See the article in its original context from June 1,Section 3, Page 1 Buy Reprints View on timesmachine TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. ON a recent blustery Saturday, a scruffy-looking Englishman and a small group of guests climbed aboard two giant hot-air balloons in the southern English countryside.
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As the winds pushed the balloons above fields of muted green, the host waved from the gondola to throngs of spectators below. An hour later, the balloons touched down with a thud near an old graveyard. The balloonist stepped out -- to be mobbed by children pleading for autographs. A rock star?
A sports hero? No, it was Richard Branson, the billionaire owner of Virgin Atlantic Airways and one of the few entrepreneurs in the world famous enough to leave crowds gaping. And Mr.
Branson, who stuttered from shyness as a young man, gloried in the adulation. In a nation that disdains ostentation and prides itself on its stiff-upper-lip reserve, Mr.
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Branson is an anomaly. The year-old high-school dropout is practically a one-man publicity circus, embarking on headline-grabbing balloon trips, hamming it up in wedding dresses and other costumes, and emblazoning the Virgin name on everything from planes and trains to blue jeans and lipstick to promote his businesses. And far from disapproving, his fellow Britons love him for his grandstanding. And an Evening Standard survey on who ought to be mayor, if London had one, made him the winner by a landslide.
What the public rarely glimpses underneath all the bonhomie is a man who watches every penny. Even his famous balloon trips are paid for mostly by others.
And he knows how to turn failure to his advantage, gaining invaluable publicity, for example, even when the balloon that is supposed to carry him around the globe crashes ingloriously in some remote desert.
Clearly, Mr. Branson has found the right mix of bravura and boyish effusiveness to charm his way into British hearts. Now, he is using his hard-won celebrity to cajole his way into their investment portfolios.
Two years ago, he began an index fund intended to track the Financial Times All-Share Index of about stocks. Indexing, a money-management approach that eliminates the need for stock picking and reduces management costs, appealed to the miser in him.
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Though similar index funds were already on the market, ''the existing funds were not properly promoted,'' he said in an interview at his sister's home here, on the southern English coast.
He was convinced that the fees and sales charges of the existing funds were too high and that the Virgin name would attract a new group of investors.
- Members will not think it rash or presumptuous on my part if, within a few weeks of going to the Foreign Office, I attempt to make a rather fuller statement of foreign policy than is sometimes made, and if I attempt to deal with the questions that I know are in the mind of every hon.
- Such was the manner of Romanus's death, after a reign of five and a half years.
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После сооружения Авалона диктатор Нового Эдема Накамура убедил сенат разместить в Авалоне всех, кто мешал ему, в частности тех, кто протестовал против проводимых им реформ, а также психически больных или умственно отсталых людей.
Branson, ever the marketer. And so he has. Paul Barnes, a spokesman for Micropal, a fund tracking company in London, said that having established itself as a serious competitor in the financial arena, Virgin is ''now moving into pensions, insurance and other products.
Branson at the helm, is anyone betting that Virgin might not swell someday into a major financial services company? Except for relatively small personal investments in the index funds, Mr.
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Only once did he consider buying individual shares -- in oil companies, ''so that if oil prices went up, it would compensate us for the use of oil in our planes.
For the most part, Mr. Branson sidesteps questions about his finances, citing a desire for privacy. Although he doesn't kosten lebensmittel single haushalt a conventional investment portfolio, single taken building my empire finding myself may not need one, since 99 percent of his wealth is tied up in his companies.
Branson placed a chunk of the proceeds with money managers, but quickly became dissatisfied with the results and the hefty fees. But then you take their charges into account. They will never mention there is a big spread off the top that takes 5 percent straight away.
There is a management fee that they charge every time they buy and sell the shares, and they can buy and sell them as many times as they want through the year, and so on and so on. Branson started the Virgin U.
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Britons have followed his lead, making the fund the second-biggest index-style fund in Britain. But are they embracing its lack of sales commissions, or flocking single taken building my empire finding myself Mr. Branson, who promoted the direct-sales company by appearing in television commercials?
В конце концов от отчаяния и смущения я произнес: "Ах ты, е-мое", и Вилли немедленно громко добавил: "Аминь".
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Сняла туфли, поставила их на полку и пошла, ступая ногами в чулках по татами.
Нет, - усмехнулась Николь.
Боясь расплакаться, она спросила Бангорн, нельзя ли выйти в туалет.
McMeehan said. He is attractive to the man in the street. What it is doing is marketing and selling.