Robert Agnew’s natural reservation lends itself well to his work: he’s developed a top client base at Barclays Private Bank, where he has worked for the last eight years. He modestly describes his work as ‘acting as the conductor of the orchestra’, coordinating the bank’s resources for clients: but it is more fitting to think of him as the Admiral of the fleet, directing the combined forces of wealth management including ‘advice on investments, constructing portfolios and working with the wealth advisory team to plan structures’ for clients’ benefit. Beneath a regimented exterior — he had a short stint in the Navy — lies a hunger for, and knowledge of, the latest trends caused by the shift to the digital economy. Agnew’s focus has broadened with the most successful of tech entrepreneurs — those high-growth individuals and families that are central to the changing nature of the UK economy. This puts him at the cutting edge of investing, a knowledge clients have exploited to find private equity ventures and get closer to high growth tech start-ups. Clients are ‘trying to capture these disruptive technology trends’, looking to find the next Google, Airbnb or Uber. In a crowded field of venture capitalists and angel investors, Agnew needs to have his finger on the pulse in order to assist clients. He appreciates that it is ‘an insightful privilege to interact with the business leaders, risk takers and smartest investors who are driving global social and economic change’, and he is often among the leaders of change, who provide the inside track. It’s not just in the investment management world that Agnew represents the new world order. Successful tech unicorn founders are less likely to want a 14-course lunch with exquisitely paired wines, being more interested in active adventures away from the computer screen. As an enthusiastic outdoorsman, Agnew involves clients in such activities as swimming in the Docklands and cycling the Dales and Hampshire.