Lloyd Dorfman was 24 when he started his money-changing empire in 1976 with a small shop in London’s Russell Square. At the time he worked 18-hour days, seven days a week. Now the former merchant banker, who was the first independent British operator to win a licence to work at airports, runs a foreign-exchange operation with 650 outlets in airports and cities across the world.
Travelex recently won a contract to supply its Thomas Cook traveller’s cheques to the AAA (American Automobile Association). This is the largest traveller’s cheque account in the world.
Another important stream of revenue comes from providing foreign-exchange services for medium-sized companies. The firm moved into corporate work because the core business was threatened by the introduction of the euro.
This diversification, and the £440m acquisition of Thomas Cook’s global and financial-services division in November 2000, have driven up profits 87% a year from £5.9m in 1998 to £38.1m in 2001.
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