London, UK - With great sadness, FIA today announced the passing of Bernadette “Bernie” Connolly, a longtime and highly respected staff member in the London office. Although living with a terminal illness for a number of years, Bernie continued to be the steady cornerstone of FIA’s events in Europe.
She joined Futures and Options Association (which merged with FIA) 14 years ago, and since then she had been instrumental in helping to deliver a range of conferences, dinners and member briefings for industry members. It is a testament to her hard work and dedication that the event that she is most associated with is the annual IDX gala dinner, which marked its tenth anniversary this year. The dinner has raised over £1.5 million for Futures For Kids (FFK) since its inception, and Bernie was pleased to play her role, not only as FIA’s lead organizer for this event, but also as a trustee of FFK.
Beyond the Gala Dinner, Bernie also managed the Power Trading Dinner, the City Debate (previously run by FOA), the Clearing & Technology Dinner, as well as a range of day conferences and member briefings. For FFK, she also organized smaller but equally enjoyable fundraising events such as the annual FFK Quiz Night, Poker Nights and much more besides.
Bernie lived life to the full and with an energy and passion that put most of her healthier and younger colleagues to shame. To say that she was an inspiration to those who worked closely with her is an understatement. Her hard work, attention to detail and endless pride in doing the right thing ensured the smooth and successful operation of many events throughout the years.
FIA President and CEO Walt Lukken said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of Bernie's passing. She was a caring and kind soul who loved working for FIA and its charitable causes. She will be dearly missed by all of us. FIA plans to honour her life and good work at the appropriate time that is befitting of her quiet but determined benevolence. We send our condolences to her family and friends.”