BU Honorary Graduate Jeff Mostyn spoke to a crowd of staff, students, graduates and supporters at a special event designed to share insights on leadership.
The event, organised by the BU Alumni Team, saw Dr Mostyn who is also Club Ambassador at AFC Bournemouth, talk about his life and career, from a difficult upbringing where he was bullied at school, through to becoming the Chairman of a Premier League football club.
He spoke about developing business acumen from an early age, from selling footballers’ autographs to his friends at school to his first job as a messenger boy and later working in sales.
By his mid-30s, Jeff found his footing in financial services, where he studied hard to gain the relevant qualifications, later going on to become salesman of the year for the TSB Trust Company for three consecutive years. After a brief stint working in the United States, Jeff spoke about how he came back to the UK as Sales Director for JBI, a group providing financial advice to the Armed Forces, before going on to set up his own financial brokerage, Abacus, in 1988.
The evening’s discussion, hosted by BU’s Head of Fundraising Ian Wadley, then moved on to Jeff’s time at AFC Bournemouth, from getting involved with the club in 2006, due to his friendship with then manager Kevin Bond, through to keeping the club afloat through one of its most troubled times, citing that he was “determined not to let the people of Bournemouth down”.
Jeff spoke about his pride of seeing Bournemouth rise through the ranks and shied away from taking any credit, instead praising the efforts of the owner, manager, players, management team and staff, while acknowledging that he forged a respectful connection between the ‘two dressing rooms’ of the boardroom and manager’s domain. Jeff also spoke with pride of the incredible relationship he has established with the club’s supporters, local businesses and charities over the past 17 years.
Jeff finished the session with a short Q&A from the audience before commenting on what a privilege it was to be bestowed an honorary doctorate by BU, stating: “I’m here tonight in my capacity as an Honorary Graduate and it’s been the most unbelievable honour and a privilege to present in front of you.”
When questioned on the club’s 10-year partnership with BU, Jeff mentioned that while he is no longer involved in the club in that capacity, during his time as Chairman he said: “The partnership was something that we were all unbelievably proud of. The collaboration with the university is one of the greatest collaborations you could wish for and both organisations have done such a lot to give the town of Bournemouth global recognition.”