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Danny O’Neil, who built a financial giant, has died

Danny O’Neil, who oversaw the growth of Britannia Asset Management into a significant player in Glasgow’s financial services sector, has died.

Over a decade he was instrumental in turning a small institution with a few hundred million pounds of funds under management into a manager of £20 billion.

But despite being tipped for even greater things he surprised the sector when in January 2002 he resigned as CEO of the Britannic Group at the age of 41 after just seven weeks as CEO.

At the time he said: “There is no one, dramatic reason behind my decision. I have been a leader for many years now, I thought I was ready for the next step up but now I see that I wasn’t. I looked at the next few years and could see myself failing to get the balance between personal and professional life right. I think Britannic deserves someone who was not thinking that way.”

A graduate of Maths, he started his career in insurance after giving up boyhood dreams of playing football for Celtic.

He trained as an actuary with FS Assurance and moved to its investment business. He became chief executive of Britannia Asset Management in 1991, a year after FS was bought by Britannia Building Society. It became Britannic Asset Management after being acquired by Britannic in 1999.

O’Neil went on to chair the Glasgow plant, tool and equipment hire company, GAP Group for 14 years.

Danny O’Neil died on 2 November, aged 60.

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