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The Merrill banker who turned down Dragons' Den; and the UBS travel girl
10/08/2018 , Freddie Pooter

We all love to hear about our colleagues who break free from the wage slavery of private banking, and go on to do their own thing very successfully. It gives hope to all of us.

So step forward Rimi Thapar, who once worked for the private banking operations of Merrill Lynch in London.

She left to set up her own company, LoveRaw which, as the title suggests, is a health-based venture, making organic, gluten and dairy-free products. Yuk!

In an early stage search for finance, Rimi even went on the celebrated Dragons’ Den TV show, seeking a £50,000 investment.

Dragon Debra Meaden, the terrifying woman on the Dragons’ line up, demanded a 30 percent stake in LoveRaw, but Rimi wisely said no.  And now her company is conservatively worth £1.7 million.

Nowadays, Rimi, who lives in Altrincham, Cheshire, says the Dragons were just asking for way too much.

"There was no way we were giving that much away. All that time I spent building the business, doing 20-hour days, I just couldn’t give a big chunk of it away,” she adds.

She instead raised what she needed through a number of private angel investors.
Rimi recalls that appearing on the TV show was “an amazing experience.” But “it was very scary, it’s a very intimidating process. I walked in and saw these poker faces, the dragons are looking right at you. All I was thinking was, ‘don’t mess up, don’t scupper the pitch’."

LoveRaw products, including health bars nowadays are stocked in 21 countries.

*Here’s another private banking alumnus who went on to bigger things. Becky Van Dijk used to work for UBS Wealth Management in London. 

But she loved world travel and decided to do it full-time. Becky left UBS and became an entrepreneur building her own travel business, We are Travel Girls.

At UBS, her role was to provide investment advice and portfolio management to the high net worth, managing her own book of about 40 clients.

Personally, we think Nick Tucker, the big cheese at UBS UK should re-hire her immediately as Becky is clearly a talent who knows how to follow the money.

Pip pip


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