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“A formal meeting over tea in an opulent room seemed to be going well until my mobile phone rang.”

Name: Paul Chafer

Age: 37

Company: Stroud & Swindon.

Job title: Sales and marketing director.

Where do you live? Bridgnorth, Shropshire.

Describe your current job:

Leading the sales and marketing divisions of the society and developing its business channels.

What was your first job?

Stacking shelves for Hillards (now Tesco). Believe it or not, this allowed real job satisfaction.

What was your last job?

Head of sales for the Post Office, introducing financial services to its branch network.

What have you done in between?

Most of my jobs have been associated with high street banks and building societies. I started at 18 working in a branch of NatWest and then moved to its debt recovery department. I then followed a variety of jobs for Staffordshire including branch management, customer services and heading the branch network. I think it was struggling to find me something I could do. Following the merger with Portman I became head of Portman Direct.

What has been the defining point of your career to date?

Launching Staffordshire Direct, the telephony sales arm of Staffordshire in 1997. It was a great learning experience and a chance to create something that made a real difference. It was only a small unit but the team spirit was infectious.

And the most embarrassing?

Soon after being appointed to head the branch network at Staffordshire I went on my first joint visit with my new boss to secure an affinity relationship with a well-known local retailer. A formal meeting over tea in an opulent room seemed to be going well until my mobile phone rang, generating a number of stern looks and what felt like a hasty conclusion to the meeting. Suffice to say we didn’t close the deal.

Do you have a mortgage?

Yes, a two-year fix.

Fun Stuff

What’s your favourite restaurant?

Fornareto in Vilamoura. Vilamoura is my favourite place to spend time and money.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on dinner for two?

Being a relocated Northerner, my wife thinks we have won the Lottery if I treat the two of us to a meal at our local Indian restaurant in Bridgnorth for somewhere in the region of 35.

What’s your favourite band?

I like music that makes me feel like I am still in my 20s. A few years ago Adrian Griffiths, my best man, introduced me to the delights of Guns N’ Roses – excellent music for driving when you are in a hurry.

What’s your favourite tipple?

Red wine. Chateauneuf Du Pape and Barolo are particular favourites.

Do you have any hobbies and interests?

My one year old daughter. She is so amusing that I don’t seem to have a great deal of time for anything else.


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