Tributes paid after death of Harrogate stockbroker

Robert Ash, a partner at Harrogate-based Williams Investment Management, has died.

The father-of-three, who died unexpectedly on Tuesday, was a well-known figure in the Harrogate business community.

Duncan Williams, his fellow senior partner at Williams Investment Management, said he had known Robert for 33 years as a friend and business partner and was shocked to hear of his death.

He added: “We shall remember Robert’s charm and wit and needless to say he will be sorely missed by all of us at Williams Investment Management LLP.

“Our thoughts are very much with Robert’s wife, Charlotte, his two sons, James and Henry, and daughter, Camilla and their wider family and friends.”

Robert was a qualified stockbroker with 35 years’ experience and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment.

He started his career in London, spending five years at Kitcat & Aitken, before joining his late father-in-law Jonathan Smithie at Cawood Smithie & Co where he set up its successful Northallerton office.

Robert moved over to Brown Shipley when the business was sold in 2000, before leaving to join Williams Investment Management when it was set up in 2004 by his former Cawood Smithie colleague Duncan Williams.

Robert Beaumont, managing director of the Yorkshire-based public relations consultancy Robert Beaumont Associates, added: “This is devastating news. First and foremost, Robert was a friend – a tremendously good friend, kind, intelligent, courteous and witty.

“We also worked together professionally now and again at Williams Investment Management and he was a glowing exception to that golden rule of never working with your friends.

“He was exactly the same in the office and the board room as he was around the dinner table, displaying all those qualities of a gentleman that made him respected and loved by all his friends and colleagues. Robert will be missed, truly missed, by so many.”