AFR’s Pierpont business column comes to an end after 45 years

Australia’s longest running business column has come to an end with Trevor Sykes leaving the Australian Financial Review after nearly 45 years writing the Pierpont column.

Sykes, who wrote about the rogues of Australian business through the persona of Bollinger-drinking business grandee Pierpont, published his final column for the AFR this weekend.

The Croesus Club is closed... The AFR's sendoff for Pierpont

The Croesus Club is closed… The Weekend AFR’s sendoff for Pierpont

Sykes created Pierpont for the newspaper in 1972 while he was the newspaper’s investment editor. However, after five years he sparked a Supreme Court copyright battle with Fairfax after taking the column over to Kerry Packer’s The Bulletin. He won the battle over ownership of the character he created but returned to the AFR in 1995, where the Pierpont column has lived ever since. After Sykes retired from full time journalism just over a decade ago, Pierpont became a monthly column.

In his goodbye to readers, Sykes wrote: “Pierpont is well-known to readers as an acerbic octogenarian, who lives mostly on Bollinger, brandy and cigars at the Croesus Club. Between drinks, he analyses accounts, swindles shareholders and plays the markets.

“And his column lasted 44 years, damned near 45. A good run, thanks to tolerant editors.”

In 2015 Sykes – who started his career with the Adelaide Advertiser – was recognised with one of Australian journalism’s top lifetime achievement awards, the Walkley Award for Outstanding Contribution to Journalism.


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