ForeverMissed
This memorial is to celebrate the life of Timothy John Beardson. He devoted his early life to politics and then went into finance. He founded Crosby Financial Holdings, Hong Kong, which was at its time the largest independent investment bank in the Far East. His joy was writing and speaking particularly on political, economic and strategic issues. He also mentored young entrepreneurs while active with his charitable work. Timothy was instrumental in establishing the China Oxford Scholarship Fund  (COSF)  in the UK and was a  COSF trustee in Hong Kong where he was also Chairman and later the International Chairman of the Fund. Although he had stepped back from active involvement in the charity in recent times, his and Clair’s hospitality was legendary and enjoyed by us all at the Hailey summer lunches which for many years contributed so much to COSF and the China Oxford scholars. He was also the author of the acclaimed book, "Stumbling Giant: The Threats to China's Future" which was nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction. Timothy was devoted to his wife Clair and his son Peregrine. We shall miss him.

我们以本颂词纪念谭宝信先生的一生。他早年涉足政治,而后投身金融事业之中。1984年,他在香港成立了高诚证券有限公司,在当时是远东最大的独立投资银行。他平时爱好写作,并且热衷于开展政治、经济和战略方面的公共演讲。在活跃于慈善事业的同时,他积极地对青年企业家进行辅导。早年中国牛津奖学金(COSF)在英国筹建的过程中,谭宝信先生做出过举足轻重的贡献。当时他是香港基金会董事之一,而后又成为了COSF全球主席。虽然近来他不再参与基金会的具体日常工作,他和Clair的热情好客却为人津津乐道,多年来,我们在Hailey夏日午餐会上都感到宾至如归,午餐会也为COSF学者们做出了巨大贡献。他广受好评的著作《跛脚的巨人:中国即将爆发的危机》,曾经获得过巴美列捷福奖非小说类提名。他深爱着他的妻子 Clair 以及他的儿子 Peregrine。我们将会永远怀念他。



Posted by Tania Slater on November 23, 2020
Timothy will be remembered for many reasons, for me, his wit and outstanding generosity never ceased to amaze me. 
I smile when I think of his refusal to wear a tie stating that ‘only waiters wear ties’.
He also said that he only needed one good cerebral idea a day, he certainly had the right ideas!
Godspeed Timothy - you sure did live life in the fast lane and inspired many, RIP
Posted by Julian Camu on November 21, 2020
There was no one ever like my godfather Tim. His kind and gentle demeanour along with his generous habits and sharp wit are just a fraction of traits that made this man the great man he was. It is easy to speak with bias when one remembers the departed, but I mean what I say as much as a man can mean what he says. It is easy to be intimidated by such a man, but Tim always made me feel welcome at his table even though I was certainly the least worthy to be sitting at that table. He generously gave me his time and his love - I remember smoking a cigar with him under the full moon at Hailey - we were sitting in silence enjoying each other’s company and I will never forget that silence. We didn’t need to talk, we were happy to have each other around. When I would play (basically) the piano Tim would often leave the confines of his study to sit and listen. He was always appreciative of my fumbling hands desperately trying to play the right melody. There’s so much more to say about Tim. I could write for hours on his humour, his charm, his generosity, and his love for people, but I will leave it head for now. Tim, I will miss you every day and I regret not spending more time with you. I love you. Julian
Posted by Hugues Maury on November 14, 2020
J'ai connu Tim dans les liens de l'amitié, à Paris, à Hailey House, en vacances avec Clair. Un homme intelligent, passionné et sensible, curieux du monde et des personnes, généreux et esthète. Je viens d'apprendre son grand départ, et j'éprouve beaucoup de surprise et de peine; je m'associe de tout coeur à la peine de Clair et Peregrine, et leur envoie grande amitié et beaucoup d'amour.
Posted by Francesco Zanetti on October 30, 2020
I am deeply saddened by the passing of Timothy Beardson. He was a generous man, with the vision of forming and improving the next generation of Chinese scholars to create a better world. I have seen several students flourishing under the China Oxford Scholarship Fund, and Timothy deserves great credit for believing and investing in the future of the next generations. Timothy hospitality was welcoming and generous. I vividly remember a summer luncheon at the Hailey with Tim welcoming and engaging with each guest and organizing a bus to offer transportation to students to ensure everyone could attend. He is deeply missed. RIP. 
Posted by Shijian Li on October 24, 2020
As one of the COSF scholars, I am truely sadden to hear the news. I have met Timothy twice in his beautiful countryside manor, with many other guests from different background. It was very eye-opening to be part of these social events, especially for someone like me who never lived abroad before. Especially, every time before the event, Timothy's opening speech was enlightening to me from a unique objective perspective. And that let me rethink of many things in a different angle.

