Northern Ireland-born Bill Mayne moved to Cardiff to run Wales’ largest independent estate agencies, Peter Alan, before setting up business services group MSS.
In the third part of our Make Yourself At Home series, Bill explains why Cardiff is such a great place to run a successful business while having everything needed to recharge the batteries.
Bill you are originally from Derry in Northern Ireland so when did you move to Cardiff?
I commuted weekly from London for around 18 months before seeing the light in 1990 and establishing roots in the Welsh capital.
So what in particular do you like about living and working in the city?
There is so much to enjoy about Cardiff. First and foremost it is a very warm and welcoming place in which to settle. I’ve made many friendships and got to know lots of good, fun people. It may have helped a little being a fellow Celt, but not too much!
There are so many sporting, cultural and recreational facilities packed into such a relatively small city. I can’t think of any finer place in the world to watch Ireland win a Grand Slam or Munster pick up another Heineken Cup.
The capital is also in reach of some of the most magnificent scenery in Europe. Our caravan on the Gower Peninsula is less than 90 minutes away from Cardiff and yet it is so relaxing and so peaceful. Running along Rhossili Beach early on a sunny day is indescribably uplifting.
Your business services group MSS has grown significantly in recent years. Has being based in the capital been an asset?
All our central services are located in Cardiff but it still means that of our 400 staff only about 70 operate from here. I’ve found it interesting to be close to so much decision making, political and otherwise.
As a former managing director of Wales’s largest estate agency Peter Alan, how would you rate the quality of the workforce in the Cardiff city-region?
I always believed the quality of staff in Cardiff is as good if not better than anywhere in the UK. The vast majority of people whom I’ve been fortunate to work with have always been exceptionally motivated, hardworking and good fun.
Even more recently we’ve been pleasantly surprised how many skilled staff we’ve been able to recruit to help our growth.
If you wanted to impress a prospective client where would you take them in the city and why?
I imagine that would depend on where their interests and passions lay. I could however guarantee whatever it was they enjoyed Cardiff would have something that left indelible memories.
How long does it take you to get into your office from home in the mornings?
A very pleasant and enjoyable 10 minutes.