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Roy Furman

Vice-chairman, Jefferies & Company

Roy Furman

After jettisoning a fledgling career in the law, the relentlessly upbeat Roy Furman went into finance and soon found himself focusing on media and entertainment, a world he felt familiar with having taken Variety since he was a teenager. "I felt fortunate to be starting in an area I understood before others did," he says.

At the small firm of Seiden&de Cuevas, he became one of the earliest media and entertainment analysts on Wall Street to make a big impact, in his case by recommending stocks such as Fox and Columbia after cottoning on to the "infinite value of their libraries".

He recalls: "We didn't know about VCRs then but we could see that television would become more and more important. If you had a film like All About Eve, that wasn't something that was going to go away."

Columbia's shares, which he recommended at $2, had risen to $74 for the same share base by the time the company was bought by Coca-Cola.

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