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Industry pays tribute as Nucleus chair passes away


Nucleus chairman and Skandia founder Paul Bradshaw has sadly passed away following a cardiac arrest.

Bradshaw founded Skandia Life Assurance Company in the UK, and has been the chairman of Nucleus for over 10 years. He also had board roles at Sanlam and River and Mercantile, and has been chief executive of J Rothschild International (now St James’s Place) and Abbey National Insurance and Asset Management.

Nucleus chief executive David Ferguson says: “Right from our very beginning, Paul has been a massive inspiration and a huge part of the Nucleus journey. A man of enormous intellect, great passion and with an insatiable hunger for what comes next.

“Nucleus, the other companies he was involved in and the wider industry are lessened by his passing but we will work harder than ever to ensure his legacy here is a positive one.”

SEI Wealth Platform managing director Brett Williams says: “Paul Bradshaw was one of my favourite people in the world. He combined a razor sharp, sparkling intellect with a mischievous sense of fun. He was a joy to be around.

“I had lunch with him on Wednesday and as always he was fascinated by the industry and the world, yet utterly devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren. His premature death is very sad indeed.”

EY senior adviser Malcolm Kerr says: “Paul was a visionary, an architect and an all round great bloke.”

Platforum director of research Heather Hopkins says: “I have a deep personal fondness for Paul. He always had time to offer the history of the sector and the context of business strategy or regulation, and to challenge one’s thinking.

“Paul was intellectually curious and excited by the possibilities of innovation and technology. He was brimming with ideas – not all good ones, by his own admission! I had the good fortune to profile Paul in Money Marketing a couple of months ago. It offers highlights of Paul’s career and attests to his fresh thinking and sharp mind. My thoughts are with Sheila and his family.”

Protection Review co-chairman Peter Le Beau says: “Paul was one of the giants of the unit- linked industry and an incredibly influential actuary and thinker. He was also a mentor and help to so many people around the industry. Above all he was a delightful man, someone I feel privileged to have known.”

Sanlam financial services group chief executive Jonathan Polin says: “I am deeply saddened to hear the news of Paul’s passing.

“Throughout Paul’s long and distinguished career, he was consistently ahead of his time in his thinking and execution. His passion for the industry and advice was boundless. A man who guided us, supported us, challenged us and led us to make the right decisions. A towering light, who gave us his time, wisdom and fun. I am the lesser for his going. His contribution to Sanlam was invaluable and his presence will be sorely missed by all.”



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There are 36 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. What incredibly sad news. Paul was a delightful person and a true visionary and change agent in our industry. My condolences to his family, friends and work colleagues.

  2. That’s a huge loss. Mischievous, funny and wise. Thoughts here with his family and his wider family at Nucleus and the other businesses he worked with.

  3. This is such sad news. I knew Paul well – great company and always trying to break the mould. Condolences to his family. He will be very much missed by his many friends and people he has worked with over the years. RIP Paul.

  4. Always an innovator, his “Skandia Plan” (variable life policy) circa 1978 truly shook up the unit linked life industry. He was offered the opportunity of becoming a shareholder in Transact during the initial round of pre launch fund raising 1999 but “can’t believe” the business plan”. I toured the UK conference circuit with him just a few years later as he gave his famous ‘penny farthing’ presentation which became the precursor to ‘project Remoh’ (Homer in reverse, a tilt to the Trojan Horse legend) which itself became Nucleus. His sharp intellect will be missed.

  5. I have had the great pleasure in working with Paul over a number of years in a number of guises. He is one of the few people I have come across in the Industry who has always inspired me with his energy, intelligence and his insightful ideas. A man of great integrity and a true loss to us all. He has most certainly left his mark on our Industry.

  6. A massive loss to financial services. A genuinely nice bloke with amazing vision.

  7. What incredibly sad news, we’ve lost one of the really good guys. I would echo all the comments made here but I will remember him as witty, mischievous, a razor sharp mind and as a thoroughly great bloke. Unfortunately, they don’t make them like him anymore. My thoughts are with Sheila and his family.

  8. In my occasional encounters with him he was bright, interesting and interested. Such a sad loss.

  9. Paul was a great innovator who played a significant role in making the industry better. His intelligence, insight, passion and personal warmth will be missed.

  10. A lovely man. Genuine innovator. Many people will miss his warmth and humour.

  11. A true leader and a huge influence to us in the 1980s Skandia broker sales force. Not just a nice guy and towering intellect but one of the few heroes in this industry. Very shocked and sad to learn this news.

  12. Really very sad news, Paul was a mentor to me and a really top bloke, always with a sense of fun and a smile. His knowledge of the workings of our business was second to none. Huge loss to strategic thinking for the industry. Thoughts go to Sheila, the family and the guys at Nucleus

  13. Nino Sheikh-Thompkins 13th January 2017 at 12:35 pm

    So sad to hear about the passing of someone who was obviously an inspirational leader and great ideas man. Thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues.

