Ronnie Allan

Ronnie Allan

I have now been working for 50 years – still enjoy it and would not give it up for anything – except if my wife or Sarah told me to do so!
At the suggestion of my teachers, I left school at the age of 16 to pursue other interests!

Apart from delivering papers and milk, my first real work experience was with Thomas Cook & Son. I have always been numerate and this was noticed by Cooks who suggested that I join the foreign exchange section. A fantastic experience which allowed me to travel extensively and ended up in London as assistant to the head dealer at the ripe old age of 21. I then returned to Glasgow to work in their main bureau working on exchange control and currency sales.

One of my best decisions was to marry Fiona – now my wife of 42 years. We were married within 6 months and Sarah appeared 15 months later (you know the one I am talking about!).

Travelling around Europe was not the preferred option therefore went for a career change and went into finance, joining Forward Trust, the finance company then part of Midland Bank. Shortly after that our second daughter Victoria was born.

My business career eventually brought us to London and Bristol (twice). During this period I was head hunted by an American Banking Group where I ended up as MD of five of their trading divisions covering buy-outs, hire purchase, company restructuring, invoice discounting and much more. I was well known in the City for the restructuring of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph and their ultimate move from Fleet Street to The Isle of Dogs and also a new printing plant in Manchester.

Enough of the memory lane trip. In 1995 I was persuaded to return to Glasgow to take up a directorship with a well known Scottish PLC finance company. Big mistake! I left after 6 months by what may best be described as mutual consent.

Back to the real world. Stoke Park Finance Limited hit the ground running. I had a contact at Albion Automotive (the old Leyland DAF business) who asked me to assist in the buy-out of the main Albion plant in Glasgow and also in Leyland, Lancashire. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge – worked with them for some two years (they were nice people) but also keeping my other contacts and business interests within the bus and coach industry which I had built up over the years. I had previously been involved in the privatisation of the bus industry in London and the provinces.

One of my best decisions was asking Sarah if she would like to join the business. After running a slide rule over the business and also my competence in running same, I was delighted when Sarah decided to give up her senior position with Lloyds Bank and join me. In addition, some 12 months later, husband Neil joined and brought a further dimension to the business with his expertise in engineering and coaching. Like myself, Neil loves cars and has expanded our involvement in the classic car market – what we call expensive toys for rich boys!