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Wilbur Ross Really Loves Virgin Money (Long Article on Ross and the Euro Banks)


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The origins of the deal, Ross explains, date back to Northern Rock’s collapse in September 2007. He was prepared then to help Virgin Money bid for the distressed mortgage lender until Alistair Darling, the then Chancellor, decided to nationalise it in early 2008.


“Through that we got to understand just how powerful the Virgin name is. It has virtually 100pc name recognition in the UK, and if you look at its customer base more than 90pc say they’re very happy with their relationship with Virgin,” Ross says, speaking in his corner office on the 25th floor that has a clear view up Sixth Avenue to Central Park.


“Whereas if you do the same poll of the depositors with the high-street banks, 80pc say they are dissatisfied. We thought that’s a very interesting phenomenon.”


It’s not just evidence that the British don’t really like their banks that lured Ross. There is, he says, a “macro 40,000-foot level framework”, that’s got him interested in banks in the UK, Ireland and the US after a career spent investing largely in steel, textiles, coal and telecommunications.


It can be distilled in two words: the internet and regulation. “The internet is changing the meaning of physical location – it’s much less important than it used to be,” argues Ross.

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wilbur ross is one of the few private equity guys who does it right. he takes the long view, doesnt load his co's with a ton of debt, lining his pockets with quick, easy cash up front & leaving them with a tiny sliver of equity, and most importantly, he doesnt depend on a credit bubble frenzy or a rising tide of bullish mania to ring the register at a profit in contrast to so many other PE firms. he's the anti jc flowers

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