Ian Blelloch

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Other Industries
Job title: Director and Equity Owner
Subject of study: Law
Year of graduation: 1983
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Chaco Limited

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

I left Exeter in 1983 and joined Spicer and Oppenheim, in the City of London. I qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1987 and joined NM Rothschild & Co as an internal auditor. In 1993, I was recruited to become the Head of Private Finance at the Housing Corporation. In 1996, I was recruited by Chaco, as their marketing manager. I then bought out the company in 2001 with a colleague and have run the company since then.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

Pure chance. The opportunity at the Housing Corporation seemed to be too good to miss and I have enjoyed a career in affordable housing finance for 25 years now. I like seeing something tangible as a result of my work and seeing people given the chance to secure housing and therefore a stake in society.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a member of RATs and played football in the Sunday league.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

Getting my degree was the highlight of my time at Exeter (given that I managed to fail my first year exams). Whilst I did not pursue a career in law, I did enjoy the introduction to it and use a lot of what I learned at university in my current career.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Enjoying the freedom of being away from home and meeting new friends – a number of which have become lifetime friends. Exeter is a great university in a lovely part of the country and I remember my time there with great affection.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Attended the open day and thought I would fit in.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Listen then speak; adopt an attitude of gratitude; value yourself and others; never stop learning and if it looks scary go for it.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Do something you enjoy doing and the money will follow. Take your time in choosing a career because you will be at work for a long time. I was in my mid-thirties when I settled on what really grabbed me but having a law degree and being a chartered accountant gave me very transportable skills for a career in business.

What are your plans for the future?

I will continue to work for the foreseeable future as I enjoy what I do. I am picking up some NED roles for some variety and to see how others operate. I will also enjoy driving my Triumph which I had a university and which I have had restored.


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