EUROPE – The secretary general of the European Asset Management Association, Michael Haag, has died after a long illness.

“He was an outstanding individual,” said Donald Brydon, chairman of AXA Investment Managers. “He was an extraordinarily kind and considerate man.”

Brydon, who was the founding president of the association, paid tribute to Haag’s role in the EAMA. “Without him it probably wouldn’t have got off the ground,” he said. He praised Haag’s expertise in “process and policy”.

Haag was a qualified chartered accountant. He joined the fund management association in early 1997 and was appointed secretary general of EAMA when it was founded in October 1999. He was 48.

Haag was due to speak at the International Asset Management conference in Paris on October 1, an event co-organised with the Investment Counsel Association of America.

The EAMA is currently exploring the possibility of merging with Brussels-based fund industry body FEFSI, the Fédération Européenne des Fonds et Sociétés d’Investissement.

Sheila Nicoll, deputy chief executive of the UK’s Investment Management Association and a member of the EAMA’s governing council, said it was unlikely that Haag’s death would have any impact on the merger plans.