Name: Ricky Okey
Company: Abbey for Intermediaries.
Job title: Managing director.
Where do you live?
I have just moved from Beaconsfield in Buckinghamshire back home to Henley-in-Arden, Warwickshire.
Describe your current job: My job is about leading and growing the Abbey for Intermediaries business and establishing us as the best provider and lender for intermediaries in this country. The Abbey brand is strong and I have worked tirelessly with my team to get this company firing on all cylinders. I have been pleased with the progress we have made. It has been a positive start to 2006 for Abbey but I’m not complacent. I still have many challenges to meet, both for the rest of this year and within our three-year plan.
What was your first job?
I was a technical apprentice in mechanical engineering firm GKN.
What was your last job?
Managing director of John Charcol when it was part of the Bradford & Bingley Group.
What have you done in between?
I’ve had a varied career doing everything from promotions to advertising sales to being a professional DJ. I have worked in financial services since 1988 in a variety of different roles and companies, including Allied Dunbar (latterly Zurich), Sun Life Financial and the Bradford & Bingley Group.
What has been the defining point of your career to date?
I suppose it was my move into the financial services industry at Allied Dunbar. It proved to be a tough and demanding environment but one that has served me well and I don’t regret a moment of it. I would call it a school of hard knocks and it was much maligned at the time but it provided me with a valuable lesson in distribution, sales and marketing.
And the most embarrassing?
There are plenty but some of the outfits that I wore as a DJ were embarrassing to say the least. In my defence, I blame the era.
Do you have a mortgage?
Yes, unfortunately. But I consider myself lucky when I think of how tough first-time buyers have it.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
As a big foodie, there are too many to mention but if my hand is forced I’d have to say The Waterside in Bray, Hakkasan in London and my local curry house.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on dinner for two?
About 500, but it was to mark a special occasion so it was money well spent.
What’s your favourite band?
I’m generally a lover of all music but favourite picks would be Faithless, Prodigy, Chemical Brothers and Moby. I also like most dance music and R&B.
What’s your favourite tipple?
A great rioja, a good beer or a gin and tonic.
Do you have any hobbies and interests?
There’s plenty to keep me busy. I like most sports, especially football, and am a keen Birmingham City supporter. I also enjoy listening to music, reading, gardening and spending time with my family.