Honoring A Colleague

Global Finance names its foreign exchange awards in honor of Gordon W. Platt Jr., a beloved and devoted editor, friend and global citizen.

Gordon Platt with his beloved daughter-in-law and grandchildren.

Just before Thanksgiving in the US, in late November, Global Finance lost a highly valued colleague whose name will be familiar to regular readers of these pages: Gordon W. Platt.

Gordon was a true professional, a generous mentor and an inspiration to all who met him. “It saddens me to hear of the passing of a good journalist, a generous man, and a kind soul,” writes Marc Chandler of Bannockburn Global. “In an industry that is highly competitive and makes it a fine art to draw a distinction between assertiveness and aggressiveness, Gordon had a nice word for everyone always.  He was diligent as a writer and scrupulous in everything.”

“This year has separated us from our colleagues and made me more mindful of their unique and special qualities—none more so than Gordon, says Joseph D. Giarraputo, Global Finance publisher and editorial director.

Gordon won many awards as a young student in Newtown, Connecticut, and claimed it was a writing prize from Sandy Hook Elementary School that set him on the path to journalism. A proud graduate of Syracuse’s Newhouse School, he started his globe-trotting career covering foreign exchange at American Banker.

Gordon with Rose Ruocco, a Journal of Commerce colleague

Colleagues from the Journal of Commerce, where Gordon worked for more than two decades, remember him as a great editor, with “a wit so dry it crackled,” and “an absolute legend at the very top of his profession.” Chris Brooks, one of those former colleagues, recalls rumors, never confirmed, that Alan Greenspan himself had Gordon’s phone number and called for financial insights. “I can almost see myself asking Gordon [whether it’s true],” Brooks comments, “and getting that sly smile in return that said, ‘Maybe … maybe not.’” One former colleague claims Gordon helped him emerge a financial winner from the dot-com boom and bust because “Gordon knew just when to get in—and when to bail.”

A dedicated writer, astute editor, and pillar of the publication, Gordon always took the lead role—and great pleasure—in preparing the annual Global Finance Foreign Exchange Awards. In tribute to his contributions to the magazine, we henceforth rename these the GW Platt Foreign Exchange Awards.

While we mourn the loss of this invaluable teammate, it gives us great pleasure to memorialize him in this way. He would appreciate it.

He leaves behind four brothers and many nieces and nephews, as well as a loving wife and son at his home in the Bronx, New York, where he passed away quietly on November 23. “Global Finance will miss him and so will his professional sources,” Giarraputo says. “But none will miss him more than his beloved family. He was immensely proud of his granddaughter, Laiba Salsabil Morshed, and his grandson, Kaysan Morshed. They can always be proud of Gordon.”

It is fitting that Global Finance is renaming its Foreign Exchange awards after this exemplary journalist and financial editor. “Gordon might not like for me to say this—and in the halls of finance it is practically unheard of,” Chandler comments, “but I do think we are all poorer without him.”