In Conversation With Sebastian Bamford from Bamford Mortgages.
Sebastian heads up Bamford Mortgages based in Malvern. Priding themselves in delivering something for everyone, the Bamford family provide a wide-range of financial services, from financial planning to wealth management. With an open and honest attitude and a real family approach to business, Sebastian tells Ruby more about how a change in career led him to work with his family, how it’s brought him closer to home and why he believes that it’s the key to their success:
My alarm goes off and…
It’s set for 6.30am but my son comes into my room around 5.30am these days… followed by Paw Patrol. I’ve not needed an alarm since he’s been born.
How did you start doing what you’re doing?
I left school and tried college but didn’t take to it, so I left education with no qualifications at all. However, I was always a keen tennis player (I even played at Wimbledon) so got a job at my local tennis club (Manor Park) at the age of 16. I then gained my coaching qualifications and enjoyed a career as a coach with Herefordshire and Worcestershire LTA until I was 24 years old. I moved to Edgbaston Priory and then to David Lloyd, Westbridgeford in Nottinghamshire. From there I gained a coaching position at La Residencia in Majorca – thanks to my Dad – and took to it like a duck to water. I was 27 at the time, is was a great job and I met some really interesting people including Jamie Oliver, Catherine Zeta Jones and Bob Geldof.
When I came back from Majorca, I was offered a role at David Lloyd, Worcester as Head of Junior tennis and the development programme. Within the 2 years I was there, I increased the portfolio to an all-time high, I moved on and started with the family business. Not only to have a better work – life balance now, have I also had a family of my own.
My Dad, Brain, has 37 years’ experience in Financial Planning and my brother Barnaby joined the family business in 2004. Bamford Wealth Management began in February 2013 and I joined 5 and a half years ago and am responsible for the mortgage side of the business. My sister joined us earlier this year, after a career in teaching (History and Politics at Cheltenham ladies College, having studied at Oxford) She heads up the Practice, managing the business on a day-to-day basis and is also studying to become a financial advisor.
I am a whole of market mortgage advisor – which means, as a company, we can work with most lenders in the market. There are some companies that don’t use brokers, but we can compare with all of them. We have an initial consultation with each client, so we can see what suits them best. We work with everyone, from first time buyers to experienced portfolio landlords and anything in between. We work locally, supporting people in Malvern and across Worcestershire, although have clients nationwide and service a number of large customers in London. We pride ourselves on our relationships with local solicitors and estate agents, as well as support and donate to local causes like the Malvern Buzzards Running group and hope to provide help to other local organisations soon.
What are your notable highlights to date?
Working with my family, I’m very proud of it, and we’re lucky to get on so well… it’s not without its trials, but we always come back to supporting each other in the end. Our last year has been fantastic and it’s great to see the business grown year on year – so we must be doing something right.
What’s the key to your success?
Looking after our clients, for sure. We deliver a fantastic service and our clients provide fantastic referrals. As clichéd as it sounds, it’s true. We don’t just complete our work, we stay in touch and look after our customers, like an extended family, and like our strapline says, ‘we do the hard work so you don’t have to’. We pride ourselves with an ongoing service, which we all enjoy. Indeed, a lot of our clients then go on to enjoy all aspects of the business so we support families with their whole financial needs. We’ve been established for a long period of time, which allows people to trust in us. We’re probably the longest running financial business in the area.
Who or what has been your biggest influence?
My Dad and brother… seeing my family work hard and now having a small family of my own, I can see how important it is.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’d like to do an iron man competition – I almost did a half iron-man before my son was born, but I got chicken pox and couldn’t do it. I’m a keen musician and still hoping my band will take off soon – I play in a rock band called Uprising. In between tennis and working at Bamford Wealth Management, I also studied at Guildford Academy of Contemporary Music, majoring in guitar.
What’s your biggest bugbear?
Road rage – not sure why?
What I wanted to be when I grew up
A rock star!
What can you do 3 of? Party piece?
Swim – cycle – run.
Where can you mostly be found after work?
On the hills, running. And then at home, with my family.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?
Don’t think about it too much, just get on with it.
Best piece you’d like to give?
Don’t count the days, make the days count!
To find out how Sebastian can help you gain a mortgage, call him on 01684 562842 or head to: http://www.bamfordwm.co.uk/mortgages/