THE BUSINESS: 20 questions with Andrew Major, financial consultant for United Commercial Finance

Andrew Major, financial consultant for United Commercial Finance, and former member of GLC, chats about smiling, Holy Cheesus and Superman by Black Lace…

 

1. What was your first Saturday job?

I love the outdoors, so it was two paper rounds for me… and then collecting the cash for my local milkman twice a week.

2. What motivates you?

It may sound a bit woolly, but seeing people smile. Honestly, I can think of nothing more rewarding and addictive than bringing a bit of happiness to others.

3. And what irritates you?

That’s easy: sloppiness. In business or your personal life, you are creating an impression about yourself from day one. If you show little respect for yourself, expecting others to respect you is merely an exercise in futility.

4. What one wish would you grant to Gwent and why?

We all want growth and prosperity, but it needs our communities to make it happen. I have been lucky enough to travel the world, and see what can be achieved when people roll up their sleeves, rather than shouting from the terraces.

5. Who do you most admire in business and why?

Mark and Mo Constantine, the founders of Lush cosmetics. They take their success from their heady mix of heavily scented bath products and plough them into campaigns for social justice. What’s not to admire?

6. Rugby v football?

That’s a tough one, as I don’t want to cause ructions with certain friends. Let’s just say that both take hard work and dedication, and a thick skin for detractors.

7. What was the last book you read and what did you think?

It was a great book called The Candidate: Jeremy Corbyn’s Improbable Path to Power. Alex Nunns really captured his rise from the backbenches to leader of the biggest socialist party in Europe.

8. What do you do to relax?

I love the forgotten art form of a good walk. It’s a shame that more people don’t just shut off modern life, get out, look up, and experience the fantastic abundance of nature we have on our doorstep.

9. What dreams are you still fulfil?

Well, I still love DJing in my spare time, so playing to a crowd of 20,000 adoring punters.

10. What was the last film you saw at the cinema and what did you think?

I’m a tall bloke, so I stay away from small and uncomfortable seats. That kind of rules out cinemas and long distances on low-cost airlines.

11. Favourite food and place to eat it?

My special treat is a trip to Holy Cheesus – THE purveyors of grilled cheese – on Bridge Street in Newport. I try to get there once a month, but if they read this, I might get a VIP invite.

12. What car do you drive?

I’m passionate about the environment, so have taken a personal decision not to drive. For others to follow suit, however, we need an integrated public transport system across south Wales, and NOW!

13. What one song would you have on your iPod?

Superman by Black Lace.

14. Coffee v tea?

Well that all depends on the situation, coffee to wake myself up and a cup of tea in the afternoon.

15. What’s your favourite TV programme past or present?

I’ll get it on record: there was, and always will be, only one Elsie Tanner.

16. Do you tweet?

I do, and @unitedcomm_ is the home of United Commercial Finance. My personal account is a real window into my passion for music, but I’ve taken a step back from it. It’s a shame to see a platform for sharing cool music and cat photos is now the stomping ground for trolls to shock and abuse individuals.

17. If you were an animal, what would you be?

It has to be a cat: stealth-like, but gentle.

18. Proudest moment?

Anything music or TV-related pale into insignificance when I think back to my gold medal-winning high jump in my final school sports day.

19. And most embarrassing?

I’m shuddering at the thought. Picture this tall Welsh lobster in Ibiza. He’s in agony – and will be for the next month. The entire island spends its days laughing and pointing its communal finger at him. That was 10 years ago and I can still feel it. I’ve never been sunburned since.

20. What advice would you give to someone wanting to be successful in your line of work?

Learn to listen, so you can really understand your customers. This role has helped me learn a lot about people.