Crossing paths, spanning generations

Crossing paths, spanning generations

Alan Rymer and Nicholas Warren are Old Elizabethans from different generations who worked together in the property finance industry for several years, never suspecting that they had both been to the same school.

On learning of their shared history, the pair recently paid a joint visit back to Queen’s Road, thoroughly enjoying the chance to reminisce together, while also observing how much QE has changed.

Alan said: “My background is that, having left QE in 1970, I went to work for Nat West where I studied the usual banking exams (Accounting, Economics, Law etc) to achieve my ACIB [Associateship of The Chartered Institute of Bankers], and gained promotion working at various large London branches, until I had the opportunity to specialise in real estate. I then spent much of my career working with property developers and investors to put in place their borrowing requirements – and learning a huge amount about their businesses by doing so. When I left in 2016 I set up my own business, ADR Funding Ltd, through which I focus on arranging finance specifically for the house-building sector.

“As a result, I now have contacts with a very wide range of banks and specialist funders. One of these is United Trust Bank, who I do quite a lot of work with, mainly via Nick Warren. We had already completed a number of deals when we happened to talk about where we had been brought up, and on learning that Nick lived near Queen’s Road in Barnet, I said ‘that’s where my old school is.’ The rest is history.”

For his part, Nick (OE 1991–1998), who obtained a first in Public Policy, Government & Management at the University of Birmingham, said: “Developing relationships with people is the crux of any business. Paths cross at all stages in life and it’s great to see how, like other Old Elizabethans, Alan and I have managed to connect years after leaving.”

Thanking the Headmaster, Neil Enright, and Head of External Relations, Matthew Rose, who hosted them on their visit, Nick said it had been a “fantastic few hours down memory lane”, adding: “I owe a lot to Queen Elizabeth’s School, Barnet, as it was a place which instilled me with discipline, resilience and a fantastic start on my educational pathway.”

Alan (OE 1963–1970) reflected on how the School had gone from “strength to strength” in the past 50 years. His memories included “cross-country runs in Galley Lane and stone-picking on the Third Field (now a well maintained rugby pitch), followed by bread-and-dripping sandwiches in the refectory – but that was in the 60s!

“QE was and remains a superb school with a great academic history, and it is good to be able to connect/reconnect with past scholars who may now share similar interests and business roles.”

Both now look forward to meeting more Old Elizabethans working in property finance.

Alan also had some career selection advice for current pupils and recent leavers: “I would say make sure you choose something that you will enjoy. I always loved working for Nat West as it gave me plenty of variety, taught me new skills, and enabled me to meet and advise hundreds of different clients over many years.”