David Barral

Chairman, Vantage Finance


David Barral is an inspirational leader and CEO with a proven track record in growing businesses and delivering outstanding financial results. He is passionate about focusing on the needs of customers as well as building teams of highly motivated and engaged employees.

David left school at 17 and began what was to become a 36 year career in financial services. Through experience and making a number of mistakes along the way, he has developed a philosophy and management style that is direct, grounded and respected around the board table. At the same time he is seen by employees as a leader who tells it how it is without corporate jargon and is often regarded as a ‘people’s champion’.

David is the former CEO of Aviva UK, a £1bn profit business with 6000 employees providing life insurance, pensions, investments and healthcare to 12m customers. Prior roles included Sales Director, Marketing Director and Chief Operating Officer. He is currently Chairman of Virgin Wines, a successful and growing digital retail business, a non executive group director of LV= the insurer, and Chairman of Vantage Finance, a leading commercial finance specialist.

David’s approach to speaking to students is based on his work ethic, principles, what’s worked for him in striving for success as well as the mistakes he’s made and what he’s learned from them. David uses the minimum of presentational support preferring an interactive and engaging discussion.

Family and interests
David is married and has 3 sons. He is a keen golfer and last year played with Graeme McDowell, US Open Champion, and Radio 2’s Chris Evans in the PGA Championship ProAm at Wentworth. Other interests include skiing, fishing, cars and of course wine – but not at the same time!

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