Len Jackson, a former president and director general of the FWD, died on September 20 aged 88.
Jackson, a former managing director of symbol group operator Harvey, Bradfield and Toyer, was president of the federation in 1968-69 and played a pivotal role in reviving the federation as director general during the 1980s. He was awarded an OBE for his services to wholesaling, and still attended the FWD Annual Dinner every year until illness restricted his mobility.
Alan Toft, who took over as FWD director general in 1989, two years after Jackson left, said he was a great influence.
Toft commented: “Len taught me the importance of gradual evolution so as to safeguard his big achievements, including gaining the ear of Government at a time when the burgeoning multiples were threatening to swamp the marketplace completely.
“With the help of wholesaler stalwarts including Barry Skipper, then leading Booker, John Irish of Spar, and Alan Parfett, he ensured that the independent sector lived to fight another day.
“Len was courteous, a very efficient communicator and a man who naturally attracted loyalty from his very efficient staff, his many friends in the wholesale sector and the trade press.
“Without him FWD would not be the force it is today. It owes him a debt of gratitude.”