The mortgage industry has paid tribute to the late Richard Adams, founder of the national mortgage network Stonebridge, who passed away on Boxing Day after a battle with cancer.
Adams has been described by his peers as a "titan" and "legend" of the industry.
He passed away at the age of 58, having been an adviser on the Stonebridge board until “very recently”, according to the firm.
He had stepped back from his role as Stonebridge managing director in July 2019, which FTAdviser understands was in part for health reasons.
Back in 1988, Stonebridge began as a mortgage advice practice. But over the last three decades, the firm has grown into a mortgage and protection network which now arranges some £10bn in lending each year.
Its adviser footprint stretches across 450 appointed representatives and directly authorised firms.
Tributes have flooded in over recent days following Adams' passing.
Robert Sinclair, chief executive of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, was one of many in the industry to share his memories of Adams on LinkedIn.
“A man of humour, warmth and affection for others with a kindness that always made me try to be better,” said Sinclair.
“His bravery in living with illness and still being Richard makes me smile. On the one hand with a heavy heart I will miss him, on the other I am the better for the time I spent in his presence. My love to all his family and friends as we remember him.”
Jon Stones, managing director of Mortgage 1st, said Adams had a “huge influence” on his career over the last 14 years.
“He was a legend of the mortgage industry, someone I looked up to, a mentor who I called on many times over the years when I needed advice about running my business,” said Stones. “But more than anything, he was just a lovely guy.”
Andy Pratt, a part-time mortgage broker and crime fiction writer, also highlighted Adams’ keen eye for literature.
The late network boss had read the first draft of one of Pratt’s books, he said, “he was so generous with his time.
“His criticism was spot on as ever. But he was also so positive in what I was trying to do, checking in and supporting me as I progressed. [...] It was a pleasure to know you Richard, rest in peace.”
Adams’ colleagues also shared their respects. Stonebridge’s current chief executive, Rob Clifford, noted Adams’ work between 1989 and 2018 as managing director had led to the creation of “a network of some repute”.
“In that sense, he was an outstanding leader," Clifford continued.
"Yet [he] had an understated generosity which is undoubtedly reflected in the number of people and advisory firms who have been with Stonebridge for so many years.