With a long and successful career in motorsport, Tony Jardine now heads up HPS Jardine, which is a PR, sponsorship, events and digital and social communications agency working with high-profile clients in the UK and internationally. He worked for Brabham and McLaren before becoming a commentator on ITV’s Formula 1 coverage in the mid-nineties. His company has been linked with some of the biggest names in the sport, having responsibility for Bridgestone’s PR during its long campaign in Formula 1. As well as being a widely respected broadcaster and marketing specialist, Jardine competes in international rally events. He raised his profile further of late as Formula 1 commentator for Sky Sports news. Today Tony opens up his wallet for the Paddock magazine.
What was your first salary?
It was £1,100 per annum when I was working as a teacher in the North West. I couldn’t afford to live anywhere apart from home so moved back in with my parents for two years after university. I raised money to start racing by working every holiday and also weekends on building sites and in bars to buy my Palliser Formula Ford and then chased sponsorship.
Do you have any credit cards?
I have four but I keep getting them mixed up! It’s important to remember which account is which. However I’m fed up of them being fraudulently targeted via holes in the wall in Asia!
Do you save or spend?
I think it’s important to do both.
Have you ever been hard up?
Yes, as a student, a young teacher and also when I was a young father. With a young daughter and a son on the way, we really struggled on one salary and I ended up borrowing money.
What is the best deal that you have ever signed?
Apart from new business contracts when we sign up a new client, my best deal was for a year’s rallying sponsorship with a big insurance company. This allowed me to really enjoy the season without having to worry about having sponsorship for the next event.
Do you believe pensions are a good thing?
Yes, I do, we run our own pension scheme for our staff once they’ve qualified for it. I built up my own scheme from which we purchased and refurbished our own offices for Jardine International a few years back.
What has been your worst investment?
Firstly ISAs, I don’t believe they’ve been great or particularly worthwhile. I also invested in a small clothing company which all went wrong, but fortunately I made that money back with my next investment.
Do you manage your own financial affairs?
Yes, mainly between my wife and I. However, we do enjoy some extra pension/investment management which has proved to be very efficient.
How many holidays did you take this year?
I’ve taken two – the first was a week with friends on a boat in Croatia which was sensational. The second was a week in France in a villa with my daughter and her partner. This was equally as good thanks to the amazing countryside and great family time!
What is the most extravagant item you have ever bought?
My Aston Martin!
What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever been given?
To sell two different sets of shares just as they had matured as my advisor reckoned they wouldn’t go anywhere. He was spot on, one of them completely plummeted and I didn’t lose out!