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Nicolas Rohatyn, Global head of emerging markets, foreign exchange and commodities, JP Morgan

A reserved young man in a business better known for exuberant individuality, Nicolas Rohatyn perfectly embodies the JP Morgan of the late 1990s.

Like Morgan, a blue-blooded commercial lender that has reinvented itself as an investment bank, Rohatyn has scaled to the top on Wall Street without succumbing to its mores. However, his low-key style is not only a product of Morgan's culture; it also reflects an almost obsessive determination to distinguish himself from his rather flamboyant father, Felix Rohatyn, the former head of Lazard Frères in the US and current US ambassador to France. After 16 years in the business, Rohatyn fils has unquestionably blazed his own trail. It remains to be seen whether JP Morgan can do the same.

Nicolas Rohatyn joined JP Morgan in 1982, armed with a degree in economics from Brown University, Rhode Island, and a pedigree that all but assured success. He arrived when the firm was making its initial thrust into the securities business, and quickly became a driving force behind that effort.

After enduring the rigours of Morgan's New York training programme, Rohatyn was dispatched to the bank's Tokyo office in 1984, where he spent the next four years as a member of its swaps group.

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