Like Father, Like Son | The Morson Story - Part Five
Morson Group has been celebrating 50 years in business in 2019. As part of our celebrations, we’ve created a book about the business; its foundations, its growth and its people.
Over the next six weeks, we’re going to be releasing excerpts from the book, charting the Morson story from its earliest days to the present day.
There was never any doubt that the business his father founded ran in the blood of Ged Mason. Gerry knew from the early days that Ged wasn’t just going into work with him on weekends to potter around the office doing filing, he knew he was as keen as mustard to be much more involved.
Even during his schooldays, Ged took a keen interest in things:
“I always remember column 106 in Wednesday’s Manchester Evening News listed all the engineering requirements. I used to study them. If there was a vacancy for an electrical engineer in Runcorn, I knew it was Laporte. If it was Northwich, I knew it was ICI. So, before my father could even put his foot through the door, I was showing him his competition saying ‘have you got that job dad? Are you working on that one?’”
As part of his three-year sandwich degree at Manchester, Ged spent a year cutting his teeth with Canadian recruitment business Roan (Andy McGee). It was during this time he became very aware of how IT recruitment was taking off.
“My father’s business was very engineering focused and I thought I could make my mark in the technology side,” says Ged. “Looking back, most of my friends were doing the traditional gap-year travelling, but I decided to try and prove my own way, setting up Morson Technology with a friend from university, Mark Griffiths. It wasn’t very successful and after 12 months it was barely breaking even, but it was a great learning curve.”
It was then, in 1986, that his father said to Ged, “Listen, I understand what you’re trying to achieve, but there’s a lot happening here and I could do with your support.” And that was why Ged decided to switch into the business.
“I think dad’s ambition rubbed off on me and I wanted to grow the business,” Ged remembers about his first days at Morson. “Although in lazy conversations I had with him whilst still at university, I did think ‘how am I going to fill your boots, dad?’ I felt quite intimidated by the thought of it. But he always used to say I’d be fine.”
Initially, Gerry encouraged his son to visit the various divisions to learn the different parts of the business and eventually Ged found himself sharing his father’s office.
“We had some heated discussions and disagreements, as you would imagine a father and son might,” says Ged. “We had a pact that if we did fall out, one of us would make a brew or go outside to the car park. Then we’d come back in, forget about it, and move on. It worked. Many of my pals whose fathers had businesses talked about how they couldn’t work with their father. I always thought that was a shame, as that was a great opportunity missed. I loved my time with my dad and learnt a lot.”
As time went on, Ged beg an to develop his own ideas about the company’s future direction.
“I always respected dad’s position and he always respected mine,” he says. “He’d developed companies in Kuwait, Holland, America, Canada, but in the UK we were a successful business with a single north west base. Why not take this to London or other parts of the UK I thought? This was something I was keen to do and the burning desire that drove that ambition can’t be taught.”