Learning a thing or two about risk

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He’s been spreadeagled over a car before lunching in a Sao Paolo restaurant that was bereft of diners, apart from a rich old man with a fear of being kidnapped and his machine pistol-toting bodyguards.

He’s been parted from his passport, cash and credit cards, only to have them handed back at no cost in a late-night encounter in the dark corner of an hotel car park in Caracas.

He’s been the target of an attempted sting by a Greek bearing gifts – well, offering a drink in a nearby bar after “accidentally” bumping into him and damaging his camera.

He’s survived it all unscathed.

Small wonder, then, that Nick Malaczynski knows a thing or too about risk management – although that’s more to do with investment risk than risk to life and limb.

Small wonder, too, that he is now based in the peace and quiet, on the outskirts of Hathersage, close enough to see his beloved Blades when he’s not dealing with investment issues elsewhere in the world.

“The quality of life is better here and my family is still here,” says Nick, who admits he was “quite naïve” when he climbed aboard an aircraft for the first time in his 20s, bound for Greece and his first brush with the dodgier side of what can confront a British businessman abroad.

Nick Malaczynski puts his success in avoiding or getting out of trouble in those early years down to luck.

“I was quite a naïve country boy. You nearly get mugged, attacked or taken out because when you are young you are so trusting of people. It takes a while to wise up and a lot of what kept me out of trouble was just dumb luck.

“Over time, you make good friends and people look after you. You have to adopt a different way of thinking in some parts of the world. I tend, when I’m not meeting people, to walk around looking like a scruff. If you don’t look like you have got money, people tend to leave you alone,” he says.