Kate Martin

Kate Martin

Kate Martin
15 06 1953 – 24 12 2013

Our dear friend and colleague Kate passed away on Christmas Eve 2013. Even until the latter stages of her sick leave, Kate remained concerned for the welfare and details of clients, many of whom she had come to consider as friends.

This picture shows Kate as she graduated as a Chartered Financial Planner.

A Tribute to Kate by Michael Freedman, colleague and founder of BpH Wealth Management

It was in 2001 when I received a call from an old friend that he was interviewing a lady for a job as an administrator for his Financial Advice practice. He told me that really she would be far too good for that job, and if I met her perhaps I could offer her something better. At that time our firm did not have a vacancy, but I arranged to see her.

Kate did indeed impress me and I realised that perhaps I should think about having an understudy to cover for me if age or infirmity prevented me from working. I therefore offered her a job as administrator, to learn the basics of our business, and that in the course of one year, she should study and pass enough Chartered Insurance exams to gain advanced qualification.

Kate rose to the challenge, and undertook a set of very demanding and complex examinations to achieve her target, within the allotted time span and so became qualified to provide financial advice as an Independent Adviser.

At first Kate shadowed me and together we helped my various clients. We also shared an office, and so got to know each other pretty well.

Her background in Lloyd’s, she said, helped her to get into the mould of being a Wealth Manager and before long Kate’s role developed and she was assisting and advising clients independent of myself.

In 2007, Kate graduated to become a Chartered Financial Planner, in itself a great achievement, and something that she said gave her great personal satisfaction. This put her among the elite in our profession.

The many messages that we have received from clients are a testament to the value they placed on her help and how much she will be missed.

BpH Wealth Management is not just a firm, but a work family of individuals who come together day after day and work for a common purpose for the benefit of our clients, and the satisfaction of doing a good job which keeps us all securely working in our careers.

In this, Kate fully entered and was a vibrant part of our “BpH family”. At her suggestion, we all took part in a London to Cambridge cycle ride, to raise funds for Breast Cancer research. Some of us, including Kate did not possess a bicycle, but with our new bikes, the non cyclists among us set out to train to become long distance riders. Saddle sore, and not without a few spills, we all triumphantly reached Midsummer Common in Cambridge.

At work, Kate loved to play “devil’s advocate” and this led to many lively discussions during our various planning meetings, where nothing went by without her searching and questioning scrutiny. This was part of her probing personality.

Kate loved cricket and this, we shared. During the course of an important match, the score was monitored closely. Kate always liked to support the underdog, and so internationally, she supported Sri Lanka as she saw them as plucky little islanders against the big boys.

Her ability to solve crosswords and killer sudokus was an indication of the sharpness of her brain, which meant that faced with a tricky problem at work, she could reason out the answer, which often eluded even the most resourceful of technical departments of insurance companies. She told me that in a former age, she would have liked to have been a Code Breaker at GCHQ in Bletchley.

Her knowledge of the English language was amazing. There was hardly a word in the Chambers dictionary that she did not know. Whenever I came across an obscure word, I would ask her, had she known of it, invariably she knew the meaning and the derivation. She was a true wordsmith.

We were privileged to know Kate and be part of, what turned out to be the last fifth of her life. We are sad that she did not get to her planned retirement and enjoy the many things that she had hoped to do, including her love of travel, her interest in archeology, among others.

Kate has enriched our lives and we will all miss her greatly.