(N.B. Given my lengthy term as a board member of the SFOA and my longstanding association with the Burgenstock meeting, including my return this year with the Crossfire Panel, I am making this "Premium" content free to view by anybody).
I am saddened to note the passing of Paul-Andre Jacot last Friday night. He barely had time to enjoy his retirement last September after a lifetime of service to the Swiss Futures & Options Association, an organisation which became identified with his unique presence at all times. Paul-Andre was involved more or less from the earliest vestiges of modern European futures market activity in the 1970s, with ContiCommodity Services and Rouse Woodstock. He served as secretary of the board of directors of the Geneva trading arm of Montedison until 1978, having earlier worked in banking with Citibank and Banque de Bruxelles. A strong character, his slight deafness often made him seem more curt than his true character while also curtailing his lifelong passion for flying.
Many in the industry will recall Paul-Andre for as a man of great generosity who memorably (for all those who ever benefitted from prandial exuberance at his court) adhered to the mantra of being a ‘legend in his own lunchtime.’ A gregarious, amusing and cheerful figure, he was truly the most unique figure in the history of the SFOA association. I personally have many happy memories of his wondrous lunches, his marvellous hospitality and the many SFOA board meetings where he always found a unique locale to visit which was as welcoming in its hospitality as it was generous in its marvellous prandial delights at breakfast, lunch and dinner! One lovely story I recall only too well was of an Italian restaurateur whose new venture (near Paul-Andre’s Geneva office), despite an excellent menu executed marvellously, was not paying its way. In danger of imminent bankruptcy, the chef patron confided in Paul-Andre. Always a man with a solution, the implacable Jacot barked an order: “This table is mine every day until further notice - stay open! I’ll bring my friends.”Within a matter of months, the restaurant was thoroughly in the black and it was clear on arriving any day that the clients were predominantly friends, associates and colleagues of the irrepressible Monsieur Jacot.
Needless to say, the incredibly grateful restauranteur was another of Paul-Andre’s friends for life! Paul-Andre was genuinely the backbone of SCFOA (later SFOA) around which the association and its legendary Burgenstock conference coalesced. As Chairman of the organisation from 1990, (and CEO from 2001), he preceded over a period of huge industry change and made the Burgenstock meeting the pre-eminent continental European derivatives event, a momentum which sadly declined in later years as vision proved harder to come by in a dynamically changing market environment. My sympathies to all his family on the death of a man whose significant impact upon creating dialogue amongst the futures & options industry and the nascent world of derivatives exchanges, for over a quarter of a century from 1980 cannot be underestimated. He will be missed...