"If I go to other university, I can only learn knowledge. Only in Oxford, I can gain wisdom" - This is from one of his speech about the first Oxford Chinese scholar ever in Oxford. I still remember his wishes to Chinese scholars, that is to contribute back to China and let the world know China better.

R.I.P
Posted by Derek Siveter on October 20, 2020
It was with shock and great sadness that I heard of the sudden passing of Timothy Beardson. As a past member and Chair of the COSF Oxford selection panel, I together my wife were just two of the numerous guests who over a number of years enjoyed the convivial, lively and generous hospitality of Timothy and Clair in the Hailey COSF associated gatherings. Importantly, the COSF scholars clearly much benefitted from such occasions and gained encouragement and inspiration from the addresses that Timothy gave at them. These Oxfordshire events played a significant part in forging a family ethos for COSF in the UK, which of course Timothy was pivotal in establishing, in addition to him fostering the charity more widely through his Hong Kong Trustee and International Chairmanship roles. His engaging zest for life came across so strongly and he will be sorely missed.
Posted by Guowei Tao on October 19, 2020
I am deeply saddened by this news. Tim was kind, generous and inspiring. COSF has supported hundreds of scholars like me to pursue their dreams, and Tim is the one who made this possible. He treated us like family members. The Christmas dinners we had together were my most valuable memories in Oxford. I extend my profound condolences to his family.
Posted by Jingjing Chen on October 19, 2020
As a beneficiary of China Oxford Scholarship Fund, I feel deeply sorry for this news. I've attended Timothy's family banquet after I arrived Oxford shortly. Even though it is about 14 years ago, details embedding his openness,humor and chivalrous are still very clear. A person who use his effort to change the world slowly, but deeply. R.I.P. Hope the families and friends can recover from this shock quickly.
Posted by Yimin Wu on October 18, 2020
I am sad to learn the news of Timothy Bearson. I want to express my deepest sympathy to Clair and Peregrine. He is a respectful man who made some many support to COSF. I am still remember his hospitality in his house, and his interview with me at Rhodes house during the COSF anniversary. He made a difference in my life. I am with his family for this difficult time.
Posted by Hanyang Ye on October 18, 2020
I firs met Mr. Beardson through COSF. Later I asked him if he would like to be my mentor in Oxford Global Leadership Initiative programme and he happily agreed. When I heard the sad news, all the memories I spent with Mr. Beardson, Clair, and Peregrine at the Hailey House burst into my mind. It was just three years ago when the cherries were shining in the garden and Mr. Beardson was arguing with Peregrine about the Texas cowboy hat.

