Teenage tearaway landed a top City job by knocking on every door in the UK’s richest district

As a teenager growing up in a tower block on a tough council estate, Reggie Nelson could easily have ended up in a life of crime. But he was determined not to follow the same destructive path as his friends and struck on a novel way to achieve his dreams. Armed with only a winning smile and a prepared speech, he simply knocked on the doors of the capital’s wealthiest residents and asked for advice. Astonishingly, the plan worked and Mr Nelson, 22, is now a well-paid analyst with Legal & General Investment Management. Mr Nelson’s remarkable story began on Saturday when he was 18. He took the Tube to Kensington in West London, Britain’s richest district, and spent the day knocking on door after door. He told anyone who answered: ‘I just wanted to know what skills and qualities you had that allowed you to live in a wealthy area like this so I can extrapolate that and use it for myself. Some slammed the door in his face, others offered only platitudes. But then Mr Nelson called at the home of Quintin Price, a leading City financier, and his wife Elizabeth. They invited him for a chat and a cup of tea and Reggie poured out his story. The couple were so impressed with his determination to make something of his life against the odds that they promised to help. First Mr Price arranged work experience for Mr Nelson and became his mentor, helping him get through university and train with City firms. A proud Mr Price said: ‘Reggie is flourishing. He is a transparently lovely lad and there’s no reason why he cannot go all the way.’ His wife added: ‘When he came to the door that day I was overwhelmed by his bravery it took courage to do what he did and by his desire to get on in life.’
‘He was incredibly well mannered and so smiley. We’re thrilled he’s doing so well.’ Mr Nelson, who is now mentoring other youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, was raised by his mother in Woolwich, East London. ‘I could easily have gone down the wrong path and nearly did but I had good people around me,’ he said. ‘Someone said I needed to think out of the box if I was to get on in life. So then they came up with the door knocking idea. It took me a few weeks to summon up the courage to do it, though.‘When I finally did and got off the Tube at Kensington, I saw all these expensive cars Aston Martins and Mercedes lining the streets.‘Everywhere you looked just looked like money. I rehearsed this pitch ready for when the door opened. And it worked.‘Before I met Quintin I didn’t even consider university. Now I want to keep going and see where my determination takes me. Hopefully, it will be me with one of those houses in Kensington.‘For anyone in a similar position to mine, I would say knock on the right doors and work hard.