Our publisher, Alex Broad, passed away suddenly at the weekend. As you can imagine, all work-related tasks took a back seat to say the least.
Many of you will have known Alex personally, some of you may have simply heard about her through others, but everyone who knew her saw her as an incredibly warm and thoughtful person who was always thinking of others. But she was not a weak person - she was thoroughly professional and always drove people she worked with to do better and reach greater professional heights. I can say with utmost certainty, that I would not have achieved what I have in journalism without Alex's constant support and gentle nudging to keep the standards up and to strive to set new ones.
For me, Alex was something of a mentor. She hired me four years ago and she was the one who had the faith to make me editor of this magazine. When I was appointed, she asked me if I required a 'mentor', another editor in the company to whom I could turn if I needed any advice on editorial issues. I told her I couldn't think of anyone more appropriate than herself. She seemed a little surprised but that was Alex all over - very self-effacing and never one to shout about her own considerable talents. It feels very odd not to have the security of Alex's huge experience and natural intelligence to lean on and that will take some getting used to.
But Alex was more than just a colleague - I thought of her as a friend. Not the kind I would see outside of work hours but one that I would regularly divulge the dry minutiae of my life to over the desk every day. I would tell her about what was worrying me, what was making me happy, what I was uncertain about and she listened patiently and thoughtfully and always gave great advice.
I suppose what I am trying to say here is that we have lost someone very special at Insurance Age and indeed the wider Incisive Media company and that she will be greatly missed.
We have lost a dear friend and colleague and unfortunately, coping with that loss, has been our week.
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