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Rich Woolford

Relationship Director

Tell us a little about yourself – how long have you worked for Barclays?

I started from school in 1987 following ‘A’ levels, and have done virtually every job in the Bank, bar CEO. University was of limited interest as I was keen to start earning some money, so when the Banks offered to pay me full time and allow a day off a week to study for my banking exams (which was a pre-requisite to progress in those days, along with an adequate golf handicap) it was a pretty easy decision to make. I only thought it would be for a year or so anyway as I wanted to become a chef at the time! Film is my passion, and in 2003 I came to London to join the Media Team, where I have been a Small Business Manager, a Medium Business RD, an Industry Director and a Larger Business RD. My clients cover the world of film, TV, music and talent agencies, and after 16 years you can’t help going a bit native.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve had a client meeting?

On a yacht, during the Cannes Film Festival, in a storm. I come from a fishing town so it was a busman’s holiday for me, but my colleague turned green within 5 minutes, took to one of the cabins straightaway and lay there for two hours until we could get a tow back to terra firma. I’m not sure he was really with it to be honest, as he asked whether we could pop into Paris that evening so he could pick up a present for his wife. He was surprised when I told him that it would be a 1,800 km round trip.

Tell us about a time you’ve helped your client with something beyond banking?

The media world is subject to significant levels of M&A, and the outfall of this is that many of my contacts in the finance functions are often displaced. I have used my network a number of times to help FDs and FCs find alternative employment, whether that be on a full time, part time or consultancy basis.

What is the most exciting thing happening in your clients’ industry?

The film production and distribution world is ever changing, and the introduction of the streamers over the last few years has blurred the lines between cinema and home entertainment content. I have to say it’s cinema for me every time. There is just no experience like it. It is important to stay close to the production part of the industry, as new financing models have opened up opportunities for us to assist clients and the wider industry with new market leading products and advice.

If you didn’t work for Barclays, what would you be doing?

I’d own a boutique cinema or be a short-order chef.

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