It is with great sadness and enormous respect that we share with our clients the news that Ravenscroft founder and former chairman Andy Stewart has passed away.
Some of you will have had the pleasure of meeting Andy, many of you won’t, but without him the business may not have existed.
‘Andy was ahead of his time. He was a free spirit and had a razor-sharp brain. Without his entrepreneurial approach and his ability to spot an opportunity and make it happen, many of the initiatives he was involved with simply wouldn’t have happened. He was fiercely loyal to our shareholders and our clients and was forever grateful to them for making Ravenscroft a success,’ said group CEO Jon Ravenscroft.
‘He was an incredibly generous man, donating and raising substantial amounts of money for charities which were close to him including many in the Channel Islands. It was a privilege to have known him. I’m lucky to have had Andy as part of my life and we are lucky to have had him as part of Ravenscroft.’
Andy showed his entrepreneurial spirit from an early age and was always determined to tread his own path. At 17, having advised his parents on their own finances, he joined stockbrokers Simon & Coates as a messenger earning £501 a year and worked his way up. A sign of the man he was, he remained loyal to the firm, becoming chief executive of Chase Manhattan Securities after the American bank bought it out.
His approach jarred with the Americans and so he left and while on a tour around Europe with his sons, he bumped into former colleague Leigh Collins and in 1991, they launched Collins Stewart with the commitment that “the customer comes first”. In an interview in 2015, Mr Stewart said that when he was sounding out opportunities in the Channel Islands, his attempts to drum up business were thwarted by a young stockbroker called Jon Ravenscroft. The two connected and were soon working together at Collins Stewart.
Andy left Collins Stewart in 2003 but after two days of retirement he was already bored and conceived the Cenkos project, again with the mantra that the customer comes first. Jon got in touch and Cenkos in the Channel Islands was born. In 2012, the Channel Islands business bought itself out of Cenkos and rebranded as Ravenscroft in 2013 with Andy becoming chairman.
Andy stepped down as chair in 2017 but has continued to be a close friend and supporter of the business.
He will be sadly missed.