David Selves: Biography highlights
David Selves is a successful businessman with a career stretching back over 40 years. Renowned as a serial entrepreneur and debt and equity raiser, especially in property.
Full biography of David Selves
Having begun his career at a Lloyd’s brokerage as a 16-year-old, he moved to the Midland Bank, where he qualified as a banker and learnt critical business, management and people skills. He successfully participated in in-house training courses run by the London Business School and left the bank after ten years, the last two in Corporate Planning, to set up his own business; The Selves Group.
In the forty years since then David Selves’ experience has been as vast as it has been varied. He has been a local councillor, stood for Parliament and been a national board member of the Small Business Bureau set up by Sir David Trippier under Margaret Thatcher. His business interests have ranged from finance, in which he is still involved, the motor trade, dry cleaning, home improvements, media and the hospitality industry where he has been a multi award-winner.
One of his more recent projects, Faversham Creek Hotel, in Kent, started life as a lad’s big screen pub before he bought it back in 2014 and transformed it into a two AA Rosette and four-star boutique hotel.
But the hotel was not David’s first foray into hospitality. He was previously the landlord of a local pub, The Phoenix Tavern, next door to his house in Faversham. After buying it in 2009 when it had gone out of business, David completely renovated the venue and within 12 months, it had won the British Institute of Innkeepers’ ‘Best Newcomer in the South East’ award. By 2012, the business was in profit with a turnover of half a million pounds. Given its continued success, David sold the pub in January 2017, satisfied his work there was done. He is an initiator who makes things happen and inspires others.
In addition to commercial activities, David has also raised almost £1m for charity on his gavel as an auctioneer and is a highly entertaining after dinner speaker. He is Deputy Chairman of the London Press Club, a member of the Ethical Publishers Association editorial advisory board and founded the London Grill Club, which puts people that matter to the flame. He “grills” guests from a wide range of backgrounds and political diversity; Sir Vince Cable, Chukka Umunna, Ken Clarke, Mike Gatting and Esther Rantzen, for example. His skills as an interviewer and chairman show his clarity of thought and ability to cut to the heart of the matter with guests ranging from the American Ambassador, Louis Susman, to the renowned and highly respected geo-political economist Parag Khanna.
Enjoying a rich and varied life, in which he still finds time for his passion of watching and playing cricket, he recently spent five weeks driving and living in a camper van moving site every day while his wife cycled the 1,160 mile route from Land’s End to John O’Groats raising money for The UK Sepsis Trust. During the day, while she was cycling, David walked the high streets of the United Kingdom visiting thousands of independent retailers, canvassing for business and learning first-hand what life is like on the rapidly changing high street.
Ultimately, his career has been built on hard work, grit, energy, enthusiasm and determination; seizing on every opportunity that has come his way and seeing it through to a successful end. His experiences cover a vast field making his contributions to scenarios from politics, business (especially small business), marketing, media, broadcasting, moderating, finance, leisure and hospitality and entertainment invaluable.
David is someone who has always made things happen, always delivered and he’s now available to share his knowledge and experience to help others.
Watch David in action
Rotary Club of Brixton
“Thank you for addressing our lunch yesterday. We have not laughed so much for a long time and Mr Wilson will no doubt be using the Brain Surgeon joke!”
Sussex Insurance Institute
“Thank so much for bringing my year as President to such a wonderful end. Several people have said not just how much they enjoyed your speech, but that it was the best they have ever heard at this type of event.”
“I do like his interview style and clearly, he is an intelligent man, a raconteur, and engages with the interviewee and the audience with ease.”
The Save the Children Fund
“What can I say about your performance as auctioneer at Eastwater House, except sheer brilliance!”
“Your performance last night surpassed your past successes, thank you so much. The evening made over £5,000 and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, thanks to you. We are so grateful.”
Friends of Tavistock & Summerhill School
“This marvellous result is due in no small part to your expertise in extracting large sums of money from people without them seeming to realise it!”
Rotary Club of Waltham Abbey
“Just a line to say how much all our Club members enjoyed your splendid talk last evening. On occasion, we have some amusing speakers and at other times some very articulate ones, but it is a rare pleasure to hear both from one person.”
St Bride’s Church, EC4
“Thank you so much for being with us last night and facilitating such a robust Q&A session at the 25th Tom Olsen Lecture. It was great to have someone with your experience in that position, as they have tended to get out of hand in the past!”
Trustees of Pakistan Human Development Fund UK
“On behalf of the Trustees of Pakistan Human Development Fund UK and the National Commission for Human Development, we are deeply indebted to you for your performance last night. Thank you for helping to make the fundraising such a great success.”
The Quarter Day Charity Committee
“There are simply no words that can express our thanks to you for compeering our Casino Evening on Saturday. The event raised over £5,000 for Multiple Sclerosis and so many people have said, rightly, that it was due largely to your superb professional performance. You are a marvellous entertainer, thank you.”
Faversham Town Councillor
“The show couldn’t be what it is without you – so a big thank you. I was particularly delighted that you mentioned the Physic Garden and the Purifier Building which you know are both projects which mean much to me.”