Aberdonian Morrice actually started his career on the sports desk of the Dundee Evening Telegraph, but after turning his back on journalism, became a copywriter and in 1990 grabbed the chance to set up his own agency, Smarts. It had grown into a 30-strong outfit with billings of £2m by the time he decided to cash in, selling to Citigate for £3.2m in 2000.
After a less than enjoyable period as boss of the new Citigate Smarts, Morrice caught the agency bug again and in 2007 he relocated to Bollington to head up IAS, which had been acquired by parent company Media Square.
His stated ambition at the time was for the B2B specialist to be number one internationally within 10 years, and a few years down the line that doesn’t seem as outlandish as it may have once done. Last year’s merger with New York B2B agency Stein has created a £15m-turnover business employing over 100 staff, and plans are afoot for US and European expansion. Morrice has just over 3% in MSQ Partners, a group of seven agencies set up in 2012.