Adviser Alan Steel has died after a month-long battle with Covid-19.
The Scottish investment veteran set up Alan Steel Asset Management in 1975 and rose to become a unique figure in the financial adviser industry.
In a statement today (September 17) Steven Forbes, managing director of Alan Steel Asset Management, said:
"It is with deep sadness that I have to inform you that the company’s founder and figurehead Alan Steel has passed away.
"As you know a few weeks ago he caught the horrible virus that has dominated our lives for the last eighteen months, and despite his battles against huge institutions such as Equitable Life, the regulator and those that gave our industry a bad reputation, his last, against an invisible foe, was one that even he could not win.
"Alan made sure it would be business as usual when he was no longer around and the 41 of us in this branch of his family will continue his legacy and maintain the five key components of the business he loved; knowledge, integrity, innovation, fairness and fun. I make no bones about the fact the last will be the hardest to do initially, but Alan would want us smiling so we will try our best."
Steel, who began his career in 1969 as an actuarial student with Scottish Widows, became an IFA in 1973. Two years later, he formed Alan Steel Asset Management in Linlithgow, just outside of Edinburgh.
Tributes were soon paid via Twitter from people across the industry and political world.
“So sorry to hear this news,” Fiona Hyslop, member of Scottish parliament for Linlithgow, tweeted today (September 17).
“Alan achieved so much and was much respected in the local community of Linlithgow in my constituency where he based his highly successful Alan Steel Asset Management which he took to great success.”
Ian Beestin at Money Alive tweeted: "This is such sad news. Alan was a great guy. I remember first reading his insightful comments in newspapers around 30 years ago. He was also a huge music fan and supporter of live music. Will miss him. Condolences to his family."
Former Threesixty boss Phil Young said: "Sad sad news about Alan Steel," before paying tribute to his role as an early backer of Threesixty and his approach to financial services in general.
Steel became widely known for helping expose the Equitable Life scandal back in 1997, which saw more than a million policyholders lose billions of pounds of savings.
Throughout his career he remained vocal about what he saw as bad practice, both within the industry and at a regulatory level. Asked for his predictions for 2021, Steel said earlier this year that he hoped for: "The FCA [to] finally realise it should actually go out and visit experienced IFAs and listen to how to be proactive, and work with us, to properly regulate the industry for the benefit of savers and investors, instead of theorising and making the same mistakes."