10 Questions with... Allan Kay of Cheval

10 Questions with... Allan Kay of Cheval



Allan, a man who completely detests all reality TV but loves Kelly Brook and had ambitions to be a dentist, is now director and head of operations for Cheval.


Shelley DeBere speaks to Allan Kay...

1. How long have you been working at Cheval and what did you do before?

I’ve been here since the very beginning, when Cheval was established in 1996, which is a long time ago now – about 15 years.

Before I started work here I was in trade finance and before that I spent a little bit of time in computing, for a small IT company.

2. What did you want to be when you were little?

(Laughs) Well I think like all young boys I would have really liked to be a footballer!

But when I had grown up a bit and gave it some serious thought, I actually originally decided I wanted to be a dentist.

B&C: Really!? Any reason why?

Well I’ve always been good with my hands and I knew I wanted to do something in medicine but didn’t want to become a doctor, so it seemed like a good option.

3. So... who do you fancy off the telly?

Hmmm... I think I am going to have to go with Kelly Brook.

B&C: That’s not very original...

Well she is very pleasing to the eye.

4. What trends have you noticed within the bridging industry over the last 12 months?

I think the biggest thing that I have noticed is the return of what is known as ‘the classic bridge’ – when people need money to buy a property before they have sold their current one.

Obviously, the main thing is the fact that the banks are unwilling to lend, although they may claim they are it’s really not as great as they are making out. It’s like the lights are on but no one is at home and it is making life at the moment very difficult.

5. What would you put in room 101 if you had the chance?

(Without hesitation) I absolutely hate reality television. I try to avoid it at all costs, I cannot bear it.

B&C: Why’s that then?

I am not interested enough in these people’s lives to watch them every day on TV!

6. What is the best and worst thing about your job?

The best thing for me is that I get to work with a really great group of people every day. They all try their hardest for Cheval and really aim to do the best for the client as they possibly can.

The worst thing... (Pauses) well I’m going to play the sympathy card with this question. (Laughs) I am a diabetic and everyone in the office always puts all the sweets and cakes next to my desk!

B&C: Surely they get you something to nice to eat as well?!

Occasionally they get me some sugar free chocolates.

7. Poor you! So what made you decide to work in the finance industry? What would you be doing if you weren’t working in bridging?

To be honest I started in finance by chance, I did some holiday work in a trade finance house and ended up staying there for a while. I’ve been in finance ever since.

But if I wasn’t working in bridging, I’ve always loved cars.

B&C: Do you have a lot of cars at the moment?

No! (Laughs) But I’d like to. I really appreciate the engineering that goes into a quality car, particularly fast cars, and I think I would like to be involved in that in some way.

8. If you could have a super power for one day what would it be?

I think if I could have a super power for the day I would choose to be invisible...

B&C: Oh, everyone says that!

Well I did consider the ability to turn back time, but being invisible is the best one! You’d be able to do so many things that you couldn’t normally do.

9. What is your favourite film and book? Why?

My favourite film is The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, I like the books too but they are a bit heavy in some parts so I preferred the films.

I’m currently reading one of the books about Jack Reacher – it’s full of action and adventure, which is my favourite type of book.

10. Finally, tell me one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you?

I think people might be surprised to know that I was Bury champion and record holder at 100 and 200 metres when I was 16.



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