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Charles Harman, Managing Director, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette

Charles Harman's arrival at his new job with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette (DLJ) in December was the latest step in a career that has seen him rise rapidly through the ranks of investment banks focusing on central Europe and Russia.

Still only 35, Harman has got where he is partly through exhibiting a maturity beyond his years: he already has something of the bearing of a seasoned Conservative politician, a career some expect him to follow eventually once he has feathered his nest in the City.

He is also politically astute and reputedly tremendously well connected. "He knows where to position himself to make sure that he is talking to the right individuals," says one who has worked with him. "He has the most incredible network, the most amazing capacity to find out gossip."

"Intellectually he is very smart," the former colleague adds. "He comes up with ideas very quickly, and some people perhaps found that a little intimidating. There were some [colleagues] who didn't like him, perhaps out of jealousy of the status that he'd achieved. He is not the aggressive Wall Street banker, but he has a very sharp centre. He can appear a little insensitive to people.

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