It is my fortune to have met Mr. Beardson. He set a great example for me as an entrepreneur, an educator, a friend, and a family man. I will always remember his comments on life and hopefully in the future I can be someone like him, who cares the next generation of young people.
Posted by Michael Wooldridge on October 18, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of Timothy's passing. One of my first experiences with China Oxford Scholarship Fund was a lunch for scholars and their tutors hosted by Timothy at his beautiful country home. There was so much laughter, so many friendly people, so many inspiring stories: the experience inspired me to become more involved with COSF. My thoughts are with his friends and family.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Tania Slater on November 23, 2020
Timothy will be remembered for many reasons, for me, his wit and outstanding generosity never ceased to amaze me. 
I smile when I think of his refusal to wear a tie stating that ‘only waiters wear ties’.
He also said that he only needed one good cerebral idea a day, he certainly had the right ideas!
Godspeed Timothy - you sure did live life in the fast lane and inspired many, RIP
Posted by Julian Camu on November 21, 2020
There was no one ever like my godfather Tim. His kind and gentle demeanour along with his generous habits and sharp wit are just a fraction of traits that made this man the great man he was. It is easy to speak with bias when one remembers the departed, but I mean what I say as much as a man can mean what he says. It is easy to be intimidated by such a man, but Tim always made me feel welcome at his table even though I was certainly the least worthy to be sitting at that table. He generously gave me his time and his love - I remember smoking a cigar with him under the full moon at Hailey - we were sitting in silence enjoying each other’s company and I will never forget that silence. We didn’t need to talk, we were happy to have each other around. When I would play (basically) the piano Tim would often leave the confines of his study to sit and listen. He was always appreciative of my fumbling hands desperately trying to play the right melody. There’s so much more to say about Tim. I could write for hours on his humour, his charm, his generosity, and his love for people, but I will leave it head for now. Tim, I will miss you every day and I regret not spending more time with you. I love you. Julian
Posted by Hugues Maury on November 14, 2020
J'ai connu Tim dans les liens de l'amitié, à Paris, à Hailey House, en vacances avec Clair. Un homme intelligent, passionné et sensible, curieux du monde et des personnes, généreux et esthète. Je viens d'apprendre son grand départ, et j'éprouve beaucoup de surprise et de peine; je m'associe de tout coeur à la peine de Clair et Peregrine, et leur envoie grande amitié et beaucoup d'amour.
his Life

Obituary

Timothy Beardson, who has just died in Jersey at the age of 69, founded and became the majority shareholder and Chairman of Crosby Securities. The Stockbroker and Boutique merchant bank became the largest independent investment bank in Asia. At its height Crosby employed 650 staff in 27 offices in 17 cities in 14 countries, from New York to Beijing. In 13 years of trading, Timothy oversaw an increase in annual transactional volume to US$20 Billion.

Crosby was the first international investment bank to open in Thailand and Malaysia followed by China in 1989. Crosby was the only foreign bank invited to participate in the working party to set up the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The bank advised governments throughout The ASEAN world as well as the U.K. and the USA.  Other global institutions eager to develop in the same markets were given political, strategic, economic and investment advice by Crosby’s research teams on a regular basis, before deciding themselves to enter the same financial markets.

When Timothy sold the bank in stages between 1996 and 1999, based on the scale of the bank’s operations and the valuation on sale, he was described by the media as “the leading English entrepreneur in Hong Kong during the latter half of the twentieth century". Timothy became an almost annual fixture when lecturing at universities across the world, in particular at business Schools such as Oxford, Yale and Beijing. His opinion was frequently sought by TV and Radio shows . The more so when he relinquished the exacting daily work of running his bank and wrote the highly regarded book, “The Stumbling Giant: The threats to China’s Future “ published by Yale University Press in 2013. The book focuses on whether China will replace the US as the next superpower, and the challenges that face China  in the 21st century which has been a topic that has come to the fore in the last four years. The Times chose the Stumbling Giant as one of its “Books of the Week” in the same year of publication.

Timothy Beardson was born on 28th July 1951. He spent his early years around the Southampton area of Hampshire before moving to The Helford in Cornwall.  His father was a member of the naval liaison group with the Special Boat Service (seeing action around Greece in World War Two) and who spent many months away at sea during Timothy’s formative years. This did not hinder Timothy’s academic achievements. He won a County Scholarship and College Exhibition to read History up at Christ Church, Oxford and at a very early age compared to many of his contemporaries. He used his time up at Oxford to engage in robust political debate, he viewed his constituency as broader than that of Oxford.

