Name: Keith Astill
Company: UCB Home Loans
Job title: Managing director
Where do you live? Newbury
Describe your current job: I’m managing director at UCB Home Loans, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nationwide. We specialise in self-cert and buy-to-let. I’m accountable for determining and delivering our strategy and profit targets. To do this, I do everything you’d expect a managing director to do. I particularly enjoy spending time with our people and clients.
What was your first job?
I was an NDE (newspaper delivery executive). It was a complex role involving multi-tasking, weight lifting (Sundays were a nightmare), observation and recall (letter box detection), motivation and aerobic exercise (running away from dogs). My first real job involved a certain amount of labouring on a building site. While the work was hard, I remember the pay being relatively good. Most of my first pay packet was spent on beer and women – sadly I wasted the rest.
What was your last job?
In 2002 I was appointed to the role of head of corporate personnel at Nationwide. I had group responsibility for areas such as rewards, pensions, payroll, health and safety, and employee relations.
What have you done in between?
I have spent most of my working life in the retail part of the Nationwide Group. One of the great things about Nationwide is the opportunities I have had in various roles, as well as having continuous professional training and support to back this up.
What was the defining point of your career?
No defining moment but my experience has given me a well rounded view of the skills that go into building a successful business.
And the most embarrassing?
Wearing a girl’s swimming costume at the seaside. Don’t ask. It was a long time ago and I’m just out of therapy.
Do you have a mortgage?
What’s your favourite restaurant?
The Crab at Chieveley, near Newbury, is a favourite. It has a lovely atmosphere and is a relaxing place to enjoy good food and wine with friends.
What is the most you have spent on dinner for two?
About 250, including the parking fine. You needn’t spend a fortune to have an enjoyable time. Great company and conversation are what is important.
What’s your favourite band?
Queen. Freddie Mercury was a fantastic showman and their music is timeless.
What’s your favourite tipple?
A chilled beer or a glass of fine wine.
What are your hobbies and interests?
When I have time I enjoy visiting the cinema and theatre. I have a keen interest in sports, especially football, and support Wycombe Wanderers, although I found the Ashes Test series this year completely captivating. I also try to keep fit with regular visits to the gym and a rather occasional round of golf.