Magazine article Management Today

The Lucrative Business of Luck

Magazine article Management Today

The Lucrative Business of Luck

Article excerpt

Gambling is a central theme in this month's issue. But rather than looking at casinos and gaming houses, we cast our gaze upon more formal places where habits and systems are known under the grander names of tactics and strategy. Luck is not given much credit in the serious world of business. Yet the tripling in value of the stock market over the past eight years has made a mint for a generation of managers who have found themselves in the right place at the right time. There has rarely been a better period to run a quoted company or an asset management house, or to undertake a management buy-out.

Now that Britain is moving towards the end of one of the greatest bull markets in financial history it seems a good moment to assess the role luck has played in the careers of some of our most esteemed executives. It has made them rich certainly, but has it also made many of them seem far shrewder and more intelligent than they really are? Will they still look like winners in the leaner, meaner times that almost certainly lay ahead?

On page 34, Matthew Lynn pulls back the veil on Britain's luckiest managers - and he is not just talking about the handful of British Rail executives who scooped the jackpot. …

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