North London businessman Martyn Gerrard, who founded an estate agency of the same name, has died after being diagnosed with aggressive cancer while on holiday in New Zealand. 

Martyn Gerrard

Martyn Gerrard

Father-of-three Gerrard, who was 77 and lived in Totteridge, set up his property business in 1964, and until his death in London on Saturday he was still “actively involved” in the firm his son Simon now runs.

Simon’s wife Lorraine this week said news of her father-in-law’s illness came as a “complete shock” to the family. “We had no idea he had cancer, neither did he,” she said. 

“He was on a month-long holiday with his wife Rachel, they were hiking, boat rides, helicopter trips, everything, but he was having migraines, so he got a scan out there about three weeks ago. That’s when he found out he had an incredibly aggressive form of cancer. It was devastating.”

She said the family immediately launched a rescue mission to bring him back to the UK, with Simon flying out to help obtain medical clearance for his father to fly. Gerrard, who was a member of Alyth, died on Saturday in hospital. 

This week, staff at the firm paid tributes to their “workaholic” chairman, who brought many up through the ranks. I will always remember him with great fondness,” said director David Smith. 

“He took me on as a spotty school leaver many years ago. He was always encouraging and supportive and gave me the chance to build a fantastic career. He was a true gentleman.”

The funeral took place at Alyth on Wednesday, led by Senior Reform Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner and Rabbi Mark Goldsmith, both of whom knew Martyn well.