Pensions industry mourns Mike Morrison

Mike Morrison, the high profile and much-loved pensions expert, has died suddenly at the age of 55.

Morrison-Mike-MM-grey-250x255.jpgMorrison, who was head of platform technical at AJ Bell, was understood to have been working until the day before his death.

Morrison, who had trained as a lawyer as well as in finance, was a regular speaker at financial adviser events and frequent media spokesperson on pensions, tax and regulatory issues. His career in financial services spanned almost 30 years, covering spells at Winterthur Life, Axa Wealth and AJ Bell.

Twitter was awash with tributes to Morrison, who was himself tweeting, on the subject of sustainable drawdown, hours before his death. Tisa head of industry policy liaison Peter Smith described him as ‘always cheerful, bright and armed with a story or anecdote about something topical’. Gregg McClymont described him as ‘One of the good guys gone far too young’.

He is survived by his wife and young daughter. The cause of death is not yet known.

AJ Bell chief executive Andy Bell says: “Mike was never more comfortable than when he was in a room full of financial advisers talking about complex pension topics in his unique, engaging and light hearted way.

“He was one of the most popular pension commentators in the industry and leaves behind many friends and colleagues. 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.”

Sipp industry pioneer John Moret says: “I recruited Mike to Provident Life – which became Winterthur Life – in 1990 when he was a relative unknown to join the technical team. We worked together for over ten years during which time my respect for him grew and grew. He was one of the most talented individuals that I have ever worked with – but more importantly he was a genuinely nice guy and brilliant company – particularly after a glass or two of wine.

“He always had a story to tell –and they weren’t all about pensions! Over the years we shared many industry platforms together and Mike was a key part of the growth of Winterthur’s Professional Adviser Division – with crucial input during the early days of SIPPs and income drawdown. He had an affinity with and genuine understanding of the issues facing financial advisers which they respected – that’s reflected in the many tributes already paid by financial advisers following his passing.

“We kept in touch and I was delighted that he obviously enjoyed his days at Axa Wealth and latterly A J Bell where he was clearly totally at home. To lose someone of his intelligence, enthusiasm and zest for life at such a young age is absolutely tragic –and of course for his wife Rita and daughter Sophie he is irreplaceable.”