Tributes pour in to Nik Askaroff: “Fiercely loyal and generous with his time, wisdom and advice”

The Eastbourne business community has paid tribute to prominent and popular businessman Nik Askaroff, who died on Christmas Eve while enjoying a festive break in the Far East.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 4:07 pm
Nik Askaroff: A leading light in Eastbourne's business community

The 65-year-old was a very successful, well-known and award-winning businessman in Sussex for decades. He was instrumental in the success of scores of Eastbourne firms and his death has shocked the business community.

Mr Askaroff was chief executive of EMC, which he founded in Eastbourne in 1989. Michael Pay, Michael Gibbs and Ryan Smith, great friends of Mr Askaroff at EMC, shared the news of his death with ‘deep sadness’ shortly after Christmas.

They said, “Nik spent over 30 years of his working life building EMC to become the leading corporate finance house and business advisory firm in the South East and the well placed succession plans will ensure that his legacy is built upon. Our hearts go out to Nik’s loved ones at this difficult time.”

Ian Fletcher-Price, founder and CEO at Posturite Ltd, said Mr Askaroff was an ‘outstanding human being’ who had changed his life.

He said, “He was fiercely loyal and always generous with his time, wisdom and advice. I feel lucky to have counted Nik as my best friend and mentor and will strive to make the best use of the skills he taught me in the future, in honour to him.”

Jon Mitchell, owner and director of Eastbourne Car Auctions, said, “I will miss his support for my business, but most of all as a true and trusted friend.

Mr Askaroff was chairman for Cobb PR and Tim and Sue Cobb described him as ‘tall in stature and a giant in the Sussex business community’.

They said, “He was our go-to person for any challenges we encountered. We could always rely on his honesty and objectivity in the knowledge that he had our best interests at heart. Nik was kind and loyal to us and we will miss him.”

David Bosley was friends with Mr Askaroff for more than 45 years after meeting on the Eastbourne rugby pitch.

He said, “He was a very fine back-row forward, representing the county at Under 21 and senior level. He could easily have played at a higher grade but enjoyed the camaraderie of the Eastbourne club for which he first played when he was still at the local grammar school.”

Their paths diverged for a while, but they were reunited through business and worked together until Mr Bosley’s retirement in 2020.

He said, “Scores of business leaders and entrepreneurs in the South East will have been grateful to Nik and the team at EMC for the support and advice they have given them over the last 32 years.

“He will be sorely missed.”

He is survived by Camilla, Leo, Lynden and Natasha who have paid tribute to their father.

Son Leo Askaroff said, “His legacies are his thriving business, which is left in the most capable of hands, and – most importantly – his children and eight grandchildren who saw him not only as a father and ‘papa’ (he thought grandad made him sound too old!), but also as a best friend and mentor. He will be missed every day.”