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?
April 4, 2013, 9am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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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.

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Published on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in Scotsman.com
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