My Life/Style - Ivan Massow

The pink pound pioneer and financial adviser picks a few of his favourite things, one of them being his rescue parrot, Hercules.

by Elizabeth Anderson
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

WORK

Q: Signature style?

My signature dress style is casual. I started out with an insurance business in the early 1990s and we dealt with people who were gay, offering insurance to people who were HIV positive. There was a lot of prejudice around and we decided to make everyone dress down. I've stuck with it ever since. I buy my shirts from M&S and all my trousers are from Replay. I used to have tailored suits - if I still wore one I'd go to John Pearse on Meard Street.

34 RestaurantQ: Where's your office?

I mainly work from home now, which is a townhouse in the middle of Oxford Circus. I first moved to the area 25 years ago, so it's become my village.

Q: Where do you go for dinner?

My favourite restaurant is 34 on Grosvenor Square. They do the most amazing lobster macaroni.


PERSONAL

Q: Do you go to the gym?

I gave up drinking, smoking and recreational drugs when I turned 40 about five years ago. I decided I wanted to sober up and live a healthy life. I go to the gym five times a week and I also run along the canals to Hackney and around Victoria Park. I have a personal trainer - a guy called Dan who lifts weights with me and talks about women, while I talk about blokes.

Q: Where do you get your hair done?

I get my hair done at the £8 barber, the Groovy Salon, on Frith Street. I don't have a skin care regime. Looking younger isn't what I'm trying to achieve - I'm currently sporting a grey beard and grey hair.

Q: What are your most extravagant purchases?

Probably my horses, and the Range Rover I had to buy to visit them. I've had Hercules, the parrot, for about a year, who I got through the Skegness Parrot Sanctuary, and I've had Taxi, a Jack Russell, for much longer.


TRAVEL

Q: How often are you away?

I travel a lot, particularly in the summer. I visit St Tropez, where I stay with Joan Collins, a good friend of mine. St Tropez is mad. It's full of incredibly expensive restaurants, wild clubs and huge bottles of champagne. My favourite restaurant there is Club 55, which is a bit more middle-aged and less extravagant.

Q: Who do you fly with?

I always use easyJet, as I'm mainly a European traveller. I boycott British Airways at all costs because it's too focused on the corporate traveller, and if you're not in the top seats you are made to feel inferior.

Q: Favourite hotel?

Hotel Costes in Paris is my favourite place to stay because of its location, beautiful decor and amazing swimming pool and basement. I'm thinking of taking on a building project in Ibiza. I used to own a house there but it was one of the things that got me into trouble. I've since rediscovered it's become quite middle-aged so I'm planning on going back.


INSPIRATIONS

Q: Do you have a mentor?

One of my main mentors is Joan Collins. She's the person who persuaded me I needed to clean up my life, and she reminds me constantly that I can do stuff. Another one is my mum. In a mentor, I'm looking for just a normal person. Sometimes I feel I don't know how to talk to people properly and I think that's one of the reasons I drank too much.

Q: Which charities do you support?

I work with Action for Children as a mentor for young people. I don't go to industry events - I just became really bored with them.

Q: What's next?

I'm about to go to Exeter to take my motorcycle test so I can do the route that Che Guevara did in The Motorcycle Diaries. I'm looking forward to going on some long rides.

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