Name: John Prust
Company: Southern Pacific Mortgage Limited
Job Title: Sales and marketing director
Where do you live? Pinner, Middlesex
Describe your current job: SPML's marketing team and its regional sales teams report to me. My responsibilities include liaising with our packager panel and all other activities that further the achievement of sales targets.
What was your first job?
Trainee manager at Northern Rock (in its days as a building society) in Newcastle-on-Tyne. I moved to the London area as assistant manager in a newly opened branch in Hayes. I spent five years with Northern Rock.
What was your last job?
National sales manager at the old Mortgage Trust.
What have you done in between?
I worked on the underwriting side for Citibank. I started as an underwriter and was so useless that within six months I was promoted to team leader of one of four underwriting teams, with my team always coming top. This was because I made life idyllic for the team with cups of tea and other treats – a recognised key to team-handling success.
What has been the defining point of your career?
In the latter stage of my career at Mortgage Trust I noticed exciting things happening in what has come to be known as niche and non-conforming lending. Bill Cherry was over from the US recruiting a team to head a new non-conforming lender and we were to meet up.
Because of scheduled commitments, I couldn't see Bill until after he was due to fly back. However, I had enough cheek to ask Bill to change his flight. He agreed and the rest is history.
And the most embarrassing?
As a callow youth at Northern Rock I was conducting an interview with a middle- aged lady and a young man who were applying for a mortgage. I told the couple that we did not have a 'mother and son' mortgage product and that that sort of product would be a rarity if it existed at all. The lady then informed me that they were married. I was speechless with embarrassment. It certainly taught me never to make assumptions about relationships.
Do you have a mortgage? No.
What's your favourite restaurant?
J Sheekey in Covent Garden.
What's the most you have spent on dinner for two?
On a personal recommendation I went to the Tru Restaurant in Chicago for dinner in December 2003. Minuscule portions of nouvelle cuisine were served by an abundance of waiters - at least one for every customer - who were over-intrusive in their service. When we left we were worse off to the tune of £250 each - and desperate to find some substantial hamburgers.
What is your favourite band?
The Eagles (which dates me I know).
What's your favourite tipple?
Orange juice with no ice.
Do you have any hobbies and interests?
As all my friends and acquaintances know, I am a loyal and enthusiastic supporter of Leeds United and I am excited because of the likelihood of us winning some silverware this year. I also have a passionate interest in 20th century history and have spent holidays walking the first World War battlefields of northern France.