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Richard Farleigh

MCS Richard FarleighHugely successful Entrepreneur & star of Dragons’ Den

Humble beginnings:
Born in Kyabram, Victoria, Australia, Richard Farleigh had a tough upbringing, as the son of an alcoholic sheep shearer with a large family of 11 children. He was sent to a foster home at the age of three and was described as 'backward' by one of his early teachers.

The only way is up:
Despite this Richard went on to excel later in life at mathematics and chess, winning a scholarship to read economics at the University of New South Wales.After graduating with honours, he joined Bankers Trust at 23 Australia in Sydney as a trader, and stayed there for ten years. He was hired to run a hedge fund in the tax haven of Bermuda and moved there with his first wife and baby son. There, he became friends with David Norwood, a chess grand master, and three years later, he had earned enough to retire, aged 34, and moved to Monte Carlo. It was at this point that he spent much time with Norwood investigating research from Oxford University in the UK that had potential commercial applications. IndexIT was the company formed to fund some of these ventures; it was later sold to Beeson Gregory for £20m. He made millions of dollars after investing his own capital in British technology companies. The Rich 200 list estimated his personal wealth at around AU$160,000,000. He is ranked as the 876th on the Sunday Times Rich List 2006 with an estimated net worth of £66million.

The lion goes from strength to strength
1999 saw Richard invest 2m in the renovation of the old French Embassy mansion in London's Portman Square, turning it into the private members club Home House. In 2005, he published a guide to personal investing entitled Taming the Lion: 100 Secret Strategies for Investing (ISBN 1-897597-62-2). Richard Farleigh plays chess as a hobby, and is an internationally-ranked player who has represented Bermuda and Monaco at the Chess Olympics. Richard was selected in 2006 to appear as an investor on the British version of the business-related game show Dragons' Den for the show's third series. Richard said he would be seeking further investments through the show, saying he was looking to "hopefully uncover the next big thing". His appearances on the show echo those of former dragon Doug Richard in standing out by always trying to offer constructive advice to contestants, even when not interested in investing, as opposed to negative comments often offered by some of his fellow dragons. He gradually became a popular dragon on the show, mainly due to the fact he was arguably the one dragon who made the most offers compared with the other dragons throughout his time on the show.

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