I best knew Michael Lafferty as a competitor of parts of our business. So, I will leave it to those who knew him better to comment on his enthusiasm, knowledge, humour and accomplishments. It is no surprise to see a growing number of well-deserved tributes on this link.
Michael Lafferty had a profound impact on the coverage of retail banking and payments. He founded a number of businesses providing research, intelligence, management councils, advisory services, and training and education. Having spent six years at the FT as banking correspondent, accounting correspondent and LEX columnist, he established Retail Banker International as a global, editorially independent newsletter in 1981.
On my first day at what was then VRL Lafferty in March 2005, I was told that I would be spending my third day at the firm attending a retail banking conference in Amsterdam. The event was chaired, expertly, by Michael Lafferty. I never found chairing a banking conference to be easy at first and I am sure that was very obvious. Lafferty did so effortlessly and with obvious huge enjoyment.
Soon after I joined, Lafferty cashed in the original business and after expiry of a non-compete clause, became a competitor.
By 2010, I had the honour to be just the fourth editor of Retail Banker International. Fourteen years later, we still use his original style guide and attempt to maintain the standards he set for editorial independence and objectivity when he launched RBI. Lafferty set a high bar in coverage of retail banking and his passing will be a source of sadness to those who knew him.
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