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James Marwick

James Marwick

Born in 1862 in Edinburgh, Scotland, James Marwick soon grew to be a six-foot-six (2m), restless and vigorous Scotsman.

Born in 1862 in Edinburgh, Scotland, James Marwick soon grew to be a six-foot-six (2m)...

Originally, he planned to follow in his father’s footsteps and obtain a law degree.

However, while studying, he decided to qualify as an accountant – practical accounting knowledge, he realized, was essential for any public or private business. In 1886 he qualified as a Chartered Accountant and started to practice in Glasgow.

Five year later, his life changed. James was asked to represent a group of Scottish investors in Australia. He gained broad banking knowledge through this experience – there was a banking crisis in Australia at the time– and in 1895 decided to establish a practice there after a brief visit home. This brief visit was extended more and more; on his way home, Marwick visited Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal. These visits persuaded him to abandon his plan to return to Australia – the accounting profession in North America was developing rapidly, and James decided to open a practice in New York, which he did in 1895.

James Marwick quickly established a reputation for fierce independence. He was looking for a partner, and in 1897 he met Roger Mitchell, his schoolmate from University of Glasgow, and together they founded Marwick, Mitchell and Co.

Later on, in 1911, James Marwick met Sir William Peat while sailing across the North Atlantic. The two Scots enjoyed each other’s company on the ship, and by the end of the journey they had hammered out a rough agreement on establishing Marwick, Mitchell, Peat & Co.

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