Neville Wright is an investor in businesses. When he was 24 years old, Neville became self-employed.
“It may have been because I was unemployable,” he says, candidly. “After having 17 jobs, it was clear to me that I needed to channel and focus all of my energy into my own life and business instead of someone else’s. So, I totally focused on whatever task I was doing. I worked hard and developed a property maintenance business. Later I expanded into retail, also buying and selling businesses.
“Spinning plates, so to speak, to keep all the businesses going was very intense and educational, and juggling finances became an art which I thrived on. I did have some very scary moments during recessions but it has all been useful experience. Most recently, around 2006, I realised the country was rapidly going into another recession.
“When I spoke about this to people, many said I was crazy and that everything was all right, but I had a head start reconfiguring strategies in our businesses, enabling us to remain profitable when hundreds of other businesses were disappearing from the high street. In 2011, in the depths of the recession, we sold the Kiddicare business that my wife, Marilyn, and I had started in 1974. Kiddicare became the largest baby equipment store in Europe, operating from our headquarters in Peterborough. We sold it for £70 million.
“The first personal number plate I had was 600 NEV which I got for my 40th birthday. That got me hooked and from then on, when buying a new car, I always asked for the letters NEV in the registration. The next one I got had K15 in front of the NEV, so it looked like “kiss Nev” which became a bit of a joke – and a little embarrassing. I persisted in my search for appropriate numbers and got NEV 11L and then NEV 111L. The latest addition is NEV 11E.
“When WR13 GHT came up I wanted it but I didn’t have any cars left to put it on, so I came up with an ingenious plan. I bought Marilyn a Porsche for Christmas, and the WR13?GHT number plate to go with it too. I think it was a pretty clever move because she prefers that I drive!