The Winter Olympic Games began in Vancouver 9 years ago today.
Asleep in a first class pod that night, 30,000 feet above the Atlantic aboard a BA flight from London Heathrow to Vancouver YVR, Anthony "Tony" Pollard passed away peacefully while returning from a business trip. It was a poetic ending for a high-flying investment banker who squeezed every drop out of life.
A generation ago (1980s), Tony was my stockbroker dad's boss. Tony was then a gregarious branch manager at Vancouver’s Pemberton Securities.
Dad remembers a mean client who gave little commissions and big headaches. One day, the client asked to complain to dad’s manager. Tony answered, and through charm was able to pacify all concerns and get the client trading again. Dad was alarmed the next morning to learn the client had bought into several of Tony's high-risk VSE ideas.
Pollard was a great persuader, and if you ever went to an all-you-can-eat restaurant with him, you learned he was also a great eater. He loved sashimi or karage, embraced food stains on his sport coats and house coats, and Tony could get any restaurant reservation using self confidence alone.
This week in 2010 he passed, Tony and I were negotiating over the price of a web site I was proposing to build for his boutique financing business. Tony said my modest fees were ridiculous but that he would lose all respect for me if I had not made a big ask. His advice was the antithesis of what I would hear from my conservative father and I loved every ounce of it.
Pollard was a trained hypnotist like Scott Adams, loved Tony Robbins and introduced me to the business self-help genre. They say the best salesmen are the easiest to sell. Pollard was open to suggestion, open to everything.
A devoted husband to Cathy, they had four brilliant boys including @AndrewPollard and @Shaun_P who I love and are succeeding today.
Remembering and grateful for this colourful character.