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As the young man spoke, silence descended. Gathered around the table at this high-powered lunch in central London earlier this month were the elite of the British business world.
Marcus Agius, chairman of Barclays bank, Sir David Arculus of the O2 telecoms giant, and Ian Davis, the global managing director of McKinsey consulting company, put down their knives and forks to listen.
To that end, he joined the merchant bank Lazards in London and then moved to New York. There Nat met Timothy Barakett, a young investor who was trying to raise money for Atticus, his new hedge fund (basically, a private investment fund open only to selected individuals and following a complex investment strategy).
He asked Barakett for a job, but was turned down. The men stayed in touch, though, and two years later, Barakett took Rothschild on, giving him the title of director of business development - a position in which he was, of course, able to open doors for his partner. At the time, they were Atticus's only two employees. But not for long.
Since its inception, the fund has grown an incredible 30 per cent a year and now has £7billion under its management. Success has brought huge rewards: in 2005, Rothschild was paid just over £40million.
According to insiders, he made even more than that last year. "He has had an incredible evolution, and he has done it on his own,"
Barakett told the New York Times. "It's not about family connections. He has a knack for identifying talented people and interesting investments."