Global head of corporate finance and recovery, PriceWaterhouse Coopers
Philip Wright, like many others who have appeared in this column, is an affable, ebullient, and enthusiastic character. He also has a highly impressive list of M&A and privatization deals to his credit. The difference is that he is an accountant rather than an investment banker. Despite offers, he does not appear to be about to cross the fence.
"Everybody who studied accountancy would have thought about investment banking at one stage," admits Wright. "Accountancy is often seen as a first step but, strangely perhaps, I've always enjoyed it - it's like industrial psychology. I've also become used to the idea of being an independent adviser. We don't have capital market activities and we're independent of sources of finance and institutional investors that we pump deals to."
Wright recalls that his firm's push into corporate finance, "started off by accident, when we got into M&A through the MBO phenomenon in the mid 1980s.