60 seconds with: Michael Wainwright

Business | Thu 8 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
michael wainwright boodles

Michael Wainwright, managing director of Boodles, takes the Business & Finance 60 second challenge.

Q: What was your first job?

A: Trainee accountant with Peat Marwick Mitchell in London.

Q: What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

A: Expanding Boodles’ operation in London, where we now have five stores.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

A: From my father: nothing is ever as good as you think it is going to be or as bad as you think it is going to be.

Q:  If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

A: Michael Ward, MD of Harrods. Retail in a luxury environment fascinates me, and he has done an amazing job in Harrods in the last 10 years. The Fine Jewellery Hall, where we have a boutique, has gone from strength to strength.

Q: In three words or less, how do you define success?

A: Profitability in a happy environment.

Nothing is ever as good or as bad as you think it is going to be

Q: How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

A: I know all of our staff pretty well and like to have a laugh with them as well as just concentrating on business. Recognition of success, not only pecuniary, is essential. I don’t think I need a huge amount of motivation as I continue to love my job.

Q: How do you relax?

A: I meditate twice a day, which has been life-changing. I also enjoy golf, shooting and vegetable gardening and of course spending time with my family.

Q: What’s your motto?

A: Nil desperandum (never despair).

Q: What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

A: To firmly put our Dublin shop on the map, and after some tricky years I believe we are getting there. We have just acquired the Patek Philippe agency in Grafton Street, which is excellent news.  

Boodles of history

Michael Wainwright is managing director of Boodles. He was educated at Shrewsbury School and Exeter University, and graduated in economics and qualified as a chartered accountant with KMPG in 1983.

Wainwright joined Boodles in 1984 and now runs the company with his brother Nicholas and nephews Jody and James. He is the fifth generation of the Wainwright family to own the business, which was established in Liverpool in 1798.

Boodles have nine shops in total – five in London, including Bond Street; three in the north west of England; and one in Dublin.

The company has tripled in size over the last decade as business has grown dramatically in London, and especially in the sale of important jewels.

Wainwright is currently the fundraising trustee at the Rainbow Trust, a children’s charity that provides emotional and practical support to families who have a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

He is the fourth warden of the Goldsmiths’ Company, and is scheduled to be prime warden in 2016.

Wainwright is married to Annie and they have two children, Honour and Geordie. His hobbies include vegetable gardening, golf, wine, shooting, National Hunt horse racing and Liverpool Football Club.