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Alasdair Morrison (Jardine's)

Alasdair Morrison (Jardine's)

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Alasdair Morrison is a Senior Advisor for Citigroup, a Non-Executive Director of Pacific Basin Shipping and a member of the Asia-Pacific Advisory Board of Bloomberg. He is also a member of the Grosvenor board of directors, and a member of the board of directors of the MTR. Until April 2007 he was a Managing Director of Morgan Stanley, a member of the firm's Management Committee and Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, he worked in Asia for 28 years for the Jardine Matheson Group
Jardine Matheson Holdings
Jardine Matheson Holdings Limited often referred to as Jardines, is a multinational corporation incorporated in Bermuda and based in Hong Kong. While listed on the London Stock Exchange and the Singapore Exchange, the vast majority of Jardines shares are traded in Singapore...

, where he was the Group Managing Director or 'Tai-pan' from 1994 to 2000.

Born in Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 and educated in Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, the son of a former British Army
British Army
The British Army is the land warfare branch of Her Majesty's Armed Forces in the United Kingdom. It came into being with the unification of the Kingdom of England and Scotland into the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707. The new British Army incorporated Regiments that had already existed in England...

Traditionally, a chaplain is a minister in a specialized setting such as a priest, pastor, rabbi, or imam or lay representative of a religion attached to a secular institution such as a hospital, prison, military unit, police department, university, or private chapel...

 joined Jardines in 1972 as a management trainee selling cargo space. Performing exceptionally well, he was promoted to general manager of Jardine Industries in 1975. In 1979, he became general manager for Jardines Philippines. Morrison was appointed general manager, Europe in 1982 and appointed associate director in 1983. He was appointed a director of the company and member of the parent company board in 1984. he became a member of the Asia Pacific Regional Board in 1987 and was named to the board of property giant Hongkong Land
Hongkong Land
Hongkong Land is one of Asia’s leading property investment, management and development groups with premium commercial and residential property interests across the region. It owns and manages some five million square feet of commercial space in Hong Kong’s Central Business District serving...

 in the same year. In 1994, Morrison succeeded Nigel Rich as Chairman and Managing Director or quaintly known as 'Tai-pan', of Jardine Matheson Holdings.

As 'Tai-pan' of Jardines, he presided over the delisting of the company from the Hong Kong stock exchange
Hong Kong Stock Exchange
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange is a stock exchange located in Hong Kong. It is Asia's third largest stock exchange in terms of market capitalization behind the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the Shanghai Stock Exchange and fifth largest in the world...

, Hang Seng Index
Hang Seng Index
The Hang Seng Index is a freefloat-adjusted market capitalization-weighted stock market index in Hong Kong. It is used to record and monitor daily changes of the largest companies of the Hong Kong stock market and is the main indicator of the overall market performance in Hong Kong...

. Though this period saw a very difficult time for the company with its relationship with the Chinese Government
Government of the People's Republic of China
All power within the government of the People's Republic of China is divided among three bodies: the People's Republic of China, State Council, and the People's Liberation Army . This article is concerned with the formal structure of the state, its departments and their responsibilities...

, Morrison is credited for having helped reestablish Jardines' ties with the Chinese government by publicly apologising for some of the company's past actions during the early part of his tenure as Managing Director and frequently visiting Chinese officials in Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

. Morrison also reorganised several key structures and processes of the sprawling conglomerate. But the key highlight of his career is his effective management of the company during the Asian financial crisis (1997–98) and the recession that followed.

In an apparent disagreement with Jardines' controlling shareholders, the Keswick family
Keswick family
The Keswick family are a business dynasty of Scottish origin associated with the Far East since 1855 and in particular the conglomerate Jardine Matheson....

, over the conglomerate's convoluted interlocking shareholdings in several sister companies, Morrison resigned from the company in 2000 and was replaced by Percy Weatherall, a cousin of the Keswicks. Morrison was then courted by several companies based in Asia but decided to join investment banking giant Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a global financial services firm headquartered in New York City serving a diversified group of corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals. Morgan Stanley also operates in 36 countries around the world, with over 600 offices and a workforce of over 60,000....

as its Chairman and CEO for Asia. He was the Chairman of the company having relinquished the CEO position in 2005 and retired as Chairman on March 8, 2007. Morrison is known among his peers and colleagues as hard working, incredibly intelligent but reserved, having quickly worked his way up the corporate ladder from the bottom ranks shows his talent and skill in corporate management.

External links and references

  • Connell, Carol Matheson, A Business in Risk: Jardine Matheson and the Hong Kong Trading Industry, Westport, Conn.: Praeger, 2004, 188 p.
  • Clifford, Mark L., "The Taipan's Last Chance: Can Alasdair Morrison Fix Jardine Matheson, One of British Hong Kong's Remaining Crown Jewels?" Business Week (international ed.), May 10, 1999, p. 122E4.
  • Strategic management: total quality and global competition by Michael J. Stahl, David W. Grigsby - 1997 - Business & Economics - 300 pages
  • official website of Jardine Matheson