Expanding the membership base, improving member services and
brushing up marketing are top priorities for new Morison
International chief executive Liza Robbins.

Liza Robbins, Morison International
Liza Robbins, Morison International

The 40-year-old has taken over the secretariat helm of a
multidisciplinary association with 77 member firms, 3,969
professionals and an estimated combined fee income of $685 million
in financial years ending in 2008.

“What Morison is looking to do is continue with the strategy we
have, which is to ensure we have a very compelling membership
across a number of geographies,” Robbins said. “I have direct
experience growing businesses and contacts and distribution
networks across geographies. Also, we are looking to increase the
services we provide to our members.”

Robbins describes herself as a general manger who has a very
strong sales and marketing background. Her most important
philosophy in business and life is honesty.

Robbins arrives at Morison following seven years at Cision
Global Solutions, a Swedish-listed PR, communications and brand
consultancy where she has been an international sales director,
head of international business, managing director and a member of
the group’s senior management committee.

At Cision, Robbins was tasked with international development.
She believes this skill, coupled with her sales and marketing
expertise, helped her secure the new role.

Prior to working at Cision, Robbins spent nine years in the
publishing industry at Dennis Publishing, Condé Nast Publications
and Thomson Corporation, where she had her first taste of the
professional services industry.

Robbins admits her knowledge of professional services is limited
and will draw on the experience of the Morison International
regional and central boards.

“In those boards we have excellent, talented technicians and
people who have vast experience of professional services,” she
said. “In some instances, I will be relying very, very strongly on
our board. But I think there is great benefit for me to bounce out
those boards with a different perspective. In many ways, certainly
in my past roles, I have been a client of our types of firms and a
client of our firm’s competitors.”

Foremost on Robbins’ priority list is to increase Morison’s
coverage across North America, in particular the United States,
where some membership gaps have been identified. Europe’s Nordic
region is another area where Morison is exploring membership
options.

She also would like to improve knowledge sharing between firms
and marketing of the association. One project likely to be
completed soon is a new website.

Arvind Hickman