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A tribute to our founder

Richard Pepler, CEO Optimum Finance

1960 – 2020

Anyone who worked with, or for, Richard during his 30-year plus career will know what a talented and inspirational man he was.

Born in Newent, Gloucestershire and brought up in Portishead, North Somerset, Richard began his career working as a cashier at Barclays Bank.

Well-known in the financial services sector, Richard’s achievements include founding Bibby Factors and Ultimate Finance – both of which are still going today.

His time at Ultimate spanned almost ten years where he took the business from inception to flotation in December 2011.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Richard wanted one more stab at building a business and founded Optimum Finance in 2016 with the backing of investors JRJ Group. Since its launch in 2016, Optimum Finance has grown to employ over 40 people at its head office in Bristol, with sales staff located across the UK.

If only every boss and colleague were like Richard. His sense of fairness and ethics always shone through. He always said thank you for a job well done, gave everyone a fair chance and recognised and rewarded hard work, dedication and ambition – personal traits by which he lived.

Richard was a big advocate of small businesses and championed company owners to be ambitious in their growth plans. He always gave out thoughtful and insightful advice freely.

His passion and energy for work made him a hard man to keep up with and could only be rivalled by his love of travel, holidays – particularly to Italy, fine dining and wine.

Few knew of his love of music. As a former semi-professional trombone player with a touring band ‘Bold Brass’ in his younger days, Richard’s musical passion didn’t fade.

He had also been a keen footballer before injuring his knee several years ago. Together with his own style and extensive collection of trainers, Richard had a great sense of humour with infectious charisma and a refreshing style of straight talking.

Dad to Anna, brother to Tim, Richard had an extensive network of contacts by whom he was held in high regard. Many of his colleagues over the years came to know him as a friend which is testament to the man he was.

He lived with his partner Angie in North Bristol and their beloved Staffy dog Sadie. They enjoyed much time together and made sure they always had a holiday or trip to look forward to.

Rest in peace Richard. We’ve lost a good man, a kind soul and an amazing inspiration.

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