Vale Geoff Rasmussen
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Western Australian corporate leader Geoff Rasmussen passed away on Friday night after a long battle with cancer.
The 45-year-old was recognised as both an outstandingly successful investment banker and a committed philanthropist.
Mr Rasmussen was diagnosed with cancer in late 2014 after undergoing a routine check-up conducted by Ionic Health, an executive health business in which he had invested. After more than a month of intense therapy, and surgery, he resumed work as managing director of the investment bank Azure Capital, which he jointly founded.
He remained in the role throughout 2015, delivering the traditional thanks to clients and staff of the firm at its annual Christmas event last year, but behind the scenes he was fighting a battle that became harder as 2016 commenced and he stepped away from work to undergo more therapy and be with his family.
"We take comfort in believing that the immense energy he possessed is not lost to us," Azure director Adrian Arundell said in a message to staff and clients of the firm.
"His strength in life and in confronting this final challenge is inspiring to us all."
It is the second such tragedy to hit Azure. In 2011, director Adam Rankine-Wilson succumbed to cancer at the age of 48.
It later separated from the brokerage under the leadership of John Poynton to form two businesses, Poynton and Partners, an investment banking operation, and GEM Consulting, a management consulting business named after its three key players Geoff Rasmussen, Errol Levitt and Mark Barnaba.
That business was sold in 2003 to South African firm AST and, after a work-out period, the key players moved on to form Azure Capital, a boutique investment bank which has been a local leader for more than a decade.
Mr Rasmussen has also been a high profile philanthropist, most notably at Youth Focus, of which he was a director for nine years including a period as chairman until he stepped aside in 2012. He completed the charity's Ride for Youth from Albany to Perth on several occasions. He was most recently a board member of the West Coast Eagles football team.
He was highly regarded by his peers and rivals for the immense intellect and work ethic he brought to his corporate work without being a stereotypical investment banker.
“Geoff lived a selfless, generous life, always giving of himself to others,” said Mr Poynton who has worked closely with Mr Rasmussen for the past two decades, including on some of the state's biggest deals.
“He had an irreverent sense of fun and was always up for a new adventure.”
“The biggest brain on the terrace but the smallest personal ego,” said one businessman who had worked with Mr Rasmussen on numerous deals.
Business News invites readers who knew Geoff to use the comments section beneath this article if they wish to express their thoughts on his passing.