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Tim Horlick

Managing director, nCoTec

I meet Tim Horlick at his South Kensington home. He has just come off an overnight flight from New York, and I am rather late. If he is irritated, he does an excellent job hiding it.

In fact, he is notably friendly and easy going, the perfect foil, one might think, for his famously forthright fund manager wife Nicola.

Those who know him say Horlick is indeed affable in most situations, however he is the first to admit that in the workplace he can be "very demanding". "He's a very punchy guy," says a former colleague. "His great strength is that he wants to do things quickly but he also has a tendency for hiring and firing that suggests 'If you're not for me you're against me.'"

At his former employer Salomon Smith Barney, Horlick wasted no time getting rid of people he considered not up to the task. But he was also clearly very good at getting business.

The industrial group that he set up in 1997 became the biggest contributor to Salomon's investment banking revenues in Europe within 18 months. He subsequently made a big success of running the technology group in Europe, originating two huge deals last year - the IPO of ATNS (now valued at over $1 billion) in June and the sale of Giga AS to Intel for $1.25

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