It's said that an Australian on walk-about always returns home eventually.
Ronald R. Dewhurst is no exception, although his worldwide ramble perhaps has been on the long side. After living in seven other countries for the past 15 years, Mr. Dewhurst, managing director and head of J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management Americas, New York, will go home to Australia in December with his wife, Katie, and their two children.
"It's been good for my career and good for my family, although my wife might say something different about the reality of packing everything up seven times," Mr. Dewhurst said. "Katie has let me indulge my career over all this time. And in fact, when I came to New York in 2000, I warned everyone that I would stay only until I got fired or my wife said that it's . It's that time now."
Most Australian families living abroad hit "an inflection point when their child turns 12," Mr. Dewhurst said, because that's when senior school begins back home. "It's very hard to move them back into the Australian school system when they're 15, for example," he said. Mr. Dewhurst's son and daughter are nine and 11. Another reason for the move is that Mrs. Dewhurst's father recently suffered a serious illness and she is anxious to be closer to her family.
As for his own plans for future employment, Mr. Dewhurst said he has devoted "just about zero time to thinking about it," focusing instead on the idea of recharging his own batteries, getting his kids into a good school and finding a house.
Acknowledging that he doesn't need to find work right away, Mr. Dewhurst said his instinct is to do something completely different. "When you've been on the stage at the top of your career at a manager with $450 billion under management, going to another company is hard to imagine. The phone hasn't stopped ringing for the last year with calls from recruiters, but I've always said that I wasn't interested in working for a competitor, because I like this company too much," Mr. Dewhurst said.
He's interested in media, advertising or even politics. "I'm a business manager. I happen to have been managing money managers, but my skill is in managing people, and it might be fun to try doing that somewhere else. I'm kind of scared. It would have been easier to stick around for another year, feeding the ego, but I will say that my self-respect has risen because I had to make a tough call on myself for the good of my family," he said.
Paul Bateman, managing director and now head of J.P. Morgan Fleming Asset Management in Europe, Asia and Japan, will become global CEO of the company on Oct. 1, adding Mr. Dewhurst's role in the Americas to his duties.