Vince Clancy, 46, chief executive of Turner & Townsend

A decade ago, Vince Clancy was managing partner of T&T’s cost management arm; now he’s running the whole show as chief executive. Moreover, he has achieved his goal of increasing the consultant’s global reach as the firm now works out of 63 offices in 28 countries. “I spend hundreds of hours in airports now,” says Clancy. “But at least I have become a very efficient traveller.”

Ten years ago Clancy’s hero was Bill Gates, something that hasn’t changed: “He has retired young, which is always a good sign. And he has a charitable foundation. He has gone up in my estimation, not down.” And as for his advice to the new generation of 40 under 40, Clancy advocates calculated risk and a certain amount of non-conformity: “If I were to give three pieces of advice, they’d be to be a leader, not a manager, to do something you are passionate about and don’t let bureaucracy get in your way. It’s easy to assume a place in a hierarchy. I’ve never done that.”