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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 May 2007, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Firm pays tribute to crash victim
Phillip Carter
Phillip Carter founded the company which employs 500 people
Senior managers have paid tribute to the founder and chief executive of a Nottinghamshire-based company who died in a helicopter crash.

Phillip Carter, chief executive of Carter & Carter - valued at 500m - was described as an inspirational leader and a "strong family man".

Mr Carter was in the helicopter with his son and a friend when it crashed, killing all three and the pilot.

The group was returning from Chelsea's Champions League tie with Liverpool.

Mr Carter's son Andrew, aged 17, was on board the Twin Squirrel helicopter with his father, family friend Jonathan Waller and pilot Stephen Holdich.

Carter and Carter Plc released a statement on Wednesday evening announcing "with deep sadness" that Mr Carter was "missing and is believed to have been killed in a helicopter crash".

'Great friend'

It added: "Our thoughts and condolences are with Phillip's wife, Judith, daughter Natalya and the family and friends of all those involved in this tragic accident."

Mr Carter, named Entrepreneur of the Year 2006, founded the company in which he held shares worth 100m and which employs 500 people.

In a joint statement, group business development director Peter Marples, group finance director John Green and chief operating officer Nigel Kirkham, said: "Above all, Phil was a great friend, a strong family man, and will be deeply and sadly missed by all those who knew him."

Mr Carter was one of eight honorary vice-presidents of Chelsea and had been to the game at Anfield when the helicopter came down at Wansford, near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Rodney Westhead, named as interim chief executive by the company, said: "Phil was an inspirational leader who established a clear strategy for the business and at the same time developed a dynamic and capable team around him."

Mr Carter founded training firm Carter & Carter with his wife Judith. The couple also owned the Haycock Hotel, in Wansford.

He was said to be personally worth more than 92 million and was in 770th place in The Sunday Times Rich List.

Carter & Carter specialises in vocational training, particularly apprenticeships for the car industry.

Shares were suspended on Wednesday at the company's request.


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