Author and historian
For any writer of business history, the ideal subject should offer a strong central narrative while providing a lens through which to see wider themes of social and economic history. So I am fortunate to have been commissioned to write the story of the Standard Chartered Bank, a subject that fits the bill handsomely on both counts.
One of the world's leading commercial banks, the Standard Chartered assumed its modern shape in 1969 following a merger between two of the City of London's so-called 'overseas banks' founded in the middle of the nineteenth century. The Chartered Bank by that date had long held a preeminent position across most of Asia, while the Standard Bank (and its subsidiary, the Standard Bank of South Africa) had for generations enjoyed much the same status in South, Central and Eastern Africa. My book will trace the evolution of both of the modern bank's main progenitors from their origins, and will chronicle the story of the combined Standard Chartered since the 1970s.
My previous books include the authorized history of Britain's Royal Mail, entitled Masters of the Post, which was published by Penguin Allen Lane in November 2011. This won the BAC Wadsworth Prize for Business History, an award made annually by the British Archives Council. It was published as a Penguin paperback in November 2012.
I hold Visiting Research Fellowships at the Institute of Historical Research and at the Centre for Contemporary British History at King's College, London.