When Padraic Fallon turned 60, his family and friends
worked with Euromoney to produce a private, slightly
tongue-in-cheek issue of the magazine. The
contributions written by his closest friends and
colleagues for that project provide a fitting tribute
to the man, his life and his achievements.
Padraic Fallon was born in County Wexford in 1946,
the sixth and youngest son of the poet Padraic and
He brought his childhood to life in his first book,
A Hymn of the Dawn, published in 2003, which gave a
fictionalized account of his formative years in
southeast Ireland, the mysteries and magic of the
countryside and its people and, notably, his father, as
well as his five brothers.
He was educated at St Peters College Wexford,
Blackrock College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin.
He began his career in 1969 in the City of London
office of Thomson as a financial reporter, before
joining the Daily Mirror in 1970.
Two years later he made two decisions that changed
his life for ever: he joined the City desk of the Daily
Mail and he married Gillian, to whom he remained wed
for 40 years.
According to Patrick Sergeant, who founded Euromoney
in 1969 and was the City editor of the Mail, the two
decisions were not unrelated: We owe it all to
Gillian Fallon. But for her, and his ardent wish to
marry her, Padraic might not have left the comfort of
the Daily Mirror City office in 1972. He suspected that
his future father-in-law thought not much of
journalists and nothing at all of the Daily Mirror.
Accordingly, he came to see me as City editor of the
Daily Mail, concealing the above but revealing the
charm that was later to sell a thousand pages, and his
admiration for the Mail and me. It was the beginning of
a 40-year friendship that I cherish.
A close colleague during those early days on the
Daily Mail was another celebrated financial journalist
starting out in his career, Neil Collins, who recalls:
Padraic Fallon was an accidental journalist.
Unlike the rest of us in the Daily Mail City office, he
never seemed overawed by the business he found himself
in. Looking back, it was a pretty whacky business:
impossibly glamorous from the outside, crazily
illogical on the inside.
Those formative years helped to mould the mantra of
the Fallon career: work hard and play hard. Collins
recalls one incident: There was too much time for
mischief, especially when Patrick Sergeant was away and
the unfortunate Peter Wainwright was in charge. We were
awful. Peter would return from a lunch of Worthingtons
White Shield, and with a manic, passing insult for the
rest of us, pull the chair out from under his chaotic
One day Padraic Sellotaped the chair to the
piles of papers, torn bits of newspaper, documents and
debris on the desk. Peter returned from lunch, leered
at us and yanked at the chair. The effect was truly
impressive, almost burying him in piles of scrappy
notes, long-forgotten bits of biscuit, books and copies
of Guns n Ammo. Peters already florid
face went an even deeper shade of crimson under his
After two years in the Mails City office,
Sergeant decided he had other plans for Fallon. In
1974, Padraic was despatched to Beirut to edit the
title Middle East Money, or MEMO. It was a steep
learning curve in many ways.
Patrick Sergeant says: It was, he said later,
probably the most formative experience of his life.
MEMO was a joint venture with a Lebanese gentleman
called Marwan Iskandar, who was so nice that he never
told you any unwelcome news, just the stuff he thought
you wanted to hear. Padraic slaved away in the heat and
with breakdowns at the typesetters when the electricity
went off at 3 in the morning. The deadline was that the
film must catch the 11.40 am MEA flight for London
Heathrow on Fridays. That meant a 24-hour stretch
without sleep or rest from dawn on Thursday. After he
took the film to the airport, he would collapse into
bed, to be woken by me on the telephone, shouting:
At Heathrow by now, hed say.
No, its not, Id say, rather
cross though not as cross as he was with his
colleague in Beirut. Dont worry, said
Marwan. Itll be all right next week.
After three weeks of me bellowing at him down the
phone, Padraic went directly to MEA and checked. There
was no 11.40 flight to Heathrow. There never had been.
Never mind, said Marwan, they may put
After a brief return to the Mails City desk,
Sergeant asked Fallon to move to Euromoney to become
its new editor in 1974. In its five years to then,
Euromoney magazine had become a respected and
successful publication documenting the growth of the
international capital markets. Under Fallon, it took
off to reach unimagined heights.
Sergeant says: Apart from starting the
magazine in 1969, it was the best thing I ever did for
Euromoney. He changed Euromoney out of recognition,
focusing on the international markets and the
extraordinary mixture of people who dominated
In the 1970s, Hans-Joerg Rudloff was one of those
bankers trying to build the international bond markets.
Now chairman of investment banking at Barclays, Rudloff
recalls the part Fallon played in their development:
The Genillards, Guts, Hambros, Yassukovichs,
Stancliffs, Cravens, von Clemms and many others were
tireless salesmen travelling the world and, like
missionaries, spreading the gospel of the free capital
markets and their benefits.
They would not have succeeded without someone
like Padraic Fallon, who believed in the idea. Padraic
lent his intelligence, relentless enthusiasm and energy
to the objective to help to spread the word. He managed
to advance the cause without making compromises, and
believed when others doubted. He did not take refuge in
the generally accepted ideas of the world and its
organisation but helped to promote financial activity
that was considered unorthodox or even