David Barrie was born in Scotland. Having studied at Glasgow, Cambridge, and Oxford, he only managed to pick up one degree (but is the somewhat shamefaced owner of two unfinished PhD theses).

Sorely unequipped to earn a living, when the time came to do so he had little option but to turn to that last refuge of rogues and scoundrels: management consulting. He ended up a partner in one of the leading international audit and consulting groups, before setting off on his own and creating a small firm specialised in risk management.

He moved to Paris 30 years ago and has never shown the slightest inclination to leave.
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