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Peter Martin, chief business columnist and associate editor of The Financial Times, died at the age of 54 after a battle against cancer.

One of the leading financial journalists of his generation, Peter will be remembered fondly by family, friends, colleagues and the business community.

He played a pivotal role in the growth of FT.com, overseeing the website as editor during a period of rapid transformation.

“Peter was a towering figure in the modern development of the FT,” Andrew Gowers, the newspaper’s editor, said.

“He played a vital role in the rapid international development of the newspaper, led the establishment of FT.com and wrote brilliant and unique columns for more than a decade.”

Martin Taylor, chairman of WH Smith Group and former chief executive of Barclays, added: “He had a very unusual mind. He just used his eyes and ears and saw things others didn’t. I never knew what Peter was going to say about a subject and he didn’t preach.” Peter Martin started his journalistic career in television, working for ITN, London Weekend and Granada before joining The Economist in 1978.

Bill Emmott, editor of The Economist, said: “Peter was a man bubbling over with ideas, but unlike many effervescent types he also had the attention to detail and patience to be a great editor.”

A two-year interlude launching a daily business news show on US cable television was followed by a return to London as managing director of the Economist Intelligence Unit.

From 1988 onwards, Peter held a number of senior positions at the FT including deputy editor and financial editor.

Mervyn King, one of two deputy governors of the Bank of England, said: “Peter Martin had a sharp and original mind and an independence of throught. He will be sorely missed.”

He took a close interest in the impact of new technology on business and was also well regarded by many in the world of telecommunications and information technology.

“He had an impressive, critical approach to technology that was very hard to argue with,” said Lauri Kivinen, vice president of Nokia.

“He was a journalist with a big J”.

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Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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