Personal finance guru Alan Steel, 74, died on Wednesday after battling the virus for a month.
In a solemn message last month, he tweeted: “You may wonder why I’ve been so quiet. For the best part of two weeks, I fought a losing battle with Covid.
“Been on oxygen in hospital since. Moving to intensive care today. This is one nasty illness. Fingers crossed I make it through.”
Mr Steel was best known in his industry for being the first to expose the problems at Equitable Life - where the insurer’s policyholders lost billions of pounds in savings.
He quickly gained a reputation in the financial services sector and managed his own firm with more than £1 billion worth of client assets.
In a statement last week Steven Forbes, managing director of Alan Steel Asset Management, said:
“It is with deep sadness that I have to inform you that the company’s founder and figurehead Alan Steel has passed away.
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“As you know a few weeks ago he caught the horrible virus that has dominated our lives for the last eighteen months, and despite his battles against huge institutions such as Equitable Life, the regulator and those that gave our industry a bad reputation, his last, against an invisible foe, was one that even he could not win.
“Alan made sure it would be business as usual when he was no longer around and the 41 of us in this branch of his family will continue his legacy and maintain the five key components of the business he loved; knowledge, integrity, innovation, fairness and fun. I make no bones about the fact the last will be the hardest to do initially, but Alan would want us smiling so we will try our best.”
Tributes poured in for Mr Steel who leaves behind his wife Fran and two children - Malcolm and Catherine.
“So sorry to hear this news,” Fiona Hyslop, member of Scottish parliament for Linlithgow, tweeted.
“Alan achieved so much and was much respected in the local community of Linlithgow in my constituency where he based his highly successful Alan Steel Asset Management which he took to great success.”
Ian Beestin at Money Alive tweeted: “This is such sad news. Alan was a great guy. I remember first reading his insightful comments in newspapers around 30 years ago. He was also a huge music fan and supporter of live music. Will miss him. Condolences to his family.”
Close friend John Allison said: “Alan always remained totally true to his working-class upbringing, but unknown to most, he was also a significant financial benefactor and behind the scenes, he gave great financial support to many local institutions and events.
“The financial services industry is traditionally very light on characters and legends – Alan Steel may sadly prove to be the last of them.”
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