... was moving to Europe in 2001 after working in the New York practice for 10 years. My wife is French and she wanted to get back to Europe. Now, I work in London and live in Paris.
From a family standpoint, it was a great decision, but also from a career standpoint, as it allowed me a lot of personal freedom. I'd been very successful in the US and, over time, I'd have had the chance to grow, but Europe was a wide-open space for me.
I started the European practice - there wasn't a business out here in what we did, so I was setting up something that didn't exist. I had complete freedom, creativity and autonomy to revolutionise the way things were done here. I guess I was being very naive and ambitious.
I thought: 'Let's see if we can create a different approach in all of the markets in Europe.' And that is what we have done. The family is happy, the firm has grown, and I have personally grown. When I came, we were about 75 professionals worldwide. Today, we're 1,000.
I didn't anticipate - given that it was a new market - how challenging it would be to start a business here. At the beginning, it was frustrating because things were slow and, previously, everything had come easy to me. I had a couple of very, very long nights pondering my decision to come here. It was a struggle for about nine months and I think because of that - and because by nature turnaround problem-solvers are conservative - I didn't capitalise on the growth and demand as fast as I could have.
We might have a greater number of people here today if we'd been faster in building the business infrastructure, but I wanted to make sure that the fundamentals were in place before we put in a lot of cost. But when things are growing fast, you miss opportunities.
We could have been a little bit more aggressive, as we were growing the practice, but that's not so much a decision at a point of time as a tendency. I probably err on the conservative side, but we try every day to get more courageous.