  14. Really sad news.

  15. Such sad news. Paul was a terrific guy, a deep and innovative (even provocative) thinker and a fantastically supportive colleague and Board colleague. His input when Chairman of Sumus was invaluable. But far more than that he was a first rate man, intensely loyal with a great sense of humour and fun as well as being a devoted family man. My thoughts and prayers go out to Sheila and all his family and the world is suddenly a darker and dimmer place. RIP Paul

  16. Deeply saddened when I heard today that Paul had died. Many will have good memories of Paul of course, but I especially recall his kind and generous help and advice to me whilst working with him during difficult times at Abbey National and more recently in the last few years. He will be sorely missed. Deepest sympathies to his family.

  17. Simply one of the best …. a great man, who added such value to all of our lives especially those who had the privilege to work with him. Inspirational, supportive, strategic and wise …. he has remained one of my ‘go-to’ people for wise-counsel and guidance …. and as Peter Smith comments … all done with great humour and fun. Our profession is the better for him having been part of it … and will miss him greatly ….

  18. What a sad sad loss. I had the privilege of working with Paul in two different businesses over the years. He was incredibly honest and an inspiring leader. I had utmost respect for the man and my thoughts are with his wife and family.

  19. A very sad day, true gent, everyone who know Paul was the better for it. Deepest condolences to his family and colleagues.

  20. What a shocking loss. The nicest person you could ever meet. So very sad.

  21. Malcolm F Murray 13th January 2017 at 5:19 pm

    It is with great sadness that I write this tribute to Paul. Some 40 years ago I met Paul when he was CEO of Skandia and I was Broker Director of Hambro Life.We were competitors then but became good friends and I always admired and respected him for his views and knowledge.
    I shall miss him and he will be sorely missed by so many people in our industry.
    My thoughts are with Sheila and the family at their sad loss

  22. The sector is a poorer place without him my condolences to his family

  23. I will miss you very much Paul – true gentleman in every way

  24. Very sad news. Paul had A rare combination of knowledge, common sense, good humour, and was generous with his time.

  25. We have lost one of the “greats” of financial services. He was always generous with his time and I was lucky enough to have had the benefit of his counsel. My condolences to Sheila and Paul’s family.

  26. Very sad news indeed. Lots of great words to describe the man whose care,generosity and amazing ability touched the careers and lives of so many of us. One I would add is “GENIUS”. Although it is a word bandied around too easily nowadays

  27. I am stunned by this news. I have known Paul for over 30 years and he has inspired and advised me throughout my career. A brilliant mind and a fun, caring man. He will be so sadly missed by his wife, children and grandchildren. A great loss to the financial services world.

  28. I found him enthusiastic, sincere, committed and a gentleman. He will be sadly missed, but his legacy will live on.

  29. We’ve lost an ambassador for our industry. A very sad loss.

  30. Terrible news and condolences to the family.
    Thankful for his views during my tenure at Nucleus. Gone too soon

  31. Irreplaceable is a sometimes misused word but it perfectly describes Paul.
    His intellect , vision , drive , humour and for me ,over many years, his friendship and support , are all irreplaceable.
    In many things but especially in the way that he lived his life to the full in the best possible way , I hold Paul as my role model.
    That he is no longer with us is just so desperately sad.
    My thoughts are with Sheila and their family.

  32. So very sad to hear about Paul. As everyone else has said – he always made time. I remember meeting him for a drink one evening after he had spent a clearly exhausting day at Abbey National. He should have cancelled on me but he didn’t. We shared a love of walking the South Downs Way and I always kept an eye out hoping to see him taking time out! I hope he is sitting on a cloud with AA Gill – they will have a lot of fun. xx

  33. I first heard the words “platform” and “wrap” when working for Scottish Amicable at the same time as Paul (mid 90s). I had not a clue what he was talking about but he made them sound like the future and he clearly knew what was coming and why.

  34. Stuart Holdsworth 23rd January 2017 at 10:28 am

    I was introduced to Paul in 2011 as someone who ‘knew a bit’ about wealth management in the UK. Paul was most generous with his time, knowledge and introductions over the years and a great help in understanding and becoming involved with the UK wealth management industry. A great man, and his death a sorry loss for all.

  35. I have known Paul close to seven years. He was an amazingly intelligent man who I absolutely loved chatting to. I was always trying to get him to buy that super fast Aston Martin but unfortunately he resisted and kept to the sensible cars! I am devasted to hear of his loss, he will be sadly missed.

  36. Wit and wisdom, humour and humanity. For 30 years he was my friend, sometime mentor, oracle and from time to time we did some business. Time spent with Paul always made me feel I really wasn’t that clever after all. So many unasked questions…

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