Name: Alison Beech
Company: Rooftop Mortgages.
Job title: Sales and marketing director.
Where do you live? Ipswich.
Describe your current job:
Managing Rooftop’s distribution, packager relationships, business development team and lending support and responsible for all internal and external communications, marketing, and advertising.
What was your first job?
Chambermaid in a hotel in my home town of Lytham St Annes. A truly gruesome experience and all for about 40p an hour. Other people’s dirty sheets, yuck.
What was your last job?
Director of my own consultancy specialising in organisational development, strategy and business development. This led to me working on the set up of the project that became Rooftop Mortgages.
What have you done in between?
It has been as diverse as being an au pair, a bar woman and an office manager to then spending 19 years in life and pensions with GRE which is now AXA, working in various technical and supervisory roles including managing director of its mortgage division and then UK HR director. I have also had a spell at a venture set up by TMO called Creditweb. I recently spent two years as a non-executive director of a Ministry of Defence agency, which was fascinating.
What has been the defining point of your career to date? Getting Rooftop to launch and watching it continue to grow from our first loan to our current significant monthly origination volume and knowing that I played a key part in getting us there.
And the most embarrassing?
Several years ago I was being hassled by a member of my team just before a meeting with him to advise that his job was at risk which he didn’t know at the time. I kept saying, yes, yes, will be with you in a moment and he was getting increasingly insistent that he needed to talk to me urgently. It turned out he wanted to tell me that following my visit to the ladies to prepare myself for this difficult meeting I had emerged with my skirt tucked into my knickers.
Do you have a mortgage?
Yes, an offset with First Direct -I have done all my banking with it since 1992 so it seemed to make sense.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
Bas Breau in Barbizon in the Fontainebleu Forest south of Paris, followed by my local in Ipswich, The Greyhound.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on dinner for two?
A terrifying 250-plus at the Bas Breau and a similar amount at Martin Wishart’s in Edinburgh.
What’s your favourite band?
The Boss – Bruce Springsteen. I have been faithful to him since first hearing Born to Run and Thunder Road in 1976. I love lots of other music too but Thunder Road still raises the hairs on the back of my neck.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Anyone who knows me will say anything that’s going but I love good white wine like Chablis, Sancerre and Pouilly Fume. I also love Laurent Perrier champagne.
Do you have any hobbies and interests?
My competitive netball days are over, so I am limited to running and playing tennis. Football and politics are other great interests.