The Trav­elex man’s dol­lar tips


TRAV­ELEX BOSS Lloyd Dorf­man is warn­ing read­ers not to get car­ried away by the cur­rent strength of the pound against the dol­lar, which is ap­proach­ing $2 to the pound.

“I would not en­cour­age peo­ple to rush to the United States, or take out for­eign cur­rency mort­gages,” he tells JC Busi­ness. “You have to be care­ful to match your costs with your in­come and you have to be care­ful hav­ing costs in dol­lars.”

Mr Dorf­man — worth an es­ti­mated £480 mil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the 2006 Sun­day Times Rich List — founded Trav­elex in 1976. Its turnover is now £28 bil­lion, mak­ing it the largest non­bank provider of com­mer­cial for­eignex­change ser­vices.

But the Hamp­stead res­i­dent sug­gests that “the real op­por­tu­ni­ties for young en­trepreneurs to­day are in the IT, me­dia and com­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try.

“The prop­erty world is do­ing well but it is very cycli­cal. In­vest­ment bank­ing is OK-ish, but one shouldn’t get car­ried away with that no­tion. And I hear from my fash­ion friends that the fash­ion busi­ness is a lot tougher than it used to be.”

While pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions were im­por­tant, “if you have a strong en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit, then there is no point con­tin­u­ing in that way.”

Mr Dorf­man was speak­ing af­ter ad­dress­ing a UJIA busi­ness lunch at Ernst & Young’s Lon­don of­fices.

He had given his au­di­ence the four key prin­ci­ples be­hind the suc­cess of Trav­elex, which has just opened a

Lloyd Dorf­man: “You have to be care­ful hav­ing costs in dol­lars” Bei­jing of­fice. “The first is per­sis­tence and not tak­ing ‘no’ for an an­swer. The sec­ond is stick­ing to what you know and who you know.

“Num­ber three is think­ing cre­atively and dif­fer­ently to oth­ers.” How­ever, for him the most im­por­tant qual­ity is self-be­lief. “As you build a busi­ness, it doesn’t mat­ter who you have around you. You must be able to dig deep and be­lieve in your­self.”

He stressed that “suc­cess­ful busi­ness­men should feel a sense of duty to sup­port char­i­ties from ei­ther an in­di­vid­ual or com­mu­nity point of view.”

The lunch raised over £60,000.

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