There’s a dash of showbiz about Hands, founder of Terra Firma, that sets him apart from the secretive suits who run London’s other big private equity funds. His swashbuckling deals tend to grab headlines, and unlike the anonymous toppers of Permira, KKR and the like, he seems comfortable in the spotlight. Perhaps that’s why Terra Firma has ended up owning both Odeon/UCI, Europe’s largest cinema chain, and EMI, which Hands bought this summer for x2.4 billion ($4.7 billion). He has hit EMI with a whirlwind of fresh ideas, ejecting the old boss, Eric Nicoli, in the process. He rallied staff with a speech about his track record in corporate turnarounds, including an ailing German truck-stop operator whose fortunes were revived by cleaning the toilets. Sorting out EMI may be more akin to mucking out the Augean stables, but there’s no doubt Hands has the energy and appetite for this Herculean task.