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Dubai notwithstanding, when they’re dashing to Holland and back for Heineken board meetings. ‘If you didn’t know either of us you would just see two reasonably normal, successful people enjoying a pleasant non-flashy lifestyle,’ he says. And it’s clear he believes that the way UHNWs live, invest and behave – manners are important to him – matter both in their own right, but also in public perception. ‘What I see amongst people with large amounts of money is a greater consciousness about the world around them,’ he adds, making a segue into ESG investing, which he sees as ‘very much part of CapGen’s DNA’. ‘I’m glad to say it’s become part of the DNA of Heineken as well,’ he adds, concluding: ‘We talk about it now. In another five or 10 years’ time if you started talking about it people would just look at you and say, “Why are you talking about it? It’s natural.”’ After an hour of chatting, I ask him why


he gave up his career in film for a life in a suit and tie. ‘You’ve asked me the one question I was hoping you wouldn’t ask,’ he says. ‘It’s puzzled me my entire life.’ But then he tells me why: shooting Lawrence of Arabia, aged 17, he spent nine months in the Jordanian desert living under canvas with a tutor to get him through his exams. ‘If you and I watched the film together, I could show you the scene where I walk through the door of some blown up tent,’ he says. ‘As I walked through the door I suddenly said to myself – “What the fuck am I doing here?”’ Where were his friends, why wasn’t he out playing football? What was he doing hanging around a bunch of ‘not very normal people’, the sort who ‘need an audience when they wake up in the morning to tell them how well they’re brushing their teeth’?


So he packed it in. Decades later he says he


would ‘love nothing more than to have a cameo role in a film now’. I laugh and assure him that if I meet a producer looking for an active 80-year old I’ll mention him. ‘Steady on,’ he shoots back – and I suddenly wonder if I’ve dropped an age-related clanger. ‘Are you 80?’ I ask. ‘This is the end of the fucking interview,’ he says, with a smile. I’m laughing but apologise as he moves on


to explain that a man has three ages – the one stamped on his passport (1944 is his year of birth, he says), his biological age (what shape he is in) and finally his mental age. ‘You blend the three together and divide by three and you come up with your actual age. So I’m about 47,’ he states. ‘Massively helped by my mental age.’ I’m laughing again as he continues to protest: ‘No one has ever asked whether I was


FOUR MORE WEALTH MANAGERS FOR UHNW CLIENTS


Michel de Carvalho became chairman of CapGen in 2018


80! Do I look like I’m fucking 80?’ He certainly doesn’t. But fortunately we


move onto another topic. If I take away one thing from the interview, he suggests it should be that ‘what you see and what you hear with me is what you get. That’s the way I talk to my family, talk to my friends. People always tell me that it’s quite dangerous for me to talk to journalists because I just tell them the way I am, so I hope that came across.’ Loud and clear, Michel. But then, if anyone


has got half a brain – let along half a billion to invest – then they know that this is a valuable trait. The truth will out, and the sooner you hear it the better. The interview concludes with an invitation


to join him for lunch – when conditions permit. I’m looking forward to it already. As I said, he’s a cruise missile of charisma. S


Charlie Hoffman HSBC Private Banking


The industry heavyweight has an impressive book. His team looks after clients who together have $17 billion with the bank.


Giles Pascoe Goldman Sachs


The MD, who has been with Goldman for over 20 years, likens his role to that of a personal CIO for each client.


Kate Leppard Cazenove Capital


The Spear’s award-winner manages portfolios for large UK and international private families and trusts.


Charles Costa Duarte Rothschild & Co


The former British Army captain’s clients are often entrepreneurs, and have a total of £10 billion with the firm.


The new Spear’s Wealth Management Index will be published on spears500.com on 5 May 2021


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