James Caan
    (£15,000 - £19,000)
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As a boy, James Caan learned two very important lessons while watching his late father work long hours, seven days a week, in order to make a success of his textile business. Firstly, nothing is achieved without dedication and effort. Secondly, there is little point in working so hard that you can’t take time to enjoy the rewards and, if you are lucky enough to be in the position to do so, try to give something back. 

James Caan is CEO of private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw and has been building and selling businesses since 1985.

Having founded the Alexander Mann Group in 1985, an executive head hunting firm with a turnover of £300m and operations in 50 countries, Caan sold the company in 2002.

Caan also co-founded executive head-hunting firm Humana International with his partner Doug Bugie, growing the business to over 147 offices across 30 countries from 1993-1999.

In 2001 James Caan was awarded the BT Enterprise of the Year award for outstanding success in business and having already been a finalist in 2000 he was named PricewaterhouseCoopers Entrepreneur of the Year 2003.  That same year, having successfully graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Caan also won the Entrepreneur category in the Asian Jewel Awards.

Setting up London-based Hamilton Bradshaw in 2004, the private equity company specialises in buyouts, venture capital, turnarounds and real estate investments and development opportunities in both the UK and Europe, investing up to £10 million in each individual transaction.

In October 2007, James Caan joined the panel in the fifth series of BBC Two's Dragons' Den. He is committed to investing in some of the UK’s most promising start-up companies. When making decisions in the Den, James’s watchword is ‘execution’. A good idea is all very well, but James is quickly able to surmise whether the would-be entrepreneur has thought it through to the market stage and convincingly demonstrated that it is commercially viable.  

James’s business philosophy is based on a win-win strategy. “Most people in business go around with the attitude ‘I must win’, which often translates into doing well in business at the expense of someone else losing,” he explains. “I believe that to succeed in the long-term, you need to make sure that the people around you win too.” It is an ethos that has served James Caan, and those he does business with, extraordinarily well.

James has recently been made honorary Doctor of Business Administration at York St.John University. He founded the James Caan Foundation in 2008, an organisation that helps with the education of children in Pakistan.



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