How Not to Run a Global Mega-Firm

Jane Bradley traces the rise and fall of Scotland-based RMJM. Since completing its crowning achievement, the new Scottish Parliament building, the firm has expanded and contracted, and been rescued from receivership. Can it ever succeed again?

Just four years after architecture firm RMJM began work on the Scottish Parliament, its "zenith" according to one observer, the company that was founded in 1956 was bought by construction tycoon Sir Fraser Morrison as "a toy for his son."

"RMJM immediately began to expand, becoming the fifth largest architecture practice in the world and boasting 17 global bases at its peak," says Bradley. The company was undone by the global credit crunch and some dubious managerial decisions, and went into receivership in October of last year.

"Now, the firm that was rescued from receivership by a new Morrison-owned company called RMJM Architecture some months ago is being swallowed up by Duthus Investments."

Can the firm "rise from the ashes" as some believe? Will it "focus on the overseas market, where the company may be viewed in terms of its portfolio, rather than financial, success"? Only time will tell how this tale will proceed.

Full Story: The rise and fall of Scottish architects RMJM

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Insider's Guide to Careers in Urban Planning

So you want to be a planner...

Check out our behind the scenes look at 25 careers in the Urban Planning field
Starting at $14.95
Wood necklace with city map

City Necklaces

These sweet pendants are engraved on a cedar charm with a mini map of selected cities. The perfect gift for friends and family or yourself!
$28.00