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Who is Wilbur Ross?

The name of Wilbur Ross has been in the financial headlines today after the billionaire US investor announced a tie up with UK entrepreneur Richard Branson after taking a 20% stake in his Virgin Money operation. So who is Wilbur Ross and what can he do for Richard Branson?

Born on 28 November 1937 in Weehawken, New Jersey Wilbur Ross began life in one of New Jersey's more well-off suburbs. His father was a lawyer and his mother was a schoolteacher which gave the up-and-coming entrepreneur a very good start in life. His education consisted of two hours of commuting each day to attend the Catholic Xavier high school in Manhattan when he was prominent in sports and very intellectual.

Wilbur Ross eventually earned a BA from Yale College and an MBA from Harvard business school and soon after began his career in restructuring failed companies in areas such as steel, coal, telecommunications, foreign investment and textiles. He worked for Rothschilds Investments in the mid-1970s, eventually setting up his own equity fund in 2000 with USD440 million of investors money.

He is now rumoured to be worth in excess of USD1.7 billion and it certainly looks as though Richard Branson has partnered up with a very successful and a very influential investor.

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