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"Intellectual freedom, a passion for economics and an amazing support network"

As Tonbridge steps up its bursary fundraising, Dmitry Lapidus (2009-14 FH) tells us what a bursary for Tonbridge meant to him

Dmitry Lapidus in New York
Dmitry Lapidus in New York

 

Dmitry Lapidus (2009-14 FH) runs the Latin American business for the Prince Street hedge fund, a job that he says he honestly loves, and a job that is a direct result of his passion for politics and economics which was ignited at Tonbridge School.

After graduating from the London School of Economics (LSE), Dmitry embarked on a career in finance and spent several years in Hong Kong. He later moved to New York and, before the pandemic, was spending four to five months a year in Latin America, immersed in the opportunities and risks of diverse business sectors in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and Peru.

When Dmitry reflects on his time at Tonbridge, what stands out is his immense gratitude for the bursaries and scholarships that made it possible. Because an education at a school like Tonbridge was far from certain, after a tragic family event led to a change in circumstances, when he was just ten years old.

Dmitry was living in Blackheath and attending Dulwich Prep School as a day boy, when his father died suddenly, and his family’s financial situation became uncertain.

But thanks to the support and guidance of his prep school headmaster George Marsh, Dmitry was encouraged to sit the Junior Scholarship exam at Tonbridge. He was offered significant bursaries and scholarships that would make a Tonbridge education possible and was urged to try weekly boarding at Dulwich, to see how he would adapt to boarding.

“Going to Tonbridge was a huge decision, not least because I would be leaving home aged just 13,” Dmitry recalls. “But having a big support network with several father figures around me was exactly what I needed at that time in my life.”

Dmitry talks fondly about the many Tonbridge staff and teachers who had a huge influence on him. Economics teacher John Maynard inspired him to pursue a career in politics and economics, and Geography teacher Chris Henshall passed on valuable life lessons during numerous climbing excursions and a trip to Peru. Dmitry also credits former Tonbridge Librarian Beverley Matthews for her reading suggestions that sparked his curiosity in many subjects.

“Tonbridge prepared me wonderfully for the world and I massively appreciate the intellectual freedom that was instilled in us,” Dmitry reflects.

Housemaster Ceri Jones and Matron Liz Hamilton were also hugely important, as well as the strong network of friends he has from his time at Tonbridge.

“My closest friends today are still my Tonbridge friends, and wherever I’ve been in the world I’m grateful for the amazing Tonbridge support network,” Dmitry concludes. “For me, the opportunity to attend Tonbridge was truly life-changing.”

 

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