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News > Deaths & Obituaries > STRANGE, Nicholas Peter John

STRANGE, Nicholas Peter John

You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of Nick Strange, who we sadly lost in 2018.
STRANGE, Nicholas Peter John

Died peacefully at his home in Germany on 2 August 2018, aged 71. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer. Jonathan Strange (Sc 65-66) writes:

My brother and I were our family’s most recent Tonbridgians, a tradition dating from about 1700. Strange and Sons built the school chapel ravaged by fire in 1988.

Nick’s rare intellect was framed by a broad analytical and imaginative sensibility.  Aged sixteen, he was awarded a history scholarship to Worcester College, Oxford.  He then became one of only ten recipients of the prestigious Trevelyan Scholarship having retraced the 300 mile march by the Duke of Marlborough to Blenheim.

After graduating from Oxford in psychology, philosophy and physiology, Nick was awarded his MBA from the INSEAD business school at Fontainebleau. At twenty-four, he was chief financial planner of Bonaval, one of the biggest industrial paints firms in West Germany.

He was awarded an MSc in economics from the London School of Economics and, later, an honorary doctorate from the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow.

Nick spent most of his career in management consulting, with McKinsey, Ingersoll Engineers and from 1990 as an independent consultant. He also started to teach management accounting. Even his best students, he noticed, struggled to communicate their results. Based near Cologne, teaching the art of management communication became Nick’s primary pursuit. He taught at more than thirty universities and business schools in the EU, Asia and Eastern Europe.

In 2007, Smoke & Mirrors: an Encyclopaedia of Graphic Deceit was published, subsequently appearing in Poland and Japan. Keine Angst vor Methusalem! (2006) analysed the effects of ageing populations in industrialised economies. It was characteristic of the international nature of his teaching and his continuing interest in more general economic issues.

Nick was a member of the Worshipful Company of Skinners. A lifelong fascination with the military and firearms prospered at Tonbridge through the CCF and at Bisley. At one time, he managed his own wine business, Vinum Germanicum, in Southampton. He was a lover of the Scottish Highlands and a highly competent carpenter and sailor. He qualified to fly small engine airplanes whilst working in Tanzania. Those around Nick were astonished by his capacity to absorb and impart new knowledge and skills.  

My brother’s two children, Edward (who survives him) and Ianni, were from his first marriage to Mechthild von Alemann, a prominent member of the European Parliament.

Nick retained many an English disposition but conducted most of his life in German as well as being fluent in French. He was intuitively European, both culturally and politically. The EU Commission was amongst his many clients.

Nick was married secondly to Anna Pulyaevskaya. Her son, Grigory, was Nick’s stepson.

Sir Christopher Bellamy QC (Sc 59-64) writes:

Nick and I were close friends when we were together in School House, Tonbridge, nearly sixty years ago. We read history, and in 1964 [we] walked together across Europe following Marlborough’s march to the Battle of Blenheim in 1704. This exploit was based on the diary of Sergeant Milner who was in the British Army at the time. Nick was dressed in Milner’s faithfully reproduced uniform and I was the faithful packhorse.

A surprising amount of what Milner described was still in existence 260 years later – but probably not the gentleman we found one day dead drunk in our tent at Heidelberg, who was only with difficulty evicted into the pouring rain and eventually staggered away in the general direction of the Rhine.

This was an early example of Nick’s imaginativeness, sense of adventure, attention to detail and love of foreign parts which with many other qualities made him such an outstanding individual and friend.

(Sc 60-64)

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