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A Yank in Westminster

Buyout specialist Brooks Newmark made British history last month.

Buyout specialist Brooks Newmark made British history last month when he became the new, Conservative MP for Braintree, the fastest-growing town in England. Not only did the 47-year-old win back a seat from the ruling Labour Party in once-Tory-blue Essex, he becomes the first American-born MP since Nancy Astor in 1919.

A native of Westport, Connecticut, Newmark moved to the U.K. with his family as a child in 1967. Aside from stints as an undergraduate, then MBA student, at Harvard and three years at Lehman Brothers in New York, he has called Britain home ever since. Newmark currently heads the European operations of New York­based Apollo Management, the private equity shop founded by legendary former Drexel Burnham Lambert banker Leon Black. He's also raising five children with his wife, Lucy, daughter of noted military historian Sir John Keegan.

Newmark says his American origins weren't an issue when he was on the stump: "I've lived in Braintree for six years. To be honest, for most voters, I was more of a local than the sitting MP. He made the mistake of never moving from Southend." The new MP plans to work on Treasury and economic issues for the Conservative opposition in the House of Commons.