When he came up with the plotline for the 1994 Hollywood movie Bad Girls about four prostitutes reclaiming their lives via a journey through America’s Old West, the then scriptwriter Charles Finch could have had no idea of the winding road his own life was set to take. Today, sitting in London’s Heddon Street HQ of international representation agency Finch & Partners, there’s an air of urgency and a mood of perpetual motion as no employee sits idle. The hive of activity starts at the reception desk, continuing through the large open-plan workspace and culminating at the back of the building in the office of the quick-witted, uber-likeable entrepreneur and business impresario himself.
Uncomfortable talking about how he got to this point in his life, the twinkly-eyed, 52-year-old businessman expects interviewers to have done their research. The son of an acclaimed actor, Peter Finch, and a writer mother, Yolande Turner, Finch had a somewhat nomadic childhood in England, Jamaica (where his parents owned a home), France (for a year after his mother bought a house there when he was 12 years old) and Scotland, where he attended Gordonstoun school – a place he credits with giving him a stable home away from his “gypsy” lifestyle.
“I was lucky all round growing up,” he says. “I have a great family on both my mother’s and father’s side, full of adventurers and ingenious entrepreneurs from the 1600s on. My grandfather, for example [George Ingle-Finch], climbed Mount Everest with George Mallory in 1922 and was the first man to use oxygen at high altitude. Having interesting people like this in the family gives a person a sense of entitlement to find your own success. I was lucky enough to have people around me that encouraged me, and when you tell a child they are special it builds their confidence.”