Daniel Peltz left Brighton College in 1979 and is now Chief Executive of London Freeholds Ltd. He is a trustee of many charitable organisations such as Childhood First and the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies at Oxford University, and was awarded an OBE for charitable and philanthropic services in 2016.
His new book The Indomitable Chiesa Di Santa Maria has just been published this October.
- When you were at Brighton College, what did you want to be when you ‘grew-up’?
I originally wanted to be a journalist.
- What are you now you've grown up?
I split my time between running a property investment company, and dealing with my charity commitments.
- What is your best memory of school?
Producing the Lower VIth Form play. In those days that was the main arts event where the pupils could produce something for the parents, pupils and teachers. We did The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter. Normally the event was not taken that seriously, but we changed things that year. I was helped by some brilliant actors, and a very talented director.
- What was the best piece of advice you were given?
It sounds a little trite, but to keep working hard, and believe that most things in life are attainable.
- What do you do you do as a career?
I invest in commercial property, as well as sit on a number of charitable boards and foundations.
- What does your job involve?
The business side involves a lot of legal work in setting up joint ventures with my commercial partners. Corporate structures are now so important. I do most of my work with partners who I can trust. We are very conservative, and try to minimise our risks. On the charitable front, a lot of my effort is spent on the Estates strategy, and fundraising, for both Kings College and Birkbeck College. My time is also taken up with Children's Mental Health charities, such as Children First and The Anna Freud Centre, where I am Treasurer.
- What are the most challenging parts of your job?
Time is the great challenge…Finding enough of it to fulfil my commitments.
- What have you done that you are most proud of?
I get most pleasure from my communal work and so the OBE in December 2016 ranks very high since it was recognition for what I have done. It was tinged with sadness since my father passed away before I received the letter, and he would have been so proud. I am also proud of my novels, particularly Out of The Blue and The Indomitable Chiesa di Santa Maria.
- Who were your favourite teachers at Brighton and why?
I was always close to Simon Smith, who was very young when he was resident as second housemaster in School House. He was also a very good Cross Country runner and was in charge with Olly Smyth of the cross country team, which I was a member of for five years. When visiting the school now, Simon is my still my contact. He has done a brilliant job on fundraising and speaking on behalf of the school.
The best teacher I ever had was Philip Robinson, who taught me English throughout my time at the school. Apart from his dreadful shortcoming in supporting Manchester United, he was an outstanding personality. As a teacher he was a natural, and he inspired me more than anyone to appreciate literature. I owe him a lot.
- What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
I wish I could stop worrying, and reduce my levels of anxiety!!!
- What are the three objects you would take with you to a desert island?
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. 2. An record player (which you could wind up) with my vinyl records. 3. Endless supply of anti biotics!!!
- How would you like to be remembered?
For being a good person, who cared for his family and others.