Aug 31, 2017

David Morgan obituary

David Morgan
David Morgan rose through the ranks to become chairman of M&G

Vesey Crichton
The Guardian
August 29, 2017

My friend David Morgan, who has died aged 83, was an investment banker who rose through the ranks to become chairman of M&G Group. But he was also a man with a spiritual side, and had a long association with Transcendental Meditation as practised by the Indian teacher Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Born in Chatham, Kent, to Horace, a captain in the Royal Navy, and his wife, Kathleen (nee Bellhouse), David was educated at Clifton college in Bristol and University College, Oxford. After early jobs working in foreign exchange at Shell and banking and investment management for Deltec International in London and New York, he became a director of Victor Sassoon’s trading house business, ED Sassoon and Co, in Hong Kong and New York.

He joined M&G in 1972, became a director of its investment management arm in 1973, managing director in 1991, chairman in 1995, and chairman of the whole group in 1997. He could never be described as a highly analytical investor; instead he concentrated on understanding investment themes and stories. That is now an unfashionable approach but at the time it was very successful.

Although David possessed good judgment, colleagues described him as having an almost other-worldly air, an unusual characteristic for someone in the hard-nosed world of investment banking. Perhaps this was partly explained by his association with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, whom David met while working as a stockbroker for Charles Bradburne & Co in Penang in Malaysia in 1958. The Maharishi was fresh out of India and intent on making his Transcendental Meditation technique available worldwide. David, who by the Maharishi’s account was the first westerner to learn the technique, then arranged for the Maharishi to travel to Hawaii and mainland US – the beginning of a period of activity that saw many millions learn the technique.

David remained a strong supporter and informal adviser to the Maharishi thereafter, often flying out from London for discussions with him at weekends. He was also a director of the Maharishi Global Development Fund.

David is survived by his daughter, Miranda, and son, Dominic, from his marriage to Clare Lacy in 1965, which ended in divorce.

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