Darius was born and raised in Cardiff. His grandparents arrived in Wales in 1950 as part of the Windrush generation and Darius remembers them as being fun-loving, friendly folk who always looked for the positives in life and the best in people. His parents were the same, and despite the relative hardship and inevitable racism they had to face as they themselves grew up, they never shied away from life and they were very active in their community, often helping others.
Darius found his sanctuary in books and sport. By the age of 15 he was already 6’4” and, of course, being a proud Welshman, spent many a Saturday afternoon throwing himself around wet and dirty rugby pitches. He was a good rugby player and may even have progressed to the national team if it wasn’t for his first love – boxing.
He joined his local boxing gym as a young teenager and took to it immediately. He wasn’t a flashy fighter, more of a technician. His advantage was not only his obvious height and reach but also his ability to translate the guidance his coaches gave him directly to his actions in the ring.
He turned professional at age 22, having first tasted a small glimpse of fame by representing Wales at the Olympics, and from there had had a reasonably successful career. Now, at the age of 35, he had retired from the ring and was at a turning point in his life.
He had an idea of what to do with his boxing earnings, but was worried he would do the wrong thing so sought our advice.
Reasons for seeking advice
Darius had been frugal with his money. He realised that he’d never be able to earn anything like it again so had managed to keep hold of most of it. He had bought a house for himself and his family and beyond this still had about £5 million in the bank.
He had an idea of what to do with his boxing earnings but was worried he would do the wrong thing so sought our advice. First off, he wanted to make sure he and his family had enough to live on for the rest of their lives. His wife, Janelle, was a primary school teacher. She enjoyed her job and intended to keep teaching for a long time.
Darius had no real desire to get a paying job himself. He dedicated much of his time to parenting duties, but beyond this, he loved history and literature. Maybe he will write a book someday. Beyond his studies and his family, Darius’s other big passion was to help others, particularly through sport. He had remained active at his local boxing club, and everyone seemed to unofficially assume he would take over from the current head coach in a year or two.
He was keen to do so, but far beyond merely coaching some of the kids. The gym had seen better days and he would love to get it rebuilt. He had visions of it becoming a true community hub, with kids from all backgrounds coming along. It could be a weapon to fight the growing drug problem, make it appealing for girls to join, use it as a building block for greater racial integration, and as a centre for wider activities. But could he afford to do all of these things?
How we helped
After a number of deep and detailed conversations with Darius and Janelle about their circumstances and what they wanted to achieve, we helped segment their goals between those of themselves as a family, and those related to their charitable aims.
Our detailed analysis and cashflow planning mapped out their projected financial futures, accounting for relevant aspects such as the teachers’ pension Janelle would one day receive, and putting money aside to help their children in the future.
We also allowed for Darius never needing to work again, and built in enough money to cope with more expensive things such as holidays and updating their car. We were able to determine how much of the £5 million they should keep for themselves, and how much they could give away.
We structured their own money in a series of tax-efficient investments, ethically invested, which were matched to their risk profiles and timescales, allowing for some money to be held back to cover short-term needs, with a large portion of it being invested for the long term from which Darius would be paid out a regular “income” for the rest of his life.
We invested some of the money in their children’s names. Some of the underlying investments were in companies and organisations that shared similar aspirations to Darius.
What he really liked
With the large chunk of money set aside for charitable use, we put Darius on to someone who helped him and Janelle set up the Gayle Trust with them as trustees. They applied £400,000 towards building a new sports complex, and alongside a government grant and other charitable donations, Darius helped oversee the build. Within 18 months it was put to good use, with the Gayle Foundation being used to support its long-term upkeep.
Darius did indeed take over running the whole thing on a voluntary basis, which eventually earned him an MBE. Along the way, he built a strong, integrated local community. Eventually, he found time to write that book: The History of West Indian Boxing.