Phil Broad is the vice president of F&B at Alghanim Industries, where his main focus is the Wendy’s brand. For the past year, the father of two grown up children has split his time between the UAE and Kuwait, where his employer has its headquarters. The Briton was previously based in Dubai for five years.
How did your upbringing shape your attitude towards money?
My father started his own business, a construction company building oil compounds and accommodation across the Middle East, including Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Because of this I was fortunate to be raised with an entrepreneurial spirit, something as a father I have tried to pass on to my own children. It’s important to be constantly looking for more opportunities to drive your personal income and career.
How much did you get paid for your first job?
At 16, I was a call order chef working at a riverside restaurant on the Thames in London. I was on the grill preparing burgers, steaks and chicken and I worked on commission, which we used to call “plate money”. My commission was 20 pence per plate; I averaged a monthly income of about £1,000 (Dh4,618).
Are you a spender or saver?
I’m a hybrid; it’s very important to have a work and life balance so I don’t mind treating my family and myself by splashing out on a great dinner. On other days it’s important to be more aware of the value of money.
What is your most cherished purchase?
My Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner. It cost around Dh50,000. I have a habit of buying a watch every time I leave a job and move to the next one. This way I am always making sure to remember the good times.
Have you ever had a month where you feared you could not pay the bills?
Yes, when I ran my own business, Outback Steakhouse, and was opening the first restaurant in London in 2001. It was a tough time for the market as we had taken a massive hit due to the backlash from the foot and mouth disease outbreak. Moments like that truly make you value all the amazing things you have in life.
Where do you save?
I believe it’s best not to keep all your eggs in one basket, so a variety of places. I mainly look towards investments, such as stocks and bonds, where I know there will be a return on investment in the short and long term.
Do you prefer paying by credit card or in cash?
Cash. After you’ve run your own business for a while you tend not to run on credit as a habit.
What has been your best investment?
My children and subsequently their education; I love my work but at heart I am a family man.
What do you most regret spending money on?
I once made the mistake of bidding and subsequently purchasing Bang & Olufsen speakers on eBay. The item never actually arrived and I never got my money back, which was frustrating to say the least.
What financial advice would you offer your younger self?
Don’t build up debt when you’re young. Yes, enjoy your earnings but you have to plan for the future. At the same time, don’t be afraid to take a risk every so often.
If you won Dh1 million, what would you do with it?
I would pay it forward; I’ve been very lucky and it’s incredibly important to give back to others. I would give it to a charitable organisation, particularly one that enables children in underdeveloped countries to have an education and secure a bright future.
What would you raid your savings account for?
To expand my art collection. My favourites are local art pieces I’ve bought during my travels, for example from Thailand, the UAE and Bali. The collection is a mixture of watercolours and some interesting woodcarvings.
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