Stockbroking career followed 22 years in Navy
The former head of a successful Westcountry stockbroking firm has died after a short illness, at the age of 84.
Bryan Foster was born in Bristol and entered the Royal Navy from school in 1946. His 22-year naval career, serving mainly in frigates and destroyers, took him to places as far afield as Iceland and the Falkland Islands, Japan and New Zealand, as well as service in the home, Mediterranean and Far East Fleets.
On leaving the Navy in 1968, Mr Foster began a 30-year career in stockbroking. After four years working for a London broker, he joined Plymouth-based stockbrokers, Westlake & Co, becoming a partner in 1973 and subsequently senior partner and chairman. He was also chairman of the Provincial Unit of the Stock Exchange between 1984 and 1987.
During his time as head of Westlake & Co, Mr Foster oversaw the firm's successful appointment and participation as a Regional Broker for the Government's share privatisation programme, which resulted in the creation of thousands of first-time shareholders in companies such as British Gas, British Telecom, British Airways and South West Water. In 1986 he was also involved in the merger of Westlake & Co with seven other leading provincial stockbroking firms, to form Allied Provincial Securities which, at the time, was the UK's largest regional stockbroking group.
As a broker, Mr Foster was a keen supporter of shares in local companies and between 1986-1998 he was a non-executive director and subsequently chairman of Sutton Harbour Improvement Company, based in the historic Barbican area of Plymouth. During this period the company was engaged in a number of significant regeneration projects which helped revitalise a large area of Plymouth's waterfront.
A lifelong cricket fan, Mr Foster was a member of the MCC and a follower of his home county team, Gloucestershire, and a regular visitor to Lords for Test matches.
His other great interest was classical music, particularly that of Mozart, Schubert and Haydn.
In 1991 he set up The Foster Charitable Trust to support projects in the fields of the Arts, Culture and Heritage.
Over the years, the Trust has sponsored theatrical productions in Plymouth as well as many Chamber Music and Choral concerts in the south west.
Mr Foster was a founder Trustee, a major sponsor, and the Honorary Treasurer of the Plymouth Chamber Music Trust.
Bryan Foster was a highly-regarded member of the Plymouth business community and will be greatly missed by his family, friends and former colleagues and associates. He leaves his wife, Susan, whom he married in 1981.