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FD - brilliant journalist and editor

FD was a brilliant journalist and editor, who could, and did, file stories virtually simultaneously in English and French. This was a particularly useful skill in former French colonies like Algeria, where he was the correspondent, and where there was strong interest in news from that country for both the English and French language services.

François was famously modest, and famously private. His invariable reply when asked to give his opinion on some Reuters tittle tattle was “I never gossip.” A shrewd judge of character, he would never publicly discuss his views of his staff and colleagues. He was also an extremely kind man.

FD, as a proud Frenchman, loved his food and wine, and knew all the best restaurants in Paris: happily, he introduced me to several of them.

He was a long-standing member of the Coriander Investment Club, and could be relied upon to provide sage advice on French companies worth a punt.

In his retirement, there was nothing he liked better than to catch up with his old chums from Reuters, and hear the latest news, although giving little away! Sadly, ill health curtailed his attendance at club monthly lunch meetings and he finally had to retire, with honour. ■