Andrew Littell, Trader Behind MarketWatch Site, Dies at 44

Andrew Littell, the head of European loan and bond trading at London-based CVC Credit Partners, who in 2000 helped the Financial Times and start a business-news website, has died. He was 44.

He died in London on Dec. 17 of sudden and as-yet-unexplained heart failure, following a stomach virus that may have played a role, his wife, Brooke Russell, said yesterday in an interview. His death notice was published Jan. 13 in the New York Times.

Littell was a U.S. citizen who lived in the U.K. for the past 14 years. He joined CVC as a director last April after working as head of trading and chief operating officer at Resource Europe Management Ltd., which he co-founded. The firm, a unit of Resource America Inc., was acquired by CVC’s parent, London-based CVC Capital Partners Ltd. Resource America is an asset-management company based in Philadelphia.

Littell was promoted to a managing director just days before he became ill, according to his wife.

“This is a tragic loss to his family and to CVC,” Marc Boughton, managing partner and chief executive officer at CVC Partners, said in a statement after Littell’s death. “In the seven months since joining us, he added a tremendous amount representing CVC partners at the highest levels. He truly embraced ex-pat and London life.”

‘Rising Star’

In 2000, as head of corporate finance for the Financial Times Group Ltd., Littell helped create Financial Times Ltd., a joint venture with that established a real-time news and commentary website for European investors,

“Andrew was a rising star with a bright future,” Larry Kramer, publisher of USA Today in McLean, Virginia, said yesterday in an e-mail. Kramer founded U.S.-based MarketWatch in 1997 and was chairman of the joint venture with the Financial Times. “Andrew was instrumental in building new and creative advertising models, and we were very impressed with him.”

Though it succeeded in building readership, couldn’t survive the drop in advertising when Internet stocks crashed in 2001 and 2002, Kramer said. The website was out of business by the time he sold MarketWatch to Dow Jones & Co. in 2005 for about $530 million.

Littell traveled extensively and spoke Italian, German and French, his father, Walter D. Littell, said yesterday in an interview.

Father’s Recollection

“He loved living in London and loved traveling around Europe on those cheap flights with his family,” said his father, a former director of public information at Yale University. “And he understood how European business worked.”

“He had this ability to be very, very good at finance but also was a lot of fun to work with,” Walter Littell said. “He was a very pleasant guy, a lot of wit and humor, always very full of sunshine. He left a trail of people who loved him.”

Andrew Littell was born on Nov. 29, 1968, in New York City, one of three children of Walter Littell and the former Penelope Platt, who died in 1984. He attended the private Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, and was elected president of his senior class.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature in 1992 from Columbia University in New York and studied at Ecole Polytechnique in Paris in 1992-1993, according to his LinkedIn profile. He was an associate at C.W. Downer & Co., a Boston-based investment-banking firm, from 1993 to 1997.

Chicago MBA

On his way to a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 1999, he spent the summer of 1998 at Citibank’s Global Asset Finance Group in London, according to his profile.

He joined the Financial Times Group, a unit of London-based Pearson Plc, in 1999.

Littell’s wife works on the communications team of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of cities seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is chairman of the group.

Littell and Russell had two daughters, Grace, 14, and Catherine, 11, who also survive him.

“He was just an incredible father, patient and kind,” his wife said. “Yes, he had a job that required a lot of his time, but when he wasn’t doing that, his focus was on us.”

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