Shaper: Richard Farleigh

Show aired on 30th September 2017


Richard Farleigh

Richard Farleigh was born in Kyabram in Australia and was one of 11 children. His father was an itinerant worker, who was variously a shearer, opal miner and seasonal labourer.

At the age of three, Richard was taken into care by the authorities, where all of his siblings were separated. They were never reunited as a family. He was placed into the foster home of Marjorie and Keith Farleigh from Peakhurst, a south-western suburb of Sydney. Richard was unhappy throughout his time at school, until he learnt to play chess at the age of 12. The game soon became a passion for him and he went on to represent Bermuda and Monaco in the Chess Olympics.

Having studies Economics/Econometrics at the University of New South Wales, Richard became a Junior Economist at the Reserve Bank of Australia in 1983. He was Head of Proprietary Trading at Bankers Trust Australia – which is now BT Financial Group – until 1993, when he was head-hunted for an international hedge-fund based in Bermuda. By the age of 34 he had had sufficient financial success to be able to retire.

Richard moved to Monaco with his wife Sharon and their baby son, where he pursued technology investment activity. During this time, he became the major backer involved in the restoration of Home House, a Georgian town house in London, which went on to become a private members club. He and his partners sold out of the club in 2004. He appeared as an investor on Dragons’ Den between 2005 and 2007, where he invested in Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae sauce, which is considered to be one of the programmes biggest success stories.

In 2005, Richard published a book titled Taming the Lion: 100 Secret Strategies for Investing, in which he reveals the “secrets and the thrills and pains” he experienced in finding out how markets work and how to improve his investment performance.

Richard has been Chancellor of the London South Bank University since 2012 and an Ambassador for Action for Children since 2015.

Follow Richard on Twitter @FarleighRichard.

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“I have never actually felt that I am good at business.”

“The bad things that can happen in business continually amaze me. I have backed something like ninety businesses and I’ve just been astounded by the stuff that can go wrong…”

“You get people young and you set them on the right path… it’s much easier than trying to help them later.”

“My father was an alcoholic and schizophrenic and so obviously we had to be removed from that situation.”

“Action For Children are going to be getting involved with the theme of loneliness. It’s loneliness and it’s isolation and it’s not having any adults or anyone who really cares about you. You feel so alone, you know. That’s how I felt.”

“If you treat people well in business they are more honest with you – and I don’t mean not stealing from you, but they give you their honest opinion.”

“I know I am very driven and presumably I got that from having a tough start.”

“I have never been bored. I can’t really understand that concept.”

“I view myself now as more like an Alex Ferguson, more like being the coach than the David Beckham.”