Shrager was a key lieutenant to Dixons founder Lord Kalms, along with then-chief executive John Clare, during the defence of the electricals group against Kingfisher’s famous bid in 1989.
Kalms told Retail Week: “He was an A1-plus finance director. He came to us from the City with no commercial experience. It was the first time he had worked in the fast-moving retail sector.
“I said to him after a year: ‘You are not going to make it.’ But he said: ‘Absolutely, I will make it.’ He loved the atmosphere and the work and it was true he got up to speed within months.”
Clare added that Shrager was a “tremendous colleague”. “He taught me a lot about managing shareholders and City analysts,” he said. “He was a man of honesty and intelligence with a great sense of humour and a great family man.”
Shrager spent 15 years at investment bank Morgan Grenfell before his directorship at Dixons between 1988 and 1998.
He was non-executive director of Matalan between 1998 and 2006, alongside retail luminaries Lord Harris of Peckham and Allied Carpets boss Geoff Brady.
Shrager resigned as chairman of House of Fraser in 2000 after only seven months, after suggestions of a conflict of interest with his chairmanship of electricals retailer Tempo. He was also chairman of ill-fated furniture retailer Courts between 2002 and 2004.
Pali’s Nick Bubb said Shrager was famous for being able to complete The Times crossword before breakfast. “His counsel will be missed by them all,” he said.