Curriculum Vitae – Helen Hymos

\"The hypnotist had me doing a belly dance, which was remarkable as I have no sense of rhythm normally.\"

Name: Helen Hymos

Age: 57

Company: Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance.

Job title: Lender relationship manager.

Where do you live?
Buckhurst Hill in Essex.

Describe your current job: Liaising with the PMPA lenders to strengthen relationships, raise the profile of the PMPA and agree exclusive products for PMPA member packagers.

What was your first job? After my A-levels I joined the Bank of England as a fast-track trainee earning 553 a year, which was a good salary at the time. I spent the first three months counting the sixpences out of parking meters. I ended up in the economics department dealing with the European Common Market – as it was then known – and reporting on French papers I didn’t understand.

What was your last job?
Having sold my packager business, AMF London, to another packager I spent 18 months continuing to work in the business before joining the PMPA.

What have you done in between?
After the Bank of England I worked for a US merchant bank, the Northern Trust of Chicago, heading its foreign exchange settlements department. I gave up work when I had my daughter and then in the early 1980s I took a Saturday job at Western Trust and Savings. Two years later I was a senior branch manager, and in that time I learned everything about mortgages. I was then seconded to Prudential Mortgage Services to set up an equity release and further advance department. From there I took an attractive redundancy package in 1991 and used the capital to start my own packaging business.

What has been the defining point of your career to date? Taking the plunge, starting my own business and making a success of it.

And the most embarrassing?Years ago at a charity function the entertainer was a hypnotist and I was one of his subjects. First he had me in tears and laughter over sad and happy films I was supposed to be watching, then he made me believe that the man next to me had pinched my bottom, and I took my chair and moved away from him. Finally the hypnotist had me doing a belly dance, which was remarkable as I have no sense of rhythm normally. The audience thought it was hilarious but it’s scary to think of someone gaining power over your mind.

Do you have a mortgage?
What’s your favourite restaurant?
I loved the restaurant in the Bay Hotel in Plettenburg Bay, South Africa. Nearer home two favourites are Pizzeria Bel-Sit in Woodford Green and The Bluebell Restaraunt in Chigwell which is often frequented by ladies who lunch.

What’s the most you’ve ever spent on dinner for two?
It was about 450, but a good proportion of that was the wine bill. Unsurprisingly, I can’t remember the name of the venue.

What’s your favourite band?
I’ve loved the Rolling Stones since the 1960s. I’m also a Madonna fan and the last concert I went to was the best I have ever attended.

What’s your favourite tipple?
A good Bordeaux red wine.

Do you have any hobbies and interests?
I try to swim regularly and enjoy a trance-like state as I swim my lengths. I collect antique china, concentrating on cats and teapots, and I love cooking – especially baking and desserts.