Senior figures in the data and direct marketing industry have paid tribute to Lloyd James, one of the sector’s most colourful and flamboyant characters, who has passed away after a long illness, aged 62.
Lloyd started his career in recruitment in 1974, working for Reed Executive, before joining Commercial Names & Numbers, a B2B data provider in the early Eighties.
He moved on to SR Communications in 1986 and was appointed to the board of directors, reporting into John Burbidge who was a great mentor to Lloyd. It was here that he first met Lynn Stevens and they both quit in 1990 to set up the Lloyd James Group.
The company went on to be one of the biggest independent list and data businesses in the UK for over 20 years. However, following a tough period for the broking industry, Lloyd James Ltd was forced to shut up shop in 2015. The firm relaunched as Lloyd James Media, but Lloyd was not directly involved, instead setting up his own consultancy.
Stevens said: “I worked with Lloyd for 30 years. He was an amazing manager and mentor, he could instinctively recognise the qualities in people and then encouraged them, inspiring and motivating them to play to their strengths.
“He played a huge part in launching many highly successful careers and built an amazingly loyal team at Lloyd James over the years, all of whom are still in touch – we call ourselves the ‘LJ Family’. Nothing illustrates that more than the fact that some of his team were with him when he passed away.”
Opt-4 director Jenny Moseley said: “Knowing Lloyd well was a privilege. Larger than life, flamboyant and fun, Lloyd was a leading character in the list industry, as it was, back in the day. Honest, generous to a fault, and caring, Lloyd will be missed by those who were lucky enough to know him and who could forget that strawberry pink suit; another shining light dimmed.”
Judith Donovan CBE added: “We agency owners, being ‘creatives’, thought we were a cut above the wonks and geeks in the business, particularly the list brokers who seemed to us to have very boring jobs?
“But not our Lloyd! He was outré, he was over the top, he was larger than life, he was enormous fun; if Lloyd was in the room you knew it was going to be an hilarious, outrageous experience. Yet underneath, he was a real thinker outside the box and also very kind; another light lost from our very special world.”
Independent consultant Shane Redding commented: “Lloyd was a lovely man, and we all admired the success of his list broking business, which was a true industry leader in the early Nineties. But perhaps Lloyd will be most fondly remembered for his willingness to help others and his sartorial elegance.”
Nick Martin, the former Acxiom chief who founded fine wine management platform Wine Owners, said: “Lloyd was among the brightest, funniest lights within the direct marketing industry. He was also bold and never one to shy away from thinking creatively and ambitiously. Utterly true to himself and who he was, he was ready to reinvent himself in pursuit of what he found interesting and engaging. This readiness to embrace the new surely reflected his love for life; a tribute to Lloyd is a paean to life itself!”
Blue Sheep chief executive Iain Lovatt commented: “Lloyd was one of life’s big characters and one of the biggest characters in this industry. He was Marmite to some but he made a lot of people laugh and cry in equal measure.
“He certainly taught me that it is important to give people time and space, to treat them with respect and to give them a helping hand. As a result, I learned not to judge people on the first impression but spend time to get to know them and dig deeper to see the true character beneath the surface.
“Lloyd was certainly never frightened to tell people what he thought. But he was kind and generous in equal measure and a true friend who would offer you any help he was able to give. He smiled more than he cried and he fronted up to prejudice and discrimination. He was a true man who knew the meaning of friends and family.”
Stevens concluded: “He wasn’t just a boss, he was the most amazing friend and it was a privilege to have known him.”