History made as out trans person closes London Stock Exchange for the first time in its 200 years

Bobbi Pickard at the London Stock Exchange

The London Stock Exchange was, for the first time, closed by an out trans person on Monday (15 November) to mark Transgender Awareness Week.

Bobbi Pickard, founder and CEO of Trans in the City, closed the markets in the City of London before spearheading an event at law firm Clifford Chance that celebrated trans and non-binary successes.

“This is a challenging time for transgender people in the UK,” Pickard said. “Trans people exist. We’re not going anywhere, we contribute a diverse range of perspectives, skills, and experience. We deserve to be recognised and we will keep pushing for these contributions to be celebrated.”

The London Stock Exchange is one of the oldest exchanges in the world, having been founded in 1801. Traditionally, a bell was rung to open the markets of the trading floor each morning and rung again to close the markets each afternoon.

Bobbi Pickard closing the markets of the London Stock Exchange. (Trans in the City)

Since 2011, an installation at the London Stock Exchange Group’s headquarters in Paternoster Square, near St Paul’s Cathedral, has revived this tradition and now a market closing ceremony takes place at the end of each day’s trading.

But despite its long history, Monday (15 November) was the first time that an openly trans person had closed the City’s markets for trading at the London Stock Exchange.

Pickard, who was the first out trans woman at BP and is co-chair of BP Pride’s Transgender Group, founded Trans in the City in 2017 to advocate for trans inclusion within businesses.

The organisation has since grown into a global organisation that encourages open collaboration between corporates and companies to further inclusion of trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people within business by raising awareness.

After closing the London Stock Exchange, Pickard hosted a gala event celebrating trans success, with sponsors including Virgin Media O2, Deutsche Bank and Clifford Chance. The event also heralded the relaunch and expansion of Trans in the City after a brief hiatus.

Pickard said: “As an organisation, Trans in the City will step up and speak even louder on behalf of the community.

“We will continue to advocate for trans inclusion and keep helping employers and businesses to do more to support the community.”

london stock exchange

Representatives from Trans in the City at the London Stock Exchange on 15 November. (Trans in the City)