CurriculumVitae: Jeremy Claridge

“I took a gap year to improve my finances and ended up delivering and packing coal”

NAME: Jeremy Claridge
AGE: 43
COMPANY: Alliance & Leicester
JOB TITLE:Head of specialist mortgages
WHERE DO YOU LIVE? Bulkington, just outside Coventry.

Describe your current job:
Enhancing our buy-to-let and PlusMortgage propositions.

What were your first and last jobs?
Before university I took a gap year to improve my finances and ended up delivering and packing coal. My last job was heading the mortgage and personal loans team at a building society.

What have you done in between?
I worked in finance and accounts following a postgraduate diploma in business administration. I then did an 18-month sponsored management training programme. I started full-time work in mortgages in 1994. I also qualified as a marketer in 1992 and completed the Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance in 1999.

How does your career to date compare with your aspirations when you were younger?
I planned to join the army when I was 16 but my parents persuaded me to do A Levels instead. It wasn’t until I went to Cardiff Business School that I decided on a career in financial services.

What has been the defining point of your career and why?
There are two. First was launching PlusMortgage within four months of it being approved. Second was winning best capped rate and 100% mortgage provider at the 2005 Moneyfacts Awards.

and the most embarrassing?
Doing a presentation and seeing the company solicitor tip over his chair and go sliding across the floor, which caused the room to erupt in laughter.

What work ambition would you like to achieve by retirement?
I’d like to move into a more general management role.

How many mortgage payments do you have left?
120 and counting down.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?Sandown on the Isle of Wight. The kids can have a great time digging on the beach to their hearts’ content without suffering sunburn.

What would you take to a desert island and why?
It’s got to be a CD of Bob Marley’s No woman no cry but I’d also sneak in my MP3 player with another 16,000 tracks.

What’s our mobile ringtone?
My eldest son set my ringtone to Frolic, one of the standard Nokia phone tunes, as no-one else in the house can carry it off.

What’s the most expensive gadget you’ve ever bought?
A Nintendo Wii.

What’s the craziest hobby you’ve ever attempted?
Water skiing. It hurts when you fall and you end up walking like John Wayne.