Ian Hay Davison

Category: All Harkness Stories /  Economics, Finance & Business /  Humanities /  Up to 1959 / 

Ian Hay Davison (CFF 1957-58)

CBE FCA graduated from the LSE in 1953 and then qualified as a chartered accountant in 1956. Having taken third place in the national exam his former LSE tutor suggested he apply for a Commonwealth Fund Fellowship. Accompanied by his wife he set off for the University of Michigan. He was then 26 and took the prelims for a PhD in Accounting in the Business School in one year but never completed the thesis. This was followed by a two -month internship on computers on Wall Street and a wonderful three month tour of 40 of the then 48 States.  Returning to the UK in 1959 he joined the infant UK firm of Arthur Andersen rising to managing partner in 1966. In 1983 at the prompting of the Governor of the Bank of England he left AA and for the next 17 years became a financial services regulator. His roles included CEO of Lloyd’s of London, Chairman of the Securities Review Committee in Hong Kong, ExecuChairman of National Mortgage Bank (a failed bank being run down by the Bank of England) and Chairman of the Securities Regulator in Dubai.  He enjoyed other roles: a founding director of “the Independent”; Chairman of BHS, Habitat and Mothercare; Director of Cadbury Schweppes; Chairman of Sadler’s Wells and a director of the Royal Opera House. He retired in 2004 at the age of 73, but carried on as Chairman of Ruffer, the fund managers until 2011 when he was 80.