David Seaton was this week described as a "great ambassador" and a "true gentleman" by friends and colleagues following his death.
The 56-year-old father-of-five was found on a beach in north Cornwall on 3 September after being missing for eight days.
Seaton helped establish SSAS provider Rowanmoor Pensions during 23 years in financial services and represented the pensions industry on various committees and councils for more than a decade.
Christine Hallett, CEO of Carey Pensions, says: "I knew David very well and we spent many an evening laughing together at industry events over a glass of wine.
"I find it quite unbelievable to be honest. For such a figure to be gone just like that is a great loss to everyone.
"I will remember him for his mind and how he operated. He was an innovator of the scheme pension and he was able to see a position in the market for it and it worked very well for them [Rowanmoor]."
David White, managing director of Hornbuckle Mitchell, says: "David was a true believer in the principle of self-invested pensions and a champion of the benefits of SSASs. His death is a great loss to the industry."
Viv Belcher, a director at Hornbuckle Mitchell who worked under Seaton for four years at James Hay, adds: "He was never afraid to express his views and would always fight for what he believed in. I'm deeply shocked and saddened."
Martin Tilley, pension consultant at Dentons Pensions Management, described Seaton as a "great ambassador" for the pensions industry.
"Anyone prepared to speak up for the industry the way he did, both before and after A-Day, deserves to be applauded. He was a true gentleman."
Seaton's body was discovered near Kilkhampton in Bude, Cornwall last week. Coroners were able to confirm his identity via dental records and have opened an adjourned an inquest to establish cause of death. Coroners say the exact circumstances surrounding Seaton's death may take months to establish.
He was last seen on the morning of 24 August by colleagues at Rowanmoor's Salisbury branch. His car was later found abandoned in Boscastle, several miles from Kilkhampton.
David Geoffrey Seaton entered financial services in 1986 as a sales consultant and, within seven years, had been appointed director of consultancy at James Hay Pension Trustees.
He was elected to the Committee of the Association of Pensioneer Trustees in 1996 and served on most of its sub-committees. He was elected honorary treasurer in 2000 and was chairman from 2001 to 2002.
He spoke regularly at national conferences on small self-administered schemes (SSAS) and was a member of IFAonline's Ask the Experts team, helping solve readers' pensions queries and was also on AIFA's board.
Ian Hammond, Rowanmoor Pensions managing director, says: "David and I have been work colleagues and friends for over sixteen years and he has been a highly motivating and respected colleague who will be sorely missed by all those who have had the privilege of knowing him. Our thoughts are with David's family and friends at this difficult time."
Seaton leaves a wife, five children and a grandson.
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