Will Morris has a lot on his plate. The global tax policy
director for GE also chairs the CBI (Confederation of British
Industry) tax committee, the AmCham EU Tax Task Force, the
European Tax Policy Forum and has just accepted the role of
chairman of BIAC’s (Business and Industry Advisory
Committee to the OECD) tax and fiscal policy committee, taking
over from Chris Lenon.
On top of that, he is a priest at the Anglican church of St
Martin-in-the-Fields, in London.
"As a part-time priest at St Martin-in-the- Fields, I try on
a regular basis to bring together NGOs, government, business
tax directors, academics, big 4, etcetera, together at St
Martin’s to talk about tax and development issues
in a neutral setting."
Most people who work in tax policy understand the time
commitments can be significant. But as Morris does more than
most, how does he manage his time?
Morris says the answer is to this is practical and
philosophical. "On the practical side, I view my role as chair
of each of these groups as one of coordinator, facilitator and
team builder - not micromanager or one-man-band.
"In terms of getting things done, none of these groups has
particularly large secretariats, and I am not in a position to
draft everything - even if I wanted to - so we work on a
"Specialists on the various committees take the lead on
different subjects. I provide coordination, and ideas on
direction, but the heavy lifting on each major project is done
by a team. This has worked well at CBI and BIAC is also moving
in that direction.
"The more philosophical answer is that I believe there is a
real strategic synergy between these jobs because there are
perhaps four or five relatively new, but very pressing, issues
in international tax that apply at both national and
These areas are developing countries’ needs to
raise more revenue, the shift in economic power from OECD
members to non-members, the taxation of intellectual property
as a result of globalisation and the
increasingly negative public reaction to corporate tax
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