In Remembrance: Alan Baker

By Jack Allen

By Les Edgar

It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Alan Baker. A dear friend of LBMA and the market, Alan will no doubt be missed by many.

Alan was born in 1943 in Sidcup, Kent, to parents Charles and Jean Baker. Alan’s father became a publican after a career in the Navy, and his mother was a secretary at the stock exchange. Alan moved around a lot as a child due to his father’s Naval career, including to Somerset and Bermondsey, London.

After completing his schooling, Alan joined Rothschild in 1964. He joined the dealing room two years later, working on the foreign exchange desk. Some eight years later, Alan moved to Sharps Pixley in 1972 as a dealer and progressed to Chief Dealer during his 21 years there. He later spent five years at Deutsche Bank, from 1993 to 1998. He was Chairman of LBMA from 1993 to 1997 and appeared on the front page of the very first Alchemist in June 1995.

Biennial Dinner, Goldsmiths Hall, 02 April 1992. Pictured left to right are Paul Lennie, John Fairley, Alan Baker, Keith Smith, Robert Guy, Colin Griffith, Martin Stokes and Robert Stein.

Alan hired Jack Allan during his time at Sharps Pixley. Jack wanted to learn more about the business and there was no better person than Alan to learn from. Alan took Jack under his wing and taught him about the intricacies of precious metals trading. The duo later worked together again at Deutsche Bank, during which time Alan was, again, kind and encouraging.

Alan was a pioneer, especially in the world of options with his early use of PCs, and he was deeply committed to his work. Everything was taken very seriously, as witnessed by a certain famous expression when things went wrong! There was a lighter side to him too, and he enjoyed humour when the occasion arose. He was also very loyal to his team.

Photographed with the gold fixing members, circa 1990. Pictured left to right are Dick Gazmararian, Keith Smith, Alastair Chrismas, Alan Baker and Patrick Smith.

Alan was hugely knowledgeable and passionate about the market, as evidenced in his interview on the gold price centenary back in 2019, which you can watch on the LBMA website. During this interview, he reveals that he was once “a bit of a rebel” as the only dealer who did not wear a bowler hat.

An immensely proud family man, Alan married Sue in 1968. They had four children: Samantha, Carl, Natasha and Philip – and eight grandchildren.

Alan was very able at practical matters, a keen gardener and DIY enthusiast, who could turn his hand to any project, be it carpentry, plumbing, decorating or building.

As a young man, Alan also enjoyed singing in bands and playing music. This was a passion he continued throughout his life as he was a keen bass player, regularly playing in a band to entertain care homes and other venues. He was very active in his local community, as a governor and sometime Chair of a local school.

Alan was a stalwart of the precious metals market and will be missed by all who knew him.

Rest in Peace, Alan.

By Jack Allen

By Les Edgar