Robert Fleming (financier)
Born the son of a shopkeeper in Dundee, Fleming got his start at the age of 13 working for local textile firm, Messrs Edward Baxter and Son. By 21, he was Edward Baxter's private clerk. In time, Fleming had learned enough about investment procedures from Baxter to oversee the firm's American holdings.
Fleming launched the Scottish American Investment Trust in 1873, the first of the Scottish investment trusts. He went on to become an international financier in London, establishing the investment bank that bore his name for more than a century and out of which the Fleming Collection of Scottish art and the Fleming Collection Gallery was born.
A contemporary of J. P. Morgan and a close business associate and friend of Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb & Co., Fleming was widely known and respected in financial circles on both sides of the Atlantic. He was one of the shrewdest investors of his generation and an acknowledged expert in the financing of American railroads.
Fleming never forgot Dundee, and made many generous bequests to the city and the new University College. The Fleming Gymnasium (opened in 1905 and now housing Forensic Medicine) still bears his name.
The Fleming Gardens Estate in Dundee was erected as a result of a gift of £155,000 Fleming made to improve worker's housing. His gift is commemorated in a plaque and balustraded viewpoint at the junction of Clepington Road and Hindmarsh Avenue.
- Capitalism in a Mature Economy: Financial Institutions, Capital Exports and British Industry, 1870-1939. Edward Elgar Publishing. 1990. p. 141. ISBN 1781959412.
- Fry, Michael (2001). The Scottish Empire. Tuckwell Press. p. 270. ISBN 1-84158-259-X.
- "Painting in Dundee". University of Dundee. 24 June 2002. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
- "DSA Building/Design Report: University College Dundee Fleming Gymnasium and Fives Courts". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
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