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Dragon’s Den is a show aired on BBC Two. This kind of a show was first broadcast in Japan on Nippon Television and it involves potential entrepreneurs seeking investment in their ideas from a group of five successful businesspeople known as the Dragons. The five proverbial dragons are: Duncan Bannatyne, Peter Jones, Theo Paphitis, Deborah Meaden and Richard Farleigh (who is being replaced by James Cann in the series of the show Dragon’s Den).

They say men are not born great, they grow great with time. This is more or less true for almost every self made person. As a matter of fact many of them rise from extreme poverty and go on inhabit places frequented by the richest among the rich. The same has been the case with Richard Farleigh. He was born in Kyabram, Victoria, Australia and was one amongst the eleven children of an alcoholic father. In his childhood Richard had to move from place to place with his family as his father was a casual laborer and moved across Australia in search of work. At the age of three he was sent to a foster home. Here one of his teachers described him as a “backward” student. This “backward” student earned a first class Honors Degree in Economics from the University of New South Wales. He worked for some time with the Reserve Bank of Australia and then acquired invaluable investment knowledge while working for 10 years at the Trading Desk of Banker’s Trust. Soon his performance was noticed and he was aggressively recruited to work in Bermuda for running a hedge fund. This was the era when bonds and derivatives were giving tremendous returns. Farleigh was very successful and at the age of 34 had made more money than he could have imagined. At this point, in 1995, he “retired” that is instead of investing and risking other people’s money he started investing his own capital, which he found was giving more returns. He then had a chance meeting with David Norwood which led Farleigh to invest in UK based technology start ups – in which he invested his own money. After that he started investing in spinouts from Oxford University. He also set up an advisory firm, Index IT, which was sold later for 20 million pounds to Beeson Gregory, now Evolution. Despite his success he prefers to call himself a Business Angel, as opposed to a venture capitalist, because of the non aggression and politeness that comes with the term.

He has invested in more new UK companies than any other British Investor. He prefers to invest in companies that have a new or disruptive technology, who are the top players in their field, who have a good investment philosophy and who have a committed management team. Farleigh does not prefer those companies that are likely to face tough competition. Furthermore Farleigh does not interfere in the daily routines of those companies whose management has shown good results. However he does get tough with those who are not going according to plans.

Farleigh resides in Monaco and is a fairly good chess player as was proved when he represented Monaco in Chess Olympics in 2002.