COUNTRY LIFE PROMOTION

Jamie Roberts is a world-class rugby player and a doctor, too. Investec is delighted he chose Voyage by Investec, a new private bank account, for his everyday banking. We catch up with him to discuss travel, finances, property, playing for Racing Metro and the joys of living and working in Paris

 
Jamie Roberts, a qualified doctor and professional rugby player, enjoys

sampling the sights of Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower and Pont

Alexandre III when he’s not playing for Racing Metro

What’s the best thing about living in Paris?

The cafe culture-eating out becomes habit. Paris is such a beautiful city; every corner you turn is a picture postcard.

Have you learnt the language?

I’m trying… we have lessons twice a week and I sit in class with some fellow players, so it’s fun, but hugely challenging.

Do you currently own or rent a property abroad?

I rent a property in Paris, right in the centre of the city.

Have you ever thought of investing in property abroad?

I’ve thought about buying in Paris, where I’m currently living and working, but it’s very expensive. I thought London was pricey, but, after living in Paris for seven months, you come to appreciate that you don’t get much for your money.

Does owning a house depend on where you work?

Yes-when I played for Cardiff Blues, I bought a house in the city and lived there for five years. My contract with my current club, Racing Metro, is only three years, so I feel renting is a better option.

How do you manage your finances abroad?

I earn in euros, so I convert a lot back to pound sterling using Voyage Rate Watch; a service provided by Investec. They have great rates and are in constant contact regarding conversion rates.

How many holidays are you able to take a year?

I get about four weeks each year, which is usually in the off-season during June and July.

How much do you tend to spend on holidays abroad?

I try to keep to a budget of £3,000-£4,000 per summer-although that may rise if I go to Vegas!

How often do you travel with the rugby team?

If we’re playing away, then we always have to travel. Whether it’s the south of France, the Bayonne/Biarritz coast or the UK and Ireland for the Heineken Cup, we’re on the road every other week. Then there are summer tours with Wales and World Cup and Lions tours (if selected) every four years.

Where’s the best place you’ve visited with work?

I think South Africa or Australia-I would seriously consider living in Cape Town or Sydney in the future.

What’s the best thing about traveling with the team?

Sharing the most amazing experiences with your best mates, seeing new sights and tasting different foods.

How do you manage using different currencies when you travel?

Another great bonus about my Investec account is that they don’t charge a fee for ATM withdrawals abroad and currency conversion is capped at 2% whenever I make a payment on my Investec card-it means I don’t have to be too organised about withdrawing foreign money in advance.

How do you like to spend your time off?

I like to relax with friends over coffee or take weekend trips to Reims, Nantes or the Normandy coast.

How do you make sure that you get into the best restaurants when you travel overseas?

As part of my Voyage by Investec account, I get Voyage Lifestyle, which has a commission- free concierge service as well as other benefits. They give me great advice about restaurants and can also make last-minute reservations.

Is there anything you dislike about travelling?

I’m not very patient, so I don’t like sitting in airports for long periods of time. With Voyage by Investec, I have access to hundreds of airport lounges, which means I can relax in comfort before a flight.

 
Next time you want to see the Arc de Triomphe, you needn’t worry about euros, as Voyage by Investec doesn’t charge for cash withdrawals abroad

To understand more about how Voyage by Investec can offer you a new and clear approach to private banking, visit www.investec.co.uk/voyage or telephone 0845 366 6333.