John Ian FLEMING [c.1892-1973] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

John Ian FLEMING [c.1892-1973]

John Ian
c.1892-01-01 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)

Date of birth from John Black's list.

There are some notes about him on the HKGCC page for PricewaterhouseCoopers:

Being virtually without competition in its earlier years, Lowe Bingham & Matthews experienced significant growth, being fortunate to have amongst its clients many of Hong Kong's leading businesses of the time -- including China Light & Power, Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank, Hong Kong & Whampoa Dock, Jardines and Hong Kong & China Gas.

In just 20 years, Mr Lowe had managed to build up the largest professional accounting practice on the China coast. 

But the winds of misfortune blew and in 1924, Hong Kong's first professional qualified accountant and auditor died from typhoid, aged 50. 

The remaining partners invited Scots chartered accountant John Fleming to take over as senior partner in Hong Kong. He continued the firm's expansion, which was brought to an abrupt halt in 1941 with the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. Mr Fleming managed to safely hide away many of the firm's books before he was interned in Stanley. 

At the end of the war, he recovered the records and reopened the practice. The growth of the firm continued to match that of Hong Kong as a financial and trading centre. With increasing overseas investment here in the years following 1945, it became expedient for the firm to act as local correspondent for the international accounting firms that were expanding from their bases in the U.K. and the U.S.. Lowe, Bingham & Matthews at one time represented six of the then "big eight" accountancy firms.

The boom years of the 1970s created enormous demand for professional business services in the territory and all the big accounting firms, including Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand -- whose Hong Kong operation had grown out of the practice started in 1962 by Sanford Yung -- expanded fast to serve the needs of businesses in the territory. 

The alliance of Lowe, Bingham & Matthews with Price Waterhouse was formalised in 1974 by a merger between two firms, although the Chinese name remained as it was by then so well known in the community.



Would be very interested to know more about John Fleming. He was probably interned at Stanley during the Japanese occupation so somebody out their should remember him.

From "The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser (1884-1942), 7 July 1927, Page 16":

There was a large and notable gathering at the wedding and subsequent reception in Hong Kong recently of Mr. John Fleming, partner in the firm of Messrs. Lowe, Binghan and Matthews, and Miss Katharine Baillie Strong, daughter of the Rev. W. B. and Mrs. Strong, of Glencorse, Midlothian.

John Ian Fleming died of cancer in Pietermaritzburg, Natal on 17 January 1973.