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John Rathbone: Obituary

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John Christopher Daniel Rathbone, 69, passed away on Sunday 17 September 2017 after a short battle with cancer. 

A memorial service will be held on 22 November 2017 at 11.00 a.m. at St Paul’s Church, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London, SW1X 8SH. Refreshments will be served afterwards at The Berkeley Hotel, Wilton Place, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL.

John was born on 2 March 1948 in Paddington, London to the late Christopher Percy Hooper Rathbone and Phylis Louise Rathbone (née Brice). An only child, he was educated at Canford School, Dorset and the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland.

John spent his entire career in banking and financial services, joining Samuel Montague at the age of 19. He moved to Grindlays Bank in 1975, setting up part of their market trading operations and running their New York Treasury and FX desk. Grindlays Bank became part of ANZ and in 1985, aged 37, John became Executive Director, setting up and running their Capital Markets team worldwide.

In 1989, John had ambitions for an independent hedging/derivative advisory service, and J.C. Rathbone Associates was born. From a small office in Fenchurch Street, John led the company from its inception as Chairman with unmitigated dedication and diligence, and as the company grew, met every challenge and success in his own inimitable style. As the business developed and flourished under his leadership, with characteristic generosity John enabled employees to share in the success of the company.

An inventive and visionary leader, John’s ambitions to expand the business both in terms of the risk exposures on which it provides advice to its clients and in its geographic reach have succeeded.  Almost 30 years later, JCRA is known as the pre-eminent derivative advisor, covering a diverse number of sectors and clients in the UK, Europe and North America. John remained actively involved in the business both operationally and as a shareholder throughout. He was a regular market commentator, and particularly enjoyed authoring the Weekly Bulletin, which is well recognised by its extensive audience as being informative with a decent dose of satire – never consensus opinion.

A dedicated bridge player, John also enjoyed skiing and playing squash and tennis, in his own words “destroying the occasional golf course that is unwise enough to allow me to hack away on their turf”, as well as harbouring a great enthusiasm for rugby. John established an early interest in horseracing. His knowledge and enthusiasm for National Hunt racing latterly gave rise to John owning two horses, which he avidly followed as they raced throughout the UK and Ireland.  

Always good company, he was a bon viveur and his enjoyment of a cigar and a glass of wine was a common sight in the wine bars of the City and the West End of London. As someone who offered an independent view, and had the sharpest of minds, John was not influenced by the crowd. He was a confident, powerful presence in the boardroom juxtaposed with kindness and compassion, and a great appreciation of humour.

John was devoted to his family and took great delight being in the company of his grandchildren. He is survived by his wife Jenny, his children Daniel and Melissa and grandchildren Daisy, Bibi, Ottie and Percy.

A private family funeral will be held on 12 October 2017. Donations can be made direct to Ronald McDonald House Charities, registered charity no: 802047, www.rmhc.org.uk or the Injured Jockeys Fund, registered charity number: 1107395, www.injuredjockeys.co.uk. Condolences and charitable donations can also be sent care of John Stuart Funeral Directors, 18 The Brittox, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1AJ. 

 

 

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