On leaving Oxford Timothy joined the investment firm Gartmore and soon found that his mental abilities would lead him to Hong Kong where he excelled in research and developing a new client base. This encouraged Timothy to expand his career and he was invited to join the Hong Kong conglomerate Sun Hung Kai (SHK)  as a senior stockbroker. Here he helped the chairman, Fung King Hey, obtain international recognition as a stock trader. In consequence, Timothy helped to organise the first ever Chinese Stockbrokers In and Out and Bankers Blanket Bond to be placed in Lloyds of London. This led to Timothy opening up SHK’s first US Office in New York. After a few years there, Timothy returned to Hong Kong and sought wider fields in which to practice. He briefly worked at the Hong Leong Conglomerate before setting out his own stall and founding Crosby in 1984.

Timothy Beardson had an extraordinary gift in finding the right people who shared his similar desire for success. Crosby was soon expanding at an extraordinary rate, the team found themselves buying “ Seats ‘ on stock exchanges that had hitherto been closed to foreign investment. Famously the American International Group joint ventured in a number of the Seat purchases, especially in Thailand, and the Wallenberg family trust was an original investor in Crosby. The consequent research teams were in immediate demand by all the major global financial markets and Crosby teams were constantly approached to work for competitors. Timothy saw this threat and steadied it by selling 30% of Crosby in 1993 to Societe Generale who went onto buy the remaining shares in different blocks until finally absorbing Crosby in 1999.

Away from his work, Timothy was the most generous of hosts, especially kind to those with whom he had studied or worked alongside, as his own career blossomed. His house parties in the South of France were legendary . The success of this hospitality encouraged him to buy a property in Oxfordshire that would prove suitable as a place to entertain his many friends, by now legion, whom he met through international conferences such as The World Economic Forum where he became a regular attendee and speaker . When Timothy succeeded Sir David Akers-Jones, the former Chief Secretary and Acting Governor of Hong Kong, as Chairman of the China Oxford Scholarship, he generously allowed many of the Chinese scholars the same opportunity to enjoy the environment and hospitality that the Beardsons gave to their own friends at Hailey House.

Guests would often find up to 50 other fortunate recipients of Timothy’s hospitality at anyone time with activities to suit all . Sundays would begin with breakfast and invariably a service conducted by a visiting priest , more often than not an Archbishop, Bishop or Dean of an International Anglican Cathedral, or alternatively a mini bus would be laid on to escort members of the house party to Oxford for a Mass and a curated tour of the Ashmolean before returning for lunch, where fine Clarets were always the host’s preferred choice of wine. Many of Timothy’s circle of friends will recall his acute sense of humour. Famously, on one occasion arriving at an immigration desk in Paris , the Immigration officer opened Timothy’s passport and noticed a staggering array of visa stamps , he looked at Timothy and asked what it was like to live in the Third World, to which Timothy replied “ I don’t know, I have just arrived “.

Timothy married rather late in life due to the pressure of running his own business , his Wedding gift to his wife Clair was an apartment on the Isle St. Louis in Paris (later transferring to the Isle de la Citie).Their joint ability to entertain so many of their friends and fellow international conference delegates never abated. A mark of their joint success is that over the years many of their fortunate guests would continue to recognise the same domestic team . Timothy Beardson was also a Patron of Outward Bound in Britain from 1997-2002 and his charity extended  to the Anglo Catholic cause for which he was made an Honorary Fellow of Old Sarum College in Salisbury. Throughout his life Timothy continued to be interested in coaching young entrepreneurs to succeed in many fields but principally in the financial sector.

Timothy expected loyalty and he handsomely repaid it when he knew his expectations were rewarded.

Timothy, who was resident in Hong Kong for over 40 years, leaves behind a son Peregrine who is still at school and his wife Clair, nee Davison, who he married at Dorchester Abbey in 2000.

Obituary written by Robbie Lyle, former COSF UK Trustee and life-long friend of Timothy Beardson for 50 years.

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