The Next Frontier

Denis Payre's first big score was Business Objects, the $2.3 billion global software company he helped start in France in 1990. From there, beginning in 1997, he sprinkled seed money among 10 Internet European start-ups, ending up averaging a 10% return on investments.

Payre certainly enjoys the rewards he has reaped — the blue Porsche, the catamaran docked in Martinique and the vacation home in Arcachon, France — but that cosseted life hasn't dulled his taste for taking risks. From a 24th-floor office in Brussels' Tour Louise building with a panoramic view of Europe's capital, Payre and fellow...

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