Simon Quin obituary
My father, Simon Quin, who has died aged 77, was an economist with a long career at the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Simon’s passion was helping developing countries, especially in Africa, to improve their economic management in support of growth and alleviation of poverty. He travelled extensively, advising officials in central banks, ministries and statistical offices on data required to make better-informed economic policy decisions. He believed income inequality was the root of many of society’s ills.His contributions enhanced the quality of statistical work at the IMF and countries worldwide. His way of addressing issues from a different, often provocative angle was a signature, as was his delivery – with a quiet, mischievous smile – of some new insight which he knew would require his colleagues to think again.Born in north London to Marion (nee Joyce) and Peter Quin, both civil servants, Simon had a sister, Gerda, and a half-sister, Rhian, whom he discovered later in life, and to whom he became close. He attended grammar school in Burnt Oak, and studied economics at Leeds University, graduating in 1965. That same year he was awarded a commonwealth scholarship and went off to the University of Ghana, Legon.Two years later a military coup forced him to move back to the UK, where he began working at the Bank of England. In London he met Abena Dei-Anang, whose father, Michael Dei-Anang, was a Ghanaian writer and member of Kwame Nkrumah’s cabinet. They married in 1972.To be in an interracial relationship at the time was nothing small. My father told me about a time he took my mother to a garden party. When they entered together, the party fell silent. Perhaps, my mother suggested, he ought to have warned his colleagues he had a black girlfriend. But this never occurred to Simon. He wouldn’t have understood why it mattered. In 1977, a secondment came up at the IMF. I was born a year later, and Washington became our home.His job at the IMF took him on missions to many countries to help them assemble better data on their balance of payments and their international investment position. He was also involved in teaching concepts and methodology to participants from all over the world. One period of his career saw him working with countries in the Caribbean, agreeing terms for borrowing and then monitoring progress.My father introduced me to the theatre. We were season ticket holders at the Washington Shakespeare Theatre. When I was eight we saw a Royal Shakespeare Company production of the Tempest and I resolved I would work in theatre as an adult – which I now do. When I came out to him by email aged 24, his reply was accepting, aware and kind. When he retired in 2005, my parents retired to Crowborough, East Sussex. A lifelong butterfly enthusiast, Simon went on rambles to photograph his favourite species in the countryside, which he would meticulously catalogue. He was a proud member of his local butterfly conservation group. He is survived by Abena and me, and his sister Rhian.