Tony Gibson

Contribution from Tony Gibson, former publishing director, board director, Risk Waters

Tony and Simon
Tony Gibson, bottom left, with, among others, Simon Turner, bottom right

Occasionally, I dig up a beer bottle top in our back garden and remember fondly that I was lucky enough to have had David Rivers and Simon Turner, drinking beer, at my 40th birthday party in the summer of 2001. Twenty years seems like a long time, but also only yesterday.

In September 2001, I was working at Risk Waters alongside Simon and in daily contact with David, as well as Neil Cudmore, Dinah Webster and so many of our staff who fell victim. They were friends built through daily contact and the endless time we spent together on business trips, as well as the bonds that bind when working in a developing media company.

Travel was easy before 11th September and New York was almost next door to London. We had a vibrant office on Lafayette Street. Every evening, a crowd gathered at the Mekong, our local watering hole. It was a happy office, fuelled by reporting on the tremendous speed of development in financial technology. David, Neil, Dinah and Simon were always at the heart of this activity, buoyed by the community, excitement and togetherness that events bring and their own welcoming personalities. Our events team and journalists always gave their all, and the inaugural Waters Financial Technology conference was planned as a flagship.

I had first come to know Neil and Dinah in Hong Kong, and felt like I moved with them to New York, Neil often telling of the crane he’d had to hire to get Dinah’s favourite piece of furniture in through an upper window in their Murray Hill apartment. Dinah always bubbled, all the time wearing a vibrant silk scarf. The office was her family.

Simon, with his responsibility for Waters, was a frequent visitor to New York, always finding a very ‘affordable’ hotel the rest of us refused to stay in. He had taken me to a dinner at the Honourable Artillery Company, his territorial army regiment, showing me a painting set in the Falklands he featured in. It was the back of his head, but he was sure it was him.

I often think, where would our 16 staff be now? It is hard to answer but I am confident they all had strong paths ahead and I know many would now be amongst my closest friends. They are much missed.

I should add a note of thanks to all the staff of Risk Waters at the time and my pride to be working with them. The shock and horror of the event itself and the loss of friends, colleagues, delegates and others was hard to deal with – but the desire of everyone to help as the news unfolded was a reminder of the good.

If you would like to view all the articles in our 9/11 commemoration, click here

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