50 years of friendship and finance – meet Malcolm Lynch

Through this, our fiftieth year, we’re delighted to be talking to some of the incredible people who have worked with us along the way – borrowers, supporters, investors, partners, Trustees, and staff.

Today, we introduce Malcolm Lynch, who is a solicitor and heads the Charity and Social Economy Team at Wrigleys Solicitors

‘My involvement with ICOF started in the early 1980s, and while the relationship has changed, I’ve never stopped being involved. My involvement began through my work with ICOM – The Industrial Common Ownership Movement (the worker co-op federation) – which eventually led me to being on the ICOM Board, and ICOM had a relationship with ICOF.  I was the in house solicitor for ICOM from 1987-1989 and we’ve been legal advisers to ICOF on and off over the years. We supported on things like share issues and helping structure ICOF Community Capital. I’m still an ad hoc adviser and am also an investor in ICOF – they are a well managed organisation, investing in people who are seeking to work in a more egalitarian way, and I want to support that.

The early ICOF CEO David Ralley had a particular way of doing things. I remember Nigel Mason and Leon Boris joining and they turbocharged ICOF. After a short period of time, in the mid to late 1980s, they got themselves involved in moving a succession of bus companies into employee ownership, which extended the reach of ICOF out from pure worker coops in the mid to late 1980s. Nigel unfortunately died last year.  They have always had a dedicated team of skilful lenders.

Congratulations to ICOF on reaching 50 years of investment into coops and Employee ownership. ICOF is almost the only CDFI which has always been profitable (without much Government grant) and it’s rare in having survived for this long – I look forward to the next 50 years’