A HIGH-flying executive who sold his business for £2.5 million has died after being hit by a train.
Tragic Andy Carolan, 51, was a key force behind Leith-based marketing powerhouse Tangible – one of the UK’s most successful and lucrative marketing agencies.
The ad-creative had been playing golf before he was struck by the locomotive at Longniddry train station.
Today, devastated former colleagues paid tribute to the dad-of-two.
One source said: “He was always a happy, upbeat, chatty guy who didn’t seem to have any problems when you spoke to him.
“It’s a total shock. He seemed to have everything you could want.”
Police said there were “no suspicious circumstances” surrounding the death of Mr Carolan, who pocketed nearly £2.5m after selling a direct marketing firm he founded in 2004.
Karen Trickett, chief operating officer at Tangible, said: “Andy was a much-respected and well-loved colleague. He will be sorely missed.
“All our thoughts are with his wife Sherrie, his sons Mark and Conor, and sister Lesley.
“On a personal level, I worked with Andy for nine years. He was my colleague, mentor, but most importantly my friend and I owe him a great deal. I will miss him very much.”
Ms Trickett added that Mr Carolan had left the firm last September and the setting up of his new business development consultancy had been a work “in progress”.
Mr Carolan, 51, was chairman of Edinburgh-based direct marketing agency Navigator Responsive Advertising when the business was sold to Cello Group in 2004 for £4.6m.
Despite his windfall from the deal, he stayed on with the expanded business and, in 2007, became chairman of Tangible, the restructured division of Edinburgh-based Cello.
Former Bank of Scotland marketing chief Sean Larrangton-White first met Mr Carolan in the mid-1990s when he hired Navigator.
He said: “The words ‘a tragic waste of life’ are often heard in circumstances like this – in this case they are poignantly true.
“Andy was a very personable man – charming, energetic, solicitous, highly perceptive. His effectiveness as a team builder – and drawing out the best in people – was evident at Tangible, where he was chairman. His passing away is a loss for us all who knew him.”
Robert Mayes, a former editor of Precision Marketing magazine who knew Mr Carolan well, added: “Andy was one of those guys we all would like to be. Not just successful and immensely respected for his ability and professionalism but universally liked, a really top bloke.”
Mr Carolan, who lived in a house believed to be worth £700,000 in East Links Road in Gullane, East Lothian, was killed after being struck by a lunchtime train at the station just miles from his home. The Carolans had recently renovated their plush house next to the Mallard Hotel, which overlooks Gullane’s three golf courses.
Mr Carolan began his career as a product manager at Alloa Brewery in 1982 before joining direct marketing firm Evans Hunt Scott (EHS) in 1987, where he became managing director of the London agency.
He returned to Scotland in 1993 to launch Navigator Responsive Advertising.
Other colleagues of Mr Carolan also joined the tributes.
Tangible Financial creative director Jonathan Spooner said: “Andy has been an inspiration to hundreds of grateful individuals in the marketing industry over a long and distinguished career.
“Anyone who worked with him at EHS, Navigator or Tangible will remember his enthusiasm for the business, his inimitable sense of humour and his ruthless pragmatism.
“Quite simply, he was one of the nicest blokes I have ever worked with. I shall miss him very badly.”
Lucian Camp, former chairman of Tangible Financial, added: “I’m absolutely devastated and appalled to think he’s no longer with us, and offer my deepest sympathies to family.”
Former Tangible Data managing director Janet Sneddon said: “It is very tragic. Andy was an inspirational figure, always open to new ideas. He’s been one of the few agency chiefs I have worked for who took sincere pleasure in seeing his team progress.”
British Transport Police said: “A 51-year-old man was struck by a train at Longniddry station at around 1.15pm on Friday, November 16. There are no suspicious circumstances and a report is being sent to the procurator fiscal.”
His wife did not wish to speak about the tragedy.
Former colleagues at Navigator are to create a book of memories for his family, and have requested those who knew Mr Carolan to share their tales about him.