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Oliver Hill was, and is, a maverick. Born to an Establishment South African family – his father was an Anglo director – his future was pre-determined; a top school (Bishops), a first class degree at Wits University, on to Oxford, and then the steady climb up the Anglo-American corporate ladder.However, his parents recognised the rebel in Ollie and sent him to America where, with a first class degree in chemistry, he went to work for the famous “platinum king”, Charlie Engelhard, while waiting to see whether his application to Harvard Business School would be successful. He was accepted– although in the early ‘Sixties Harvard Business School was accepting no more than 20 foreign applicants a year. Ollie graduated with four distinctions – plus a lifelong passion for free thinking and, in particular, free markets.Returning to South Africa with a wife and daughter, and another child on the way, Ollie joined forces with a successful engineer, John Hahn, and together they founded a formidable independent force in the Southern African mining and chemicals industries.

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