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Brian Cole

Chief Executive Officer, UK Cards

What was your first job, what did it teach you?

My first job was as a bus boy and dishwasher at an 'all-you-can-eat' seafood restaurant. It was absolutely disgusting. It taught me humility. The hardest job is never the most senior.

Why did you want to work for Barclaycard?

When I decided, after a couple years’ break, to make a return to a large corporate financial services company, I set my sights on market leaders. In the UK, that's obviously Barclaycard. I wanted a fast-paced, passionate about winning culture. I haven't been disappointed.

What do you love most about your job?

Solving problems. I missed working with teams of really smart people, tackling some thorny problems which – because they typically crosswalk the balance between commerciality and delivering for our customers – include analytics, ethics, and lots in between.

Previous roles

Special Adviser

Apollo Global Management

Chief Executive

Inspired Capital

Special Adviser

Warburg Pincus

Chief Executive and Managing Director

Capital One UK

What do you want to be known for?

I'd love to be known for standing up for what I believe in, even when it may be the opposite of those around me, the culture of which I'm a part, or the industry norms that prevail.

Tell us something surprising.

I was a terrible college student and was suspended for poor grades half way through getting my degree. It was a big wake up call for me, and set me on a different course when I returned to school.

Brian Cole

What do you do in your spare time?

Change diapers.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?

To remember to be generous.