Andreas Loizou: “I took it for granted that people wanted me to be educated: that by being educated I would add to the world.”
Andreas Loizou runs business writing courses in which he combines his knowledge of the financial world with a love of writing. His clients include financial institutions such as the London Stock Exchange and the Bank of England. He’s a Leader in Residence at Leeds University Business School where he talks to MBAs about effective communication and he was the highest-rated speaker on the Financial Times Intro to the City programme six years in succession. He runs the literary festival, the Margate Bookie.
Before Alison, I worked in investment banking and finance with the likes of PWC, Goldman Sachs and Paribas. I also worked for a long time for the Financial Times. I’ve had a couple of books published, one is a novel that teaches people about banking and one is a book about business writing. I’ve spent years and years writing reports, speeches, lots of different types of communications. Because I worked in the financial world but my degrees were in English I was always the person who was asked to write stuff. Through practice, I became the business writing expert wherever I worked.
thousands of students
studying with Andreas
My course is on business writing. Everyone assumes that because you can write a shopping list you can write a report. So much time is wasted on writing badly, and people having to reread your email if the meaning isn’t clear. (I’ve written these as well, and I’ve caused people to do days of work that wasn’t needed, just because of a misplaced comma or a poor description.) I think really good business writing is about you as a person growing and having a personal style but also impacting on the people you work with and saving their time. I deliberately set out to make the course quite demanding – that if people are going to do this course they’ve got to commit to it. This course is a real commitment and I’m proud of the feedback. The people that do it really, really change. I get lots of emails from people saying that this has really been something that has changed not just how they write, but how they think.
I saw Alison in an advert in the Financial Times. There are loads of people who don’t have access to education and I thought it’d be a chance to do some good. People assume you have writing skills but most people don’t have them. I run a literary charity in the UK called the Margate Bookie and the income from Alison goes into my charity – a neat little link up between different worlds.
I’ve really benefited from an educational system in the UK which has disappeared now. I went to a grammar school and then when I went to university, I got a maximum grant and I had my fees paid. I just took it for granted that people wanted me to be educated: that by being educated I would add to the world. And I think it’s a desperate shame that people don’t have access to free education. I think it’s great that people can pay for education but I think everybody should at least have some choice: if they’ve got the desire and the will to learn then we should satisfy that desire.