Brian Morgan
Professor of Entrepreneurship and
Director of the Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre
University of Wales in Cardiff (uwic)

Brian Morgan
Brian Morgan (ABGS 1959 - 1966)

Brian Morgan is currently Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Cardiff School of Management at the University of Wales in Cardiff (UWIC) where he is Director of the new Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre (CLEC)*.

Brian attended primary school in Cwmbach where he lived in Brodeg. He transferred to ABGS in 1959 and, after progressing to the sixth form, left for The London School of Economics in 1966.

In the sixth form Brian was a founder member of the debating society and became Head Boy of the school. He played flanker for the rugby team and eventually became captain of the First XV. Known by his nickname of Maestro at this time, he can be seen in several of the school rugby team photos elsewhere on this website. He also played for Aberaman Rugby Club (now Aberdare) while he was still at school and for many years afterwards he organised the annual Old Boys fixture against Aberaman RFC on Boxing Day mornings. A sometimes raucous social event followed this annual rugby match and it became a legendary meeting point for past students in the 70s and 80s.

Brian gained his BSc(Econ) in 1970 specialising in Economic Development and Finance; then, in the following year he added an MSc(Econ) in Monetary Economics. From 1973 to 1987 he held various academic posts at the following universities: New England, Australia; California, Santa Barbara; and, Westminster, London.

Following this period in academia, he commenced the first of two posts in the Civil Service. From 1987 to 1991, he was Senior Economic Advisor, at the Department of Trade and Industry in Whitehall, responsible for analysing the impact of world oil markets and energy developments on the UK economy. Then, in 1991, he became Chief Economist at the Welsh Development Agency staying in this post until 1997. He was responsible for developing the Agency’s economic development strategy, coordinating business plans and evaluating the impact of Agency programmes.

He returned to the academic life in 1997 to become Director, Leadership, Enterprise and Economic Development at the Cardiff University Business School. Then in 2007 he was appointed Professor of Entrepreneurship and Director, Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre, CLEC, at Cardiff School of Management.

Brian has also put theory into practice and has become actively involved in the world of business. He holds or has held positions in several companies including:

He has written numerous papers for academic journals; contributed chapters to various reports, for example for the OECD; popular articles for the Western Mail and IWA’s Agenda and Corporate Wales. His first book was published in 1978 - Monetarists and Keynesians: Their Contribution to Monetary Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN-10: 0333144597.

Brian has contributed the following paragraphs about his views on economics, his previous and current work: “My main focus is currently on entrepreneurship and leadership, but I see myself primarily as an economist. Although the current economic downturn and the credit crunch has led to widespread disappointment with the economics profession, I am very much of the opinion that forecasts of the death of the dismal science are greatly exaggerated. Indeed I believe that mainstream economic theory still has an enormous contribution to make to our understanding of the current recession and to our future economic prosperity.

My earliest research was on Maynard Keynes’s position in the Keynesian – Monetarist debate. I wrote a strong critique of monetarism just as Margaret Thatcher was adopting that creed in 1980. I then researched the contributions of the Nobel Laureates Sir John Hicks and Milton Friedman to economic issues like the business cycle. After returning to London from an Australian University in 1988 I joined the Civil Service as a Senior Economic Adviser in Whitehall and eventually took up the post of Chief Economist for the WDA in Cardiff.

At the WDA I became focused on regional economic development and it also stimulated my interest in entrepreneurship. When I left the WDA I was determined to raise the profile of entrepreneurship and small firm growth as drivers of economic development in small regional economies like Wales. To this end I founded the Leadership, Enterprise and Economic Development (LEED) Research Unit at Cardiff Business School which conducted research into regional competitiveness, leadership and the business development needs of entrepreneurs.”

Brian now lives in Penarth, near Cardiff, with his twins, Jess and Nick and his wife Julie (formerly Julie Venn - daughter of the much admired Les Venn who was Caretaker of the school in the 1960s and 70s). Jess is now studying at Bristol University and Nick is heading there next year.

Brian is a member of the local golf club in Penarth – the Glamorganshire – but admits to being just a ‘hacker’. In his spare time he enjoys his involvement in the Arts as Chairman of the Wales Theatre Company. He is a keen supporter of the Welsh rugby team and also supports London Welsh. He retains close links with Aberdare as Vice-President of Aberdare Rugby Club and of Cwmbach Choir.

Form 5
Brian in Form 5
From a rugby photo

* CLEC has developed an innovative programme of research into the business development needs of entrepreneurs and created a series of leadership development programmes for the public and private sectors. It has attracted funding to support an innovative programme of research into the growth of small or medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Indeed, the CLEC has recently been awarded a £4 million ESF project to research and develop the next generation of leaders in the SME sector in South East Wales.