A Book of Remembrance


Steven Osborne

Dear Sarah, dear Alice and Harry,

I am devastated by having to write this to you, and although some months have passed, the memory of the beautiful farewell you gave Steven remains so very vivid. A church absolutely packed with friends and family, incredibly touching music and readings, Sarah so unbelievably poised and Alice and Harry being so adorable – what a testament to a wonderful man! May it be a comfort to you forever that you did everything possible during his last months, spent some incredibly intensive time with each other and then gave Steven the most beautiful send-off.

I run HR for ICG, but our paths first crossed before either of us had started with the firm: I was a headhunter and Max Mitchell and I had spent some time discussing the growth of the SDP team. Having kissed quite a number of frogs to find the right person, I remember setting off rather grumpily on a schlep to the depths of Canary Wharf to interview Steven, of whom I already knew that he was a man with a market-leading reputation in asset-based lending. The minute we sat down, it became very clear that all our sources had been absolutely right: he was a brilliant professional and one of the nicest candidates you could ever hope to meet. He sailed through the process unanimously and joined ICG shortly afterwards.

When I switched sides and joined ICG myself two years later, I was thrilled to become colleagues with Steven and so proud to see how he was blossoming professionally as well as what a wonderfully positive attitude he brought to what were often very complex situations. He instantly won hearts and minds within the SDP team and the wider firm, in deal negotiations as much as on the playing fields, cycling tracks and golf courses.

When Steven first fell ill, we were shell-shocked that such a fit and young man could be so cruelly unlucky, just as you, Alice and Harry, were about to arrive.  He bore his illness with incredible grace and his optimism and strength shone through all the way. We are all still at a loss to process his passing and we will treasure his camaraderie, his loyalty, his sense of fun and integrity.

He was fortunate too in having such a loving family and circle of friends which were so central to his life. He was devoted to you all and, Alice and Harry, it meant everything to him to see you come into the world, watch you develop from angelic babies into cheeky monkeys and be able to celebrate your first birthdays.

Steven will remain in our thoughts and hearts as someone who had the great gift of taking life seriously without taking himself too seriously, making the most of his time and inspiring others with his incredible strength.

We will miss him enormously and we will always be here for your family, eager to help in any way we can.

Much love,
Antje Hensel-Roth

Book Owner: Gill Freeman-Smith
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Benoit Durteste

A cruel loss of an exceptional individual and colleague. Throughout his years at ICG Steven was a major contributor to the development and success of one of our major strategies. He did this in an incredibly good-natured way building respect and friendship throughout the firm. His professionalism and unflagging positive attitude will be sorely missed and will stay with all those fortunate to have worked with him. Our thoughts are with his family and loved ones   Benoit …

James Poyner

Dear Sarah, Alice and Harry, It is difficult to paint a picture of how highly thought of your husband and dad was. I will forever treasure shared memories of Steve: both from our years together at ICG and outside of work, mainly spent cycling. Steve was a true gentleman and someone whose personality will live long with all of us. When we were nearing the end of a very hilly bicycle race in the Dolomites, Steve was in much better shape than I was, yet there was no doubt in his mind that we should cross the finish line together. That was Steve, he always thought of others before himself and the world was a better place for it. Alice and Harry, your dad will always be looking down on you, so pleased with whatever you do – he was so incredibly proud of you both. Rest in peace Steve, I am sure you have found some smooth tarmac in the sky. Best wishes James Poyner …

Chris Nichols

It was staggering to hear of Steve’s diagnosis and subsequent passing. I did very little direct work with Steve, but our desks were not too far apart, which allowed me the opportunity to get to know him. He was truly a sound man, positive in outlook, charming and helpful. He will be sorely missed. To Sarah, Alice and Harry, there will be some difficult times ahead but you will manage them with the strong memory of a good man. My sincere condolences.   Chris Nichols …

Max Mitchell

Steve will alway be in my thoughts. He was a giant of a human who freely gave everything that was asked of him and took nothing that was undeserved. He had a joy for life and even after his diagnosis he remained one of the most positive people I have ever known. Other than being a Chelsea fan he was as perfect a human being, team mate, friend and bloke as I can imagine! The number and diversity of the people at his funeral told me that everywhere he went in life he made friends and left a bright light in peoples’ lives.   He fought his cruel disease with bravery, determination and positivity that inspired me and showed the depth of his love for life, his wife and his family. Steve will live on in his kids and in the fond memories of all of his friends.   Rest in peace big man.  max …

James Wright

It is very hard to express just how terrible it is to be writing this. Steve was a great guy to work with – always positive, always smiling – and one could tell he had a warm heart and loved his wonderful family. One would never wish Steve’s illness and passing on anyone but for such a calamity to befall someone as young, kind, generous and thoughtful as Steve is truly appalling.  I only have happy memories of Steve and feel grateful that that is the case – enjoying nights out, playing golf or going to sports events, it was always fun and relaxing in Steve’s company. My deepest condolences are with Sarah, Alice and Harry and always will be. I am sure his memory will live on and Sarah will be able to tell the children all about the first-class man that was their father. With love and best wishes, James …

Vlad Bondarenko

Dear Osborne family, I am very sorry for your loss and send my sincere condolences to you all. In the short few months that I worked with Steven at ICG, he showed he was a kind, thoughtful, warm and cheerful person. He was very welcoming to all new joiners, including me, making us quickly feel at ease in a new environment. Steven continues to be an example of hard work, strength of will and dedication in the team. He will be sorely missed by all of us and I hope that the messages here help you find comfort through the knowledge that Steven made a big difference even to those that knew him for a very short time. Vlad …

Danny Waters

Dear Sarah, Harry, Alice and family, I can’t express how sad I was when I learnt of Steven’s passing. He was one of the most hardworking, bright, and decent human beings I’d ever met; working with him was always a pleasure and a privilege. My sincere condolences to you all, may you find strength and comfort in knowing what an amazing man he was. He will be missed. Danny …

Peter Lockhead

Dear Sarah, Alice, Harry and the whole Osborne family, I am so sorry for your loss, I am so sad that Steven is no longer with us. Steven was a warrior. He was such a determined man in every respect. How he went about his work: he would never take the easy answer or an unthinking yes or no without really probing, turning things over, looking at all angles and invariably arriving at a balanced conclusion; the right answer. He never ever shirked, was always cheerful and fun and didn’t sweat the small stuff.  The Steve O name came from when we were working on a bus company deal together in Australia.  We couldn’t help ourselves but drift into an Aussie accent the more we talked to our colleagues in Sydney.  Invariably after every call, I would say “Steve O mate”, he would reply in an equally bad accent “Yes mate, what do ya think?”  . He worked so hard on all aspects of his life; his fitness regime put me to shame, why would anyone cycle up a mountain or run a marathon or undertake a triathlon or do those crazy circuits at the boxing gym before breakfast? …