Managing partner, European Digital Partners
In 1998, after 17 highly successful but strenuous years in the City, most recently as global head of investment banking at Deutsche Morgan Grenfell, Maurice Thompson opted for a break. During his year off he went horse riding in Pakistan and skied the haute route from Chamonix to Zermatt. Now 41 and back at a desk as one of five founding partners of European Digital Partners (EDP), Thompson is doing what, professionally at least, he enjoys most. That is "working directly with companies and having some impact on them, doing deals with clients and helping them to build their organizations" - as opposed to "sitting in the middle of an 84,000-strong organization".
Thompson had perceived that "beneath the radar screens of these big behemoths that I was all too familiar with, there was a very interesting emerging economy that was not properly serviced". After helping his friend Andrew Wilkinson, one of the managers of the Rolling Stones and numerous other rock acts, set up a rock music portal - music3w, a virtual shopping mall for the official sites of the likes of Robbie Williams and Elton John - he decided that "finding gaps in the market and building businesses based around internet and internet enabling technologies" was what he would do for his living.