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60 seconds with…Andy Pratt

Andy Pratt, Chief operating officer, Alexander Hall

How has 2010 been for you?

Pretty flat. In many ways it’s been much a continuation of 2009, there’s been some frustration but also some positive green shoots for next year.

What are you expecting from 2011, both for the market and for Alexander Hall?
I’m hoping we can get some improvement for customers in terms of products and criteria on the mortgage side. For Alexander Hall, we intend to continue growing alongside the Foxtons model. Foxtons has announced that it is due to open five new offices next year. We’ve opened five this year and we intend to grow alongside that.

If you weren’t in financial services what would you be doing?
I’d probably be in some form of consultancy working across different sectors, which is where I started, for example, in energy. But I found myself in financial services and it’s been like that for 15 years.

If you were head of the Financial Services authority for a day what would you do?
I would focus on the quality and knowledge of staff and the retention of those staff because there is too much turnover. What happens when there is too much turnover is that relationships and communications end up breaking down.

Who is the best or most influential person you’ve ever worked with in you career?
Michael Brown who is chief executive of Foxtons Group is outstanding. The other person I’d have to pick would be Mark Bogard who was a mentor to me when I was younger and at Barclays.

Do you have any secret talents the industry doesn’t know about?
I was pretty good at basketball when I was younger, although saying that I’m probably not any more. I was also good at high jump. These were both down to the fact that I was tall at an early age.

What is your proudest moment?
I don’t think there is one big seminal moment but enhancing the reputation of Alexander Hall in the market and keeping us one of London’s premier mortgage brokers is probably the key thing.

Interview by Christine Toner


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