SCMP - Hong Kong
10-Nov-2004 18:01

Jim Russell Walker, founding chairman of Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia and former finance 
editor of the South China Morning Post, died yesterday in Australia after a short battle with 

Scottish by birth but raised in Australia, Walker arrived in Hong Kong in 1978 to take charge of finance reporting at the South China Morning Post after an eight-year career with News Limited.

Walker left an indelible mark as a Hong Kong financial journalist, combining insight with a knack for sniffing out stories.

In 1979, he chronicled Li Ka-shing's first steps toward Superman status, breaking the story of Cheung Kong's upstart acquisition of a 22 per cent stake in Hutchison Whampoa from Hongkong and Shanghai Bank.

Walker left the Post in 1983 to join Hong Leong Securities, and later to set up Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA).

An aficionado of sport and racing, he was a keen field hockey player and an even keener punter at Happy Valley.

In 1994, he launched a horse-breeding operation at Beaudesert near Australia's Gold Coast called Palmaday, a whimsical anglicisation of the Cantonese name for Happy Valley racecourse.

Gary Coull, CLSA executive chairman and a former reporter at the Post, said: "From the first day we met, I thought of him as an older brother.

"He always seemed to have the right answer for everything ... any manner of business, equine, punting or personal issues."

Post columnist Jake van der Kamp also worked with Walker at the Post and Hong Leong.

"Jim was a superb fellow. I remember him at Hong Leong, slouched in his chair while chatting with clients and laughing the whole time. He was an absolute delight," he said.

Walker is survived by his wife, Elaine, and daughter, Sophie.

In lieu of flowers, Walker's family has asked for donations to the Jim Walker Foundation.