Our March edition of our “Why Nottingham” series, sees us sit down with Paul Bevan. Known for his work within the Corporate Finance sector here in the City, we caught up with him to find out why he loves Nottingham.
1. When did you first start to work in Nottingham?
It would be back in the late 80’s, when I moved to work in Corporate Banking (on the bottom rung) at Natwest’s regional office on Radford Boulevard.
A completely different world back then. Masses of discretion to support businesses across Nottingham and the East Midlands; a fantastic learning ground.
It was the time before Microsoft and the Internet … mobile phones with a battery pack!
2. What first attracted you to the city?
I was born here in the 60’s (followed by a North Notts upbringing) and it was the ‘dream move’ to get into the Corporate Banking world at a time when a Saturday afternoon was spent playing rugby at Ireland Avenue for Nottingham.
I’ve always loved the city, fabulous sporting achievements and a safe and vibrant place. Special times for sure.
3. How has it changed during your time here?
It’s hardly surprising to say that there has been a huge amount of change; after all I’ve spent the last 30 years working in the City.
Thankfully the constant for me has been the incredibly high levels of entrepreneurial spirit, ambition and acumen. We are so blessed to have such a vibrant business community – funding and advising clients has always been a sheer privilege.
Getting the obvious out of the way first, we can all recount well the demise of many of our major industries and employers. Alongside our sporting prowess, it’s just not what it used to be and again no reminders are needed.
On the positive we have seen enormous strides in infrastructural development, our Universities and student population thriving, and an acceptance that ‘we are not done’. The regeneration projects around ‘Southside’, Broadmarsh and the Castle will soon be ready for us to cheer about.
4. What is/are the biggest challenges we face as a city compared with our regional “rivals” and nationally?
In a broader sense we no longer ‘punch above our weight’, unless your name is Carl Froch of course!
That said, I do marvel at the rise of a world class advisory network of lawyers, funders, accountants and deal makers here in Nottingham; one big boutique.
What set’s our community aside from many is a real sense of harmony and desire to work together for the better of the City and moreover the region.
Our challenges are no different to anyone else; complacency and a preference to play safe erodes value and achievement. I don’t see that in our professional community, but what I do see elsewhere is local government working so much closer with business and commerce, creating incredible environments to live, work and play.
So when we are looking to recruit for growth (as many of us are) we do need to be that attractive, ‘go to’ place. We’ve been that before and can be again … so we have the heritage and it’s aligning our public and private sector ambitions.
5. How long is your daily commute and how do you get into the city?
Currently a very straightforward 15-minute drive to the NBV Enterprise Centre; but before too long we plan to be back in the City, working out of the ‘Professional Quarter’.
6. What are your favourite places to eat and drink for business and pleasure?
Maid Marion Way is a regular haunt with friends and family, whether it’s for a curry or popping over to Zaap for a casual catch up. ‘Posh’ would be Alchemilla, Fish and Chips would be The Cods Scallops and out of town would be Tom Browns.
7. Finally, if you had a blank canvas, what would you like to see happen in the next 12 months?
Professionally I’d love to see our deal making community continuing to thrive, with Nottingham playing a pivotal role and making an enviable contribution to the wider region.
Personally I would hope that Breeze will be helping that contribution (quietly).
And frankly that we are free of obvious distractions, with local and national government supporting our entrepreneurial instincts … Nottingham, the City of Entrepreneurship (maybe ?)