I've spent nearly 40 years in financial services, initially with a major UK life insurance and financial services company. 15 years later, I was their London regional director
I started out as a professional photographer, would you believe it? Still something I love doing, but difficult to make a living from. I was tempted into commerce by someone who waved a car under my nose and I ended up selling timber. I was really good at it.
Then I met some guys who were in financial services; my age, late-twenties then, and making five times as much as I was. I thought I'd at least check it out. And over a lunch with some people in the business, I found my life's calling. I've dedicated my life to helping people grow their money since.
I had a very successful career, but after a while you have a choice to make. Continue working to build someone else's business or start building your own legacy and dreams.
So, Yachting Financial Solutions was born.
Attraction of yachting...
People in yachting have far more likelihood of achieving the life of their dreams than people ashore. Anyone working in yachting has the potential after five to 10 years to completely reinvent themselves.
Being involved in yachting, even for a short time, changes your outlook on life. You become much more aware of what's possible.
There is a downside to yachting. It's a seductive life and the industry uses that. It is complicit in keeping people locked in by encouraging them to spend all the money they earn, so they can't leave the business on their terms. The idea that people could use their life in yachting to build financial freedom is anathema. "Do spend all your money. That means you have to stay."
The best thing I've ever done...
Marrying Teresa-without a doubt.
Most memorable thing in yachting I've done...
I really enjoy visiting places by sea. A favourite memory is coming into Valletta first thing in the morning. It's beautiful and you imagine yourself to be one of the Knights Templar, because it feels like it hasn't changed since their day.
I'm a yacht master. My first night passage across the English Channel to Guernsey was pretty special. Arriving at night. The tidal range is 40 ft, so you go to anchor and in the morning you wake up to these massive rock faces.
My favourite place...
West Cork, Ireland.
Walking our dog there in the peace and quiet really brings me back to life. The great thing about where we live is that everywhere else feels like Manhattan.
Don't waste your opportunities. This life is finite. Make the most of your time on Earth. This isn't a rehearsal. It really isn't. So you have to live every day to the full and take your opportunities.
Another thing: every day is worth living. Even the bad ones. Don't look back on bad things that happened and beat yourself up. They were a door closing so another door could open. Sometimes they close with a bang. What often looks like really bad news is often really good news.
If money were no object...
I'd like to pick up the photography again. Do something with my creativity. I just don't have the time for it at the moment.
I'd build my Porsche collection some more. I'm determined to buy a Porsche in California and drive it to New York. Then ship it home to Europe.