Based in Montreal Canada, Andrew Molson (MSc Corporate Governance and Ethics 2002) is Chairman of AVENIR GLOBAL and Molson Coors Beverage Company.
Andrew was originally a corporate lawyer, having studied at the Université Laval in Quebec. Then, in 1997 he moved into public relations, joining the Canadian PR firm, NATIONAL. He sees this as a career defining moment; ‘I am proud to have made the decision that I did to change paths. I was a lawyer in a very good firm and could have stayed there for a long time. However, sometimes you need to make those instinctive decisions that take you closer to where your fundamental interests lie’.
While the Molson Brewery dates back to 1786, the desire to join the family business didn’t come to Andrew until later in life; ‘I did deliver beer at 19 in Quebec with my brother Justin, which was a great summer job in 1987, but I never had any intention of working in the business […] It was only later when I discovered corporate governance, in part thanks to Birkbeck, that I realized there was a place for me in overseeing this business and that it was something I would enjoy.’
For nearly two centuries his family have put their community at the heart of their business; ‘We have had a philosophy of giving back to the community right from the beginning […] Our family has been in the beer business for a long time and when we took the company public, we started a family foundation. Founded by my grandfather and great uncle, it is dedicated to the betterment of society and my family have been involved since. We know that the business will only thrive if our community is doing well […] fundamentally we believe that we should grow while contributing to the communities we operate in.’
Birkbeck helped Andrew hone his opinions on business and governance that still influence his business today; ‘I was exposed to different people from different countries and I probably wouldn’t have experienced that in the same way were it not for Birkbeck. It became clear to me that Birkbeck is a magnet for talent from everywhere, which is very cool and enriching to be surrounded by all these smart people from around the world. It also showed me that age didn’t matter; you’re never too old to learn something new.’