Tributes to influential businessman

VILLAGERS have paid tribute to one of the most influential figures in the business world who died at work of a heart attack.

VILLAGERS have paid tribute to one of the most influential figures in the business world who died at work of a heart attack.

Gavin Macdonald, 47, of Chevington, was the first London-based banker ever to hold the title of Morgan Stanley's global head of mergers and acquisitions.

During his career, Mr Macdonald oversaw a number of high profile, multi-billion pound deals, including the Vornado acquisition of Toys “R” Us and Punch Group's acquisition of Allied Domecq PLC's UK retailing business.

He died of a heart attack last Friday at Morgan Stanley's offices in Canary Wharf.

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He was well known and well loved in Chevington and had been a regular for 12 years at The Greyhound public house.

Speaking on behalf of the Greyhound regulars, Tracy and Jean Fance, join licensees, said: “He was the most kind, caring, considerate and selfless man we've ever met.

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“Words are not enough to explain how much people around here miss him already. People here are choked - there's never such a sombre atmosphere here as there is at the moment.

“He was very well liked and he always had time for anybody and everybody.

“He was forever working even when he was here in the pub. There's a hole in the heart of the village - everybody who met him and knew him liked him, he was one of those rare people you could not dislike.

“We've known him for over 12 years and at first I just thought he was on a business trip because he comes and goes because of his work. When somebody came in and told me he had died, I cried. There is a very heartfelt loss in the village.”

In an email to staff, John Mack, chief executive at Morgan Stanley, said: “Gavin was an extremely decent, universally liked, funny, selfless and deeply valued man. He was also a close and generous friend to many of us.

“One of the founding members of the European mergers and acquisitions department, he became a vice chairman of investment banking in 2004, global head of mergers and acquisitions last year, and was a member of the European Management Committee. Gavin was a trusted advisor to many important clients in Europe and a role model at Morgan Stanley. He will be greatly missed.”

The Cambridge-educated banker was one of the founding members of the main charity for Great Ormond Street Hospital, the world-famous children's hospital in London.

Three years ago the EADT reported how Mr MacDonald hoped to turn part of his Chevington home into a polo and cricket pitch to attract celebrity matches in aid of the children's hospital.

At the time, he told the EADT how the idea started simply as a way of providing the village with a cricket pitch and evolved from there.

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