Chapter 3

John Armitage

Reasoned and Unrattled

JOHN ARMITAGE WAS looking a bit stressed when I met him on March 1, 2007. He was attentive to my questions about Egerton Capital, the $6 billion hedge fund firm he runs in London, but he was uneasy as he spoke, glancing repeatedly at his BlackBerry for messages. One eye was bloodshot.

His jitters were understandable. It had been a rough time in the markets. The Dow Jones STOXX 50 Index, the benchmark index of the fifty largest European companies, had plummeted 5 percent since the close on February 26—its biggest slump since 2003—on concerns that the global economy was slowing. After being up about 4 percent for the year, the three main Egerton hedge funds had erased all their gains in less than seventy-two ...

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