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.