Name: Andy Coles
Company: Link Lending
Job title: Risk director
Where do you live?
The Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire border
What were your first and last jobs?
I’ve always worked in financial services and started my working life as a cashier in a high street bank. My last job was head of sales at HSBC-owned secured loan provider Endeavour Personal Finance.
What have you done in between?
I spent 14 years in underwriting and sales with Lloyd Bowmaker’s direct-to-broker operation, Cedar Holdings.
I left that firm in 2000 and established London Personal Loans, the consumer finance division of London Mortgage Company, with Robert Owen. This was sold to Lehman Brothers in May 2006. I briefly continued as manager until the business was integrated.
How does your career to date compare with your aspirations when you were younger?
When I was 12 I wanted to join the Royal Air Force and train as a pilot. But I’ve had a great career in the lending industry, working with great colleagues.
What has been the defining point of your career and why?
The sale of LPL in 2006. It was great to see the value of something I helped to create being recognised.
And the most embarrassing?
Media training – reviewing yourself on video for the first time is never pretty.
What work ambition would you like to achieve by retirement?
In my mid-20s I’d spend time with friends pondering what we would do when we retired. Now as I approach my mid-40s, nothing could be further from my mind.
How many mortgage payments do you have left?
Far too many.
What’s your Favourite holiday destination?
Has to be Italy – where else would you see the police driving Lamborginis?
What would you take to a desert island and why?
I’d take my partner Helen, but if you mean an object it would have to be a wind-up radio.
Who is your secret celebrity crush?
Dallas’ Victoria Principal runs a close second to Agnetha Faltskog, the blonde one from Abba
What’s your mobile ringtone?
It’s a standard BlackBerry one.
What’s the most expensive gadget you’ve ever bought?
Watches. You can always kid yourself they’re an investment.
What’s the craziest hobby you’ve ever attempted?
Scuba diving. When you’re claustrophobic it’s a bit of an experience. Oddly enough diving at sea was fine, but training in a pool with about 10 other people is not something I’ll be queuing up to repeat.