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Tributes paid as pensions luminary Mike Morrison passes away

Tributes have poured in from across the financial planning profession after the passing of veteran pensions guru Mike Morrison.

Morrison passed away at his home yesterday. He was 55.

Morrison gained the respect of the industry through a number of roles in his 30 years working in the profession at companies including Winterthur Life, Axa Wealth and, most recently, as head of platform technical at AJ Bell.

He was well known to advisers as the face of AJ Bell’s financial planning roadshows.

Chief executive Andy Bell described Morrison as “one of the most popular pension commentators in the industry” with a “unique, engaging and light hearted” style.

Bell said: “Most importantly he was a dearly loved husband and father and our thoughts and support are with his family at this difficult time.  He will be sorely missed by everyone at AJ Bell.”

Friends and colleagues of Morrison added their tributes.

Tisa head of industry policy liaison Peter Smith said: “He was always cheerful, bright and had a story or anecdote about something topical. His cheerful demeanour will be sadly missed.

“He always helped me on technical matters right back from his Winterthur days, the pensions world is a lot poorer for his passing.”

Gbi2 managing director Graham Bentley said: “I was shocked to hear the news of Mike’s all too-early passing. In 40 years in the industry I have met few people of Mike’s status possessing such disarming charm, sense of humour and genuine care for others. I’ll particularly miss the banter around his encyclopaedic knowledge of music.

“At this difficult time I hope his family gain some solace from the high esteem in which Mike was held by friends, colleagues and peers.”

Helm Godfrey chairman Danby Bloch said: “I am very sad to hear of the passing of one of the pension industry’s gurus. He was always technically hugely reliable, showed good judgement and was always able to explain the most complicated issues in the clearest possible way. Above all he was excellent company with a fund of stories and gossip. He will be dreadfully missed in the profession where had very many friends.”

Lang Cat principal Mark Polson added: “Mike was an industry legend. I never knew anyone as generous with his time and considerable expertise. He loved his subject and loved helping everyone – in or outside the industry – understand pensions better. We will miss him, his great music taste and his terrible jokes.”

CWC Research managing director Clive Waller said Morrison had made a “brilliant niche” for himself in the early days of self-investing.

Waller said: “We first met in Reading in the 80s when I was a Zurich manager in Reading. Mike had already forgotten more about pensions than I knew.

“He leaves a massive hole to fill. Too many corporate suits these days, trotting out the company song. Mike was never one of those.”

Morrison’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 21 November at 12.15pm at St Peters Church in Caversham. The church service will be followed by a private committal with drinks to follow.

Morrison’s family have asked any donations to go to local children’s charity Daisy’s Dream.

Anyone wishing to donate can visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rita-morrison

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Comments

There are 15 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Really sad news to learn of Mike’s passing. One of the nicest guys in the industry, he will be sadly missed. My condolences to his family.

  2. Condolences to Mike’s family. He was a very intelligent bloke who knew is stuff but always presented in a humorous but simple way that even dummies like me could understand.

    I think I still owe him a pint from the time we ended up sat in a bar on Picadilly station in Manchester whilst he waited for a train to the South for another presentation. Funny thing is I wasn’t even catching one.

    Thoroughly nice bloke, real shame. RIP

  3. John Hutton-Attenborough 8th November 2017 at 9:07 am

    That smile would light up a room as it often did. What sad news.

  4. Sad and shocking loss. An absolute gentleman, expert, crowd-puller and entertainer. Presented many a seminar here and staff never ever asked for an itinerary. They just knew attendance would be worthwhile and he filled the venue every time. Sincerest condolences to his wife, daughter, family and colleagues.

    • Mike and itineraries never really went together, often I was the “next” speaker at a Winterthur or Axa Wealth seminar. I usually gave up on the running order and just marvelled at him doing his thing….

  5. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. A very sad and sudden loss. Mike was a wonderfully insightful contributor to our regular platforms roundtable dinners. He will be greatly missed by the pensions and platforms world.

  6. A joy to be with. I have so many great memories of our road trips and seminars/workshops. But the best times were always talking in the bar afterwards… he loved Cricket and music as much as he loved his work and those evenings will live long in my memory. My condolences to Rita and his family & friends everywhere

  7. How sad. How young. What a lovely man. Nothing seemed to faze him. His family must be in shock.

    One of the great gurus of the industry.

  8. A terrible loss not only to his family and people like me who knew him well especially from his days at AXA, but a great loss to our profession. You will be sadly missed, rest in peace mate.

  9. What sad news. I worked with Mike at Winterthur and Axa and he was one of the nicest people to share time with. Made pensions sound interesting, and had a great manner and always had time for you. A sad loss to the industry but an ever sadder loss to his family.

  10. Very sad news – Mike was a great guy – always managed to put across a difficult subject in a simple way we could all understand, with humour and humility. He will be sorely missed.

  11. What tragic news. As said by everyone else, a thoroughly lovely guy with an immense knowledge and talent for making the difficult sound easy. We started at Phoenix Assurance around the same time. So sad. Way too young. Love and blessings to him and his family.

  12. I was so shocked to hear this news. Knowing Mike and his sense of humour I assumed the headline I saw was a spoof, sorry it wasn’t. If he was ever on the speakers list I was there. Very entertaining, very knowledgeable, very decent man.

  13. Very sad news indeed……I was lucky enough to go to a few of Mike’s presentations over recent years and as many have commented on already he just had an natural aura about him that brightened up everyone’s day….a rare talent in our industry and we are all a little worse off after his passing. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  14. I can’t believe Mike has gone. I’ll never forget him.

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