Jonathan Pfahl (affectionally known as JP), Richmond based entrepreneur, died on 14th August going overboard on a Caribbean cruise in the Virgin Islands – he was only 37.
Born in Hong Kong to Australian parents, he went to school and university in Sydney and following graduation he worked for Goldman Sachs, leaving Australia in 2005 at the age of 23 to explore opportunities in the UK.
Initially, he was attracted by the lure of the UK property boom – and sought the advice of a property expert and enjoyed such a positive experience in terms of knowledge gained, that he began to wonder why this type of expert advice was not being offered across the business spectrum – especially to owners of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Hence, the Rockstar Group was born.
He sought out successful entrepreneurs and businesspeople who had built significant enterprises and careers and who were willing to share their experiences with those who were prepared to listen. He built a team of industry experts with a combined knowledge unrivalled in the SME advisory environment.
I first met JP in 2009, when the Rockstar Group was exhibiting at a Business Show in Earls Court and I quickly realised he was a talented and charismatic entrepreneur – someone to watch and follow. I became one of his Mentors and over the following ten years followed his progress. I was impressed with his vision, his articulation (especially on the microphone at events) and how he attracted seasoned and experienced entrepreneurs, many years his senior.
As the Rockstar Group grew, it attracted investors, who were keen to back some of the businesses, whose owners were being mentored. Thus Rockstar was able to provide a complete package of services for SMEs.
The name, Rockstar, was born out of his boyhood dream to be a rock star. He loved music, taught himself to play the guitar and last year, formed a band with some friends and they played at various pubs and venues around Richmond.
He was a keen rugby enthusiast and a talented player, having represented his State when he was a young man. He was a passionate England supporter and took a keen interest in the Richmond and London Scottish rugby clubs.
His memorial service was held in the Tap Tavern, Richmond, a hostelry where his band often played. More than 100 people attended, all of whom had been inspired by his friendship, enthusiasm and that special JP character – he was indeed a true rock star.
Our thoughts go to his wife Lisa, and their two children, Kingston and Rae.