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A Century of Tradition

Alasdair R. Kerr OBE


Alasdair R. Kerr OBE is a distinguished individual known for his remarkable life journey and contributions to the realms of business, sports, and community service. Born on November 28, 1948, in Glasgow, Alasdair has lived a life that encapsulates the spirit of determination and dedication.

Education played an integral role in shaping Alasdair's early years. He attended Eaglesham Primary School before moving on to The High School of Glasgow. It was during his school days that his sporting prowess became evident. Alasdair was a versatile athlete, representing his school in rugby, cricket, and athletics. In the realm of athletics, he excelled in field events, competing in the Discus, Javelin, and Shot Putt. His athletic talents were showcased at the Glasgow Schools sports championship and the Glasgow Schools against Edinburgh Schools in the Shot Putt and Discus. Beyond sports, he held the esteemed position of CQMS of the School Corps, reflecting his leadership abilities.

In 1967, Alasdair embarked on a career journey, joining the Glasgow Branch of the Sun Alliance and London. Over the course of his tenure with the company, he worked across various departments, including Fire, Accident, Motor, and Claims. In 1970, he transitioned to the Personnel Department at Head Office in London, assuming the role of a training analyst. His mission was clear: to structure a career path for the company's trainees, ensuring their professional development. During this period, Alasdair played a pivotal role in the preparations for decimalization and the establishment of the Graduate Recruitment and Training program.

As the 1970s progressed, Alasdair's career took an international turn. In 1973, he joined the Overseas Department, working in the newly formed International Section. This role saw him facilitating connections between overseas branches and UK clients, particularly in Europe. His dedication extended beyond the office, as he was elected Match Secretary of the Golf Society and actively participated in company cricket and rugby teams. Towards the end of 1974, he assumed the role of City Inspector for the Overseas Department.

The rapidly changing political and economic climate in the UK prompted Alasdair to consider overseas opportunities. In 1976, he embraced a new challenge, relocating to Brazil as the Assistant Branch Manager of the São Paulo Branch. His responsibilities extended to evaluating the company's prospects in Brazil and proposing strategies for improvement. When his recommendation for a substantial investment was declined, Alasdair ventured into the broking community in Brazil, quickly realizing his passion for this field.

In 1979, Alasdair joined Tudor Marsh and McLennan, starting as an Account Executive and Assistant Unit Manager. His dedication and expertise led to his appointment as a partner in the firm during the mid-1980s. In 1995, the firm was acquired by Marsh and McLennan, and Alasdair was already one of the senior partners. In 1998, after the merger with J & H, he decided to explore new horizons, establishing his own company specializing in consulting and developing a system for motor premium calculations for online use.

Throughout his career, Alasdair became an integral part of the vibrant expatriate community in São Paulo. His involvement extended to the oldest golf club in Brazil, the Saint Andrew Society, the British Chamber of Commerce, and various charitable organizations. Alasdair held several prestigious positions, including Chairman of the British Commonwealth Community Council (1989-1991), Secretary of the Salvation Army Advisory Committee (1989-1992), President of the São Paulo Branch of the British Chamber (1994-1996), and Chairman of the Chamber in Brazil (1996-1997).

Alasdair's commitment to community service extended to education as well. He served as a governor of the British School Board (1989-1991, 1996-1998) and as the Executive Secretary of SPGC (1993-1997). He also played a pivotal role in the Deliberative Committee of São Paulo Golf Club (1990-1993, 1997 - current) and served as the President of the Membership Committee of SPGC. Furthermore, he held the position of Senior Trustee of the British Community from 1996 to 1998.

In a momentous sporting achievement, Alasdair was a member of the first Brazilian cricket team to defeat the Argentines on their home turf in 1978. This historic victory added a special chapter to his remarkable life story.

For his outstanding contributions to British-Brazilian trade and his dedicated service to the community, Alasdair was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 1998 New Year's Honours list.

Alasdair R. Kerr OBE continued to make meaningful connections and engage with the local community in Portuguese, underscoring his commitment to building bridges across cultures and making a positive impact on the world around him.

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