profit sector work became a major part of the business, with extended work for Cancer Research Campaign, BEN, The Children's Society and others, plus significant gains at British Heart Foundation and a major trade union. Other work included undertaking a major pan-European study into the market for OTC derivatives outsourcing.

Turn of the Millennium (2000-2005)

2001 saw the company receive significant recognition in the public arena, with a version of Z/Yen’s bourse game played at St James’ Palace as a part of a Marine Stewardship Council event; prizes were presented by HRH The Prince of Wales. Z/Yen launched PropheZy – a predictive Dynamic, Anomaly & Pattern Response (DAPR) system – in January 2003, receiving a £45,000 Smart Award from the Department of Trade and Industry. VizZy, a complementary visualisation system for PropheZy, was launched a year later.

Benchmarking became a significant section of Z/Yen’s work during this period, with record numbers of investment banks and brokerages participating in 2003.

Recent Years

In 2005 Z/Yen was appointed by the Institute of Fundraising, with partner Business in the Community, to run the enquiry line and information centre for the Payroll Giving Centre programme funded by the Home Office. Z/Yen created its flagship Global Financial Centres Index for the City of London Corporation in 2007 (bringing it in-house in 2010). 2007 also saw Z/Yen sell its investment banking cost-per-trade benchmarking subsidiary to Aon, and launch the London Accord. This initiative, with the help of over 50 financial service sector contributors, looks to provide an open-source research resource on finance and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. A year later, Z/Yen launched a way of measuring the immeasurable, the Global Intellectual Property Index, for the legal firm Taylor Wessing.

Recent years have seen Z/Yen found the ExtZy game – creating a stockmarket from the internet – and pose the question, “When would we know our financial system is working?” though the Long Finance initiative. Research has included Index-linked carbon bonds, non-monetary trade and Confidence Accounting.[2]

Towards the end of 2011 Z/Yen decided to strengthen its international presence by establishing a Swiss office in Geneva.



  • Clean Business Cuisine: Now and Z/Yen - (2000) [3]
  • Information Technology for the Not-for-profit Sector - ICSA Publishing (2001) [4]
  • Expertise: Search and Deploy - (2003) [5]
  • The Road To Long Finance: A Systems View Of The Credit Scrunch - (2009) (with Bob Giffords)[6]
  • The Price of Fish - Nicholas Brealey Publishing (2011) [7]


  • In Search of the Eternal Coin: A Long Finance View of History - (2010, Eternal Brevities, Malcolm Cooper),[8] freely available online.
  • Time To Stop Betting The House: Mortgages, Resilience and the Long Finance - (2010, Finance Shorts, David Steven) [9]
  • Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: The Future of Pensions - (2010, Finance Shorts, Con Keating) [10]
  • Capacity, Trade and Credit: Emerging Architectures for Commerce and Money - (2011, Michael Mainelli, Stephanie Rochford and Chiara von Gunten) [11]
  • Don't Stop Believing: The State and Future of UK Occupational Pensions - (2011, Finance Shorts, Con Keating) [12]
  • Confidence Accounting: A Proposal - (2012, Ian Harris, Michael Mainelli and Jan-Peter Onstwedder) (Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI), Long Finance, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA))[13]


A regularly updated list of articles can be found in the 'Knowledge' section of the Z/Yen Website.

Regular Indices

  • Global Financial Centres Index [14]
  • Global Intellectual Property Index [15]


  1. ^ Welcome to Z/Yen
  2. ^ Confidence Accounting: a proposal
  3. ^ - available free online
  4. ^ - available to purchase in all good book (/ebook) shops
  5. ^ - available free online
  6. ^ - available free online
  7. ^ - available to purchase in all good book (/ebook) shops
  8. ^
  9. ^ " The House.pdf" - available free online
  10. ^ Of Pensions.pdf - available free online
  11. ^
  12. ^ - available free online
  13. ^ Accounting1.pdf - available free online
  14. ^ GFCI
  15. ^ Taylor Wessing Global IP Index 2009

External links

  • Official website
  • London Accord
  • City of London Corporation
  • The Economist citation October 2009
  • Financial Times citation September 2009
  • ICSA Publishing
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