Within five minutes of the start of my first meeting with Bernhard Neumann as his research student, late in 1954, he suggested the following problem to me. Let G be a group in which the cardinals of the classes of conjugate elements are boundedly finite with maximum η, say. Then the commutator subgroup G′ is finite , Is the order |G′| of G′ bounded in terms of n? I distinctly recall these words of Neumann: “That should provide us with a start, I think”. He was right: more than just a start, the problem has been a continuing stimulus to a study of questions in fields as far apart as permutation group theory (, , , , and some unpublished work of Peter M. Neumann) and multiplicator theory (, ), as well as attracting interest in its own right.