Paul ffolkes Davis, Bursar, stood in Front Court
Paul ffolkes Davis, Bursar, in Front Court

Paul ffolkes Davis

Paul ffolkes Davis has been Bursar of Trinity Hall since September 2004. Although a graduate of Magdalen College Oxford, in Modern History, he saw the light when he found himself, to his great surprise, shouting encouragement at the Cambridge eight during the Boat Race several years ago. This was only one moment of revelation amongst many he has had in the service of the Hall; being the Bursar of which he proclaims is the best job he, or, indeed, anyone, ever had.

Paul’s first career was spent in the City where he was a corporate financier and equity capital markets specialist following an initial spell as a salesman in the fixed income markets. Directorships included NM Rothschild & Sons Limited (1983-94), NatWest Markets and Rabobank International, while extended spells abroad took in New York, Milan and Rome. Although it is currently unfashionable to admit to being an ex-banker, Paul regards a broad grounding in the financial markets as invaluable preparation for his present role. He believes that in future, with all the mounting pressures on higher education funding and the increasing need to make endowments work harder, appointments to the finance function at Oxbridge colleges will nearly always be drawn from the professions – a big change from the past.

Ironically, Paul has become a banker again, this time for the College. In 2012 Trinity Hall and the Cambridge Local Government Pension Fund set up Cambridge & Counties Bank (CCB), one of the new ‘challengers’. Paul served as its first Chairman until October 2016 and continues to represent the College on the Board acting as Vice-Chairman. CCB has grown rapidly and has become the College’s most valuable single investment in the endowment.

Paul was born in London. His mother is a painter and his father was the celebrated cartoonist Michael ffolkes. His academic interests still revolve around the bifurcation of satire and bawdiness in the late Georgian and Regency prints and caricatures (the topic of his, so far, still-born PhD). Other interests include: late romantic music, short story writing and 1950s B movies.

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