Colin Dallas

COLIN Mackenzie Dallas, who has died aged 64, was chairman of the Bradford-based insurance broking and risk management group, TL Dallas Group. He had a distinguished career in insurance but was probably equally well known for his passion for fireworks.

Born on May 7, 1948, the elder son of Ian and Barbara Dallas, he was the grandson of the enterprising Scotsman, Thomas Lessels Dallas OBE who, in 1919, founded TL Dallas in Bradford. He was the third generation of the Dallas family to join the company – working for many years under the chairmanship of his father Ian.

Mr Dallas was educated at Uppingham School and went on to St Andrews University, where he obtained an MA in Economics and Philosophy, and also met his wife Isobel.

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On leaving university, he spent a short time gaining experience in the London insurance market at a Lloyds brokerage before returning to Bradford. He worked his way through the ranks at TL Dallas, before being appointed a director in 1972.

In 1974 the company became part of a much larger organisation – CT Bowring – who later became part of the US-based Marsh Mclennan. In 1989, Mr Dallas, who had become disillusioned with their centralised management style and re-structuring plans, led a successful management buy-out.

Thanks to his effort and foresight, TL Dallas had re-gained its independence and Mr Dallas, in partnership with key co-directors, now built up a business model which he firmly believed was best-placed to serve clients. Under his chairmanship, the group continued to grow successfully and now has 10 offices located from London to Lerwick.

Mr Dallas was delighted when his daughter Polly joined the business in 1999, and more recently his son Mackenzie. Polly is quoted as saying “my father’s high standards of professionalism and dedication to his clients has been instrumental in the success of the business and will continue to inspire all at TL Dallas for many years to come”.

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He came to be highly regarded in the Bradford and wider Yorkshire business community. He served on the Bradford Chamber Council for many years and was appointed president of the Bradford Insurance Institute for 1985/6, more recently taking up the role of auditor for the Institute. He was an active member of his local Conservative Party.

He had many interests and hobbies but was best known for his love of pyrotechnics and for many years, he found great enjoyment in staging firework shows at public and private events.

He is survived by his wife Isobel, his two children Polly and Mackenzie and six grandchildren. There will be a Service of Thanksgiving at Ripon Cathedral on Thursday, June 21, at 7pm.