Negotiation, Negotiation, Negotiation

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Posts Tagged ‘Mark Harrison’

Club Entrepreneur is really motoring

Posted by markharrison on December 13, 2007

Billy Schwer (right) and Mark Harrison

Some months ago, I went to the first meeting of London’s Club Entrepreneur, and had quite a fun time. However, I’m trying to schlep into London less and less as I get older, so I’d not been.

As it happened, though, I had a meeting in Baker Street yesterday afternoon, so call Tamkin Riaz to see whether he had an event running. Tamkin told me that the Club’s London meeting was that evening, and told me that the keynote speaker was Billy Schwer. Billy won the IBO light-welterweight belt in 2001. That much I knew.

What I’d not really appreciated until last night was that Billy is an entrepreneur as well as a sportsman, and that the discipline, determination and desire required to get to the number one in the world in a sport are very similar to the attributes requrired for growing a business. The last time I heard a professional sportsman give a talk was about 15 years ago (and it was Will Carling!) Billy seems, shall we say, more of a businessman than Will, and despite the fact that I’ve always had more interest in Rugby than Boxing, found him a far more interesting speaker!

Tamkin Riaz and Billy Schwer Anyway, photos of Billy and me, and of Billy and Tamkin attached (click through to get higher-resolution versions of Flickr.) It’s fairly obvious, even if you’d never seen any of us before, which one is the real boxer, and which wouldn’t actually last 5 seconds 🙂

If you’re interested in joining Club Entrepreneur, then I’d say do – The initial level of membership is free (giving access to various business-building resources, and deeply discounted tickets to their events.) There’s another level of membership that gives free tickets to all events, but I’ve never felt under any pressure to “upgrade from free.”

Click here for more information about the Club


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UK Mortgage Arrangement fees have gone up 87% in the last two years

Posted by markharrison on November 28, 2007

According to a report by Moneyfacts, over the last two years, the average mortgage arrangement fee was:

  •  £441 in November 2005
  • £827 now

That’s an increase of over 87%, which is getting close to having doubled.

The trend behind this has been of lenders wanting to quote low headline rates, but make up their profits by charging such fees. About the worst culprit was Northern Rock,  who have been charging such fees as 3.5% on some mortgages.

In September 2006, I wrote an article on the impact of fees, which was beginning to grow then. You can

What I said at the time is still true. Iwrote:

The way that I decided to treat the fees was to treat them as short-term loans, that had to be paid off during the course of the mortgage.

The difference, of course, is that those fees have got much, much bigger in the interim.

The conclusion I came to last year is something I also still stand by:

You can probably guess the punchline – I STRONGLY recommend that you go and see an independant financial advisor to present you different mortgage options…

… but I also recommend that you sit down with him/her and ask them how they are treating fees when comparing different products.

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