A memorial service will be held for Andrew Dawson today (January 28) following his recent passing. A well-known and colourful figure in the institutional funds space since the early 1990s, he will be sorely missed. As he will be in the small community of Jamberoo, on the south coast of NSW, where he last resided and where the service will be held.
Andrew was a journalist-turned filmmaker who spent much of his career in either Australia or Hong Kong. He had a special place at J.P. Morgan, as communications advisor, and at AIST, where he dramatically improved the visual content at many of that organisation’s events. And livened up their cocktail parties, too.
But, for most of us, the reason he will be so warmly remembered is because of his generosity of spirit. It was not so much that he lit up every room he entered, to the annoyance of those of us who are incapable of that, but that he gave his precious time to so many personal and professional causes. He dared to give heart-felt advice, even when not asked.
For J.P. Morgan, Laurence Bailey, the firm’s former Australian and then Hong Kong-based regional head of asset servicing, says:
“Andrew was the first person I was introduced to when I relocated to Australia in 1992. With Andrew by my side we established a market-leading business helped significantly by his innovative marketing ideas, passion and enthusiasm.
“Andrew helped me find a flat to live in, sourced a diamond as well as organise my wedding to be filmed and edited. His passing is a huge loss to everyone who had the pleasure and privilege to cross his path. May the journey for Andrew continue.”
(J.P. Morgan overtook State Street to become the largest asset servicing bank for super in Australia for a time, before being overtaken by NAB. It has subsequently regained its mantle, under the marketing leadership of Bryan Gray, who was also a close friend of Andrew’s).
Andrew started out to become an English and Arts teacher after studying at the College of St Mark and St John in London in the late 1960s but decided on journalism instead. He had a penchant for filming and the broader arts in general and worked with communications company FTV Production and FTV Asia Pacific from 1982 until he became wheelchair-bound in 2015. Andrew had what should have been a simple back operation but it all went wrong and he was unable to walk again.
This did not stop his enthusiasm for life, however, helped by the close bond he had with his beloved Irish Wolfhound, Finbar. While living in Jamberoo he was such an important member of the community that when his mobility scooter was inexcusably stolen in late 2018, friends in the community bought him a new one.
At AIST, Andrew and his merry band were regular features at CMSF and ASI conferences. They were more than just the film crew. Often with his partner, Jodi Dawson, and son Piers and best family friend Matt on camera and boom, the artistic group provided a welcome relief from the humdrum discussions about super and investments.
Piers and Matt met up with Jodi at the Jamberoo house last week. Jodi said: “Lots of photos and lots of laughs as well as the sad stuff. He would have been very happy that we were working together again.” Piers travelled from Spain where he now mainly lives with his wife Holly and son Charlie. The memorial service will take place, perhaps appropriately, at the School of Arts Hall in Jamberoo at 2pm.
Vale Andrew Dawson. A good and talented man who had an impact on many lives.