Award-winning FM financial writer Stafford Thomas passed away suddenly last Friday. Stafford was a relative latecomer to financial journalism, having previously worked in the financial services sector — most notably a nine-year stint as a senior portfolio manager at Sanlam during the fractious decade between the late-1980s and mid-1990s. Stafford joined the FM in the late-1990s and, barring a short stint at rival Finweek, had worked for the publication for close on two decades. He will be remembered for his meticulous attention to detail in his stories, and his insistence on getting to know executives and understand their respective businesses before committing any words to paper. One executive says Stafford was not a run-of-the-mill journalist. "He was never looking for that 30-second sound bite. He was reflective, thoughtful and incredibly switched-on. He understood the issues well and was always looking for a theme. You just don’t get many journalists like that any more." Staffor...

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