Industry pays tribute to former colleague Geoff Kitchen, who died on Singapore Airlines flight

Geoff Kitchen

Theo Duchen and Lloyd Hanks have expressed their sympathies for Geoff Kitchen and his family after he died on the Singapore Airlines flight hit by turbulence yesterday.

Seventy-three year old Kitchen died of a suspected heart attack and his wife Linda was seriously injured when the plane carrying a reported 211 passengers and 18 crew suddenly dropped thousands of feet in altitude.

Theo Duchen, co-CEO of Acturis said he had heard the news with great sadness: “It is a very sad day. Our thoughts and prayers are for Linda and their family.”

He was a lovely guy who always went about his work with a warm and knowing smile – he knew something about insurance and believed in what we were trying to do and embraced our young start up culture.

Kitchen, pictured, worked at Acturis from 2003 until retiring in 2010. He started at the software house only a few years after it had been founded in 2000.

“He embraced the culture and taught us a lot – we will really miss him,” Duchen said.

The Acturis leader detailed that Kitchen worked on a number of different projects including the design of its first commercial etrade products, then on the broker sales and implementation team supporting the first broker clients.

“He was a lovely guy who always went about his work with a warm and knowing smile – he knew something about insurance and believed in what we were trying to do and embraced our young start up culture.”

The business has had numerous messages from former colleagues expressing shock “and their love for Geoff,” Duchen said.

‘Gentleman’

The flight was en route from London to Singapore but was forced to divert to Bangkok. It is believed the couple were starting a six-week holiday in Asia.

Prior to his time at Acturis, Kitchen also worked for Axa.

Lloyd Hanks, the former equivalent of the distribution manager for the insurer, hailed Kitchen as a “great and a lovely gentleman”.

Hanks, now the owner of LAH Consulting, recruited Kitchen in the early 1990s as the provider opened new branches. He was the branch manager in Bristol responsible for the city and the South-West reporting to Hanks.

“He was very well thought of, very well respected and very knowledgeable,” Hanks said.

“He was a very secure pair of hands, very trustworthy. He had a lot of glowing reports from the brokerages that he was controlling locally. He had a team of people, both underwriters and field staff reported into him.”

Hanks added: “He was the perfect gentleman. It is a very sad loss. My condolences go out to the family and he will be sadly missed.”

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