Founder of Morrison Construction Group to join son Peter after merger with architect Hillier

Sir Fraser Morrison, the founder of Morrison Construction Group, is to return to the industry as part of the management team of RMJM and American architect Hillier, which merged this week to create the world’s third biggest architect.

RMJM, which is run by Morrison’s son Peter, is paying $30m (£15m) for Hillier, creating a business with offices on four continents that employs 1,000 people. Peter Morrison will become chief executive, with Fraser taking up the post of chief executive and chairman of the American operation.

The firm, which will continue to be known as RMJM Group, will be the world’s third largest practice behind Gensler and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Its headquarters will remain in Edinburgh.

The US business, to be known as RMJM Hillier, will be one of four geographical divisions. The others are RMJM Asia, RMJM Europe, and RMJM Middle East.

Peter Morrison said the increasing globalisation of the architectural market and the desire to expand into the US, were important reasons for the deal. He said: “This is about giving us global exposure. We are seeing increasing globalisation in the market, including of our client base. The merger is also one built around design.”

He added that his father, who will be in the US, would be charged with developing a business plan. He said: “He’s very excited about the opportunity.”

J Robert Hillier, the founder and chairman of Hillier Architecture, will become deputy chairman of the enlarged group. Michael Fraser, the chairman of RMJM, will become chairman of the merged company.