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Richard went into business on his own account when he was 33 as a co-founder of LEK Consulting. The firm was said to be the most successful strategy boutique of the 1980s, expanding from 3 to 350 professionals during six years Richard was there, with several offices in the US, Europe and Asia. LEK, in line with the advice it dispensed, not only grew very fast; it was also extremely profitable.

When he “retired” at age 40, Richard had made enough money to be able to fund the start or expansion of several new ventures. These included Filofax, Belgo, Plymouth Gin, Capstone, and Betfair – these have returned between 5 and 53 times his original equity stakes. After LEK, Richard was not part of the management teams of these ventures, but was active in providing not only cash but also counsel on strategy.

Richard is fascinated by what makes new ventures successful. He set out his views in The Star Principle, which has the bold sub-title How It Can Make You Rich.