Wharton Club of the United Kingdom: Presidential Election Manifesto for 2020

A. Lloyd Thomas W’06

Wharton Alums have an amazing institution in the Wharton Club of the United Kingdom, the largest alumni club outside of the United States.  This is a plan to build on what has been created. 

Our goals:

  1. To build upon the high-quality programming which your Club provides
  2. To strengthen the administrative backbone of your Club
  3. To make it easier, more fun and beneficial to engage, network and contribute

Background and biography:

  • Lloyd served as President of the Penn Club from 2017 to 2020. During this time he embarked on a programme dubbed “Penn Club 2.0” which was a complete overhaul of the club’s operations and finances.  A focus was placed on the financial viability and risks of each event.  The board was transformed into “Exec Club”, an open club within a club, where members met physically, to plan events and socialise, building a community which motivated volunteer efforts, and provided core attendance at the events organised by Exec members’ new close friends
  • Lloyd is the Managing Partner of Athene Capital, a venture capital and private debt investor, focussing on projects in the UK and emerging markets
  • Lloyd was one of the first hires when EQT created its private debt funds, and in addition to investing in distress, rescue capital and mid-market growth capital, rose to run EQT Credit’s non-bank sourcing operation
  • Prior to EQT, Lloyd worked at JPMorgan and Deloitte, investing in distressed situations and advising stakeholders on turnaround business plans and restructuring options
  • Lloyd is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, holds an MRes in Finance from Cass Business School, and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Collage of Arts and Sciences at University of Pennsylvania with honours in French, where he was a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and won the J. Yardley Graduation Prize
  • Lloyd graduated from Wharton in 2006, with concentrations in Entrepreneurship and Finance, as a Joseph Wharton Scholar and Wharton Research Scholar, and was awarded the Loveman Graduation Prize for Entrepreneurship

A plan of action:

1. Elevating committee engagement:

Lloyd plans to evolve the current committee structure to more closely resemble the Exec Club, which worked so well at the Penn Club, to strengthen the management of the club.  Committee meetings will become social events themselves to build volunteer community.  This has two beneficial effects:

a) Driving committee engagement though shared responsibility and social contract

b) Building a core network of people who know each other who go to a number of events. This nucleus at each event helps ensure sufficient attendance at smaller events, and more importantly, they invite newcomers into conversations to more easily integrate solo members into the club

2. Enhanced cooperation with other alumni clubs

Many of our members are also members of other alumni clubs, be it the Penn Club, or other undergraduate or graduate schools.  In the past, lack of coordination between clubs has led to unexpectedly poor event attendance due to scheduling clashes, wasted resources through duplication of effort, and missed opportunities for programming that could benefit our membership.  Coordination with the new leadership at the Penn Club, as well as other alumni clubs will reduce the burden on committee, increase the financial viability of events by driving greater attendance of our membership, and broaden the programming available.  Progress existing Investigation of a further membership “Season Ticket” tier

As suggested by the Club members at a previous AGM, in order to boost attendance and maximise inclusion, we will investigate the financial viability of an enhanced, all-you-can eat, event pre-payment tier.  


The future

Your new president is committed to building:

  • A smoother, more efficient back office
  • Greater reach and engagement of alumni, both at the committee level and in the wider club
  • More interesting social and cultural events
  • A stronger central core of club volunteers

Wharton alumni can look forward to a stronger more active club through evolution.  In the short term this means adapting programming to social distancing. In the longer term this means a vibrant committee program which we hope many you will join, generating even more fulfilling programming!