ALLIANCE Boots’ executive chairman shows no sign of slowing down despite celebrating his 71st birthday earlier this year. Speaking to reporters yesterday he reaffirmed his commitment to the firm and said he was excited to be taking an eight per cent stake in Walgreens: “I really believe in this company and I am very passionate about this business. At Alliance UniChem we were great believers in global business but we could not be global without the US. So for the last 10 years we have tried to create links with an American companies. I am convinced that this is the ideal platform to create a real global company.” With an estimated wealth of over $2bn he could have given up on global business a long time ago but the renowned workaholic seems incapable of stepping away from the boardroom. Originally a nuclear engineer, he became chief executive of Alliance UniChem in 2004 and led the firm’s merger with Boots in 2006. A year later he helped take the group private in a deal with KKR. Given the opportunities ahead, it is unlikely that he will be spending much time in his Monte Carlo home in the near future.

KKR’s European head of healthcare also leads the development of its activities in the UK and Ireland and is a member of its European investment and portfolio management committee. He joined the investment firm in 2005, playing a major role in the 2007 leveraged buyout of Alliance Boots, as a result of which he already sits on that firm’s board of directors. With the new deal, he not only sees the vindication of his earlier work but will also join the board of Walgreens.

Murphy has also played an important part in KKR’s investments in Ambea, the Nordic healthcare provider, and SBS Broadcasting Group, the European broadcaster subsequently acquired for €3.3bn by another of KKR’s interests, the German firm ProSiebenSat.1 Media. Before working for KKR, Murphy spent eight years as a partner at Cinven, a rival private equity firm, where he worked on investments including such well-known names as William Hill, United Biscuits and Fitness First. Before Cinven, Murphy worked at 3i as an investment manager. He is a member of the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity corporate partnerships board.