Tributes paid as pensions luminary Mike Morrison passes away

Morrison-Mike-MM-grey-250x255.jpgTributes 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.”