How I Spend It: Dominic Reilly


Dominic Reilly worked in Formula 1 for fifteen years raising sponsorship for several teams and ultimately becoming Head of Marketing at Williams F1. In 2013 he launched his own eponymous brand of luxury travel accessories and is now a sponsor of Williams Martini Racing. We asked Dominic to open his wallet for us.

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What was your first salary? My first salary was literally a pound an hour when I worked in the local sports shop. I was sports mad so loved it there, however, as a consequence, I always spent whatever I earned in the shop. My first proper job after University was working with Lloyds Bank’s Private Banking arm. I was paid a whopping £9,000 per annum… But then, it was some time ago.

Do you have any credit cards? Personally, I don’t use credit cards. I have a Visa debit card and an Amex Platinum charge card that needs to be cleared each month.

Do you save or spend? Bit of both really. I’ve been fortunate to have some great jobs in the world of sports marketing and always tried to save money when I was on a good salary. Now I am running my own business, the more thrifty side to my character has come to the fore. That keeps my shareholders happy at least.

Have you ever been hard up? It depends what you mean by hard up. I have always had enough money to pay the bills. Certainly, in my early career, I couldn’t always do the things I wanted to do or buy the things I wanted to buy, but I think that’s a good place to start. It makes you appreciate the finer things in life when you can eventually afford them.

What is the best deal you have ever signed? In Formula 1 the best deal I ever did was the title sponsorship of the Orange Arrows team. It was a very satisfying deal for several reasons. First, it was quick. Mighty quick! It took less than two weeks from the first conversation with Orange to launching the partnership. We all worked really hard to make it happen, 17-hour days for two weeks – so it was a great relief when it finally happened. At the time it was also the largest deal I had done commercially and probably set up the remainder of my career.

Do you invest in shares? Yes, both personally and through pension schemes.

Do you believe pensions are a good thing? Yes, but mainly because they create a form of discipline. They never seem to be that exciting in terms of returns but then I suppose they are designed to be conservative.

What has been your best and worst investment? Best = property. Worst = property. But like everything in life, that was all down to timing.

Do you manage your own financial affairs? I have an advisor but ultimately my wife and I make all the big decisions.

What is your top financial priority? Whatever it takes to keep my family safe, warm and happy.

How many holidays did you take last year? I actually like working. That combined with running my own business means I don’t take as many holidays as I probably should – certainly not as many as my wife would like us to take! I had a week off last year.

Do you have a money weakness for anything? Not really although I am partial to a croissant!

What is the most extravagant item you have ever bought?  Probably our house. Although I certainly felt some financial pain when I bought my wife’s engagement ring – but it was worth it.

Do you play the lottery and, if so, on what would you spend the jackpot if you won? I don’t personally although my wife does from time to time. If we won? Probably just employ some more people so I could take more holidays!

What is the best piece of financial advice you have ever been given? Earn more than you spend, then no matter what your income is you will always be rich.

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