Papers of Sir Ian Kinloch MacGregor, 1912-1998, knight industrialist, Scotland and USA

Scope and Content

The collection consists of 176 individual files, principally relating to individual named business interests, including companies, events and individuals.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ian Kinloch MacGregor was born in Kinlochleven, Scotland, on 21 September 1912. He attended George Watson's College in Edinburgh before going to the University of Glasgow where he studied metallurgical engineering, and the Royal College of Science & Technology.

He started his career with William Beardmore & Co Ltd before WWII, and on the outset of the War joined the Ministry of Supply and was sent to North America to develop tanks for the war effort. MacGregor remained in the USA following the War and in 1956 he was working for the Climax Molybdenum Corporation, which merged with the American Trading company in 1958 to become American Metal Climax (renamed AMAX Inc in 1974). He became Chief Executive of the company in 1966 and became chairman of the Board of Directors in 1969. By the late 1970s he held directorships in a number of other organisations, including Alumax, Atlantic Assets, Tsumeb Corporation, RST International, American Cyanamid, Brunswick Corporation and the Singer Company. He also joined Lazard Brothers, investment bankers of Wall Street, and became chairman of the international chamber of commerce in Paris.

In 1977 he retired from AMAX and returned to the UK as a non-executive director of British Leyland, acting as deputy to Sir Michael Edwardes, the company chairman. In 1980 MacGregor was appointed non-executive director then chairman and chief-executive of the British Steel Corporation, a position which he left in 1983 to become chairman and chief-executive of the National Coal Board where he remained until retirement in 1986.

MacGregor was appointed as chair of the National Coal Board in 1983, and initiated large-scale pit closures and job cuts, leading to the miners strike of 1984-85.

In 1986 MacGregor became non-executive director for Norman Broadbent International and rejoined Lazards, who he had previously left at an expense of £1.8 million to the British Government. In 1987 he launched a new transatlantic airline operating from Prestwick Airport called Highland Express, however the company collapsed in Dec 1987. In June 1988 he became executive chairman of Trusthouse Forte Inc.

MacGregor was appointed a chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur in 1972 and was knighted in 1986. He died of heart failure in Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton, Somerset, on 13 April 1998


Listed by box. Items are generally listed in their original order

Conditions Governing Access

Open, subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 .

A closure period of 10 years was originally placed on the files, but this time period has now passed.

Acquisition Information

Gift : Ian C S MacGregor : 17 May 1999 : ACCN 1786


Collection box listed by Archive Services staff, 2004. Collection level description created by Emma Yan, Assistant Archivist (Accessions), 28 Jan 2013

Other Finding Aids

File list available by request to the Duty Archivist