Accountancy Rich List 2017
Philip Beresford 5 Sep 2017 10:23am

Rich List 2017: 100 to 51

Who were the big movers and shakers in 2017?

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Caption: 65: Killian Hurley, Construction, £128m

51 Tarsem Dhaliwal
17/10/1963
Retailing
£178m

Tarsem Dhaliwal says his career began by working on his father’s market stall. He says working in the family firm at a young age taught him the value of money. He joined Iceland in 1985, having earned an HND in Business Studies. By 1990 he was chief accountant and later financial controller. In 1995 he was appointed finance director. He has a shareholding worth at least £100m in the Clwyd-based group following the purchase of a controlling stake by a South African billionaire in October 2015. Other assets and investments take him to £178m.
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52 Brian Conlon
07/01/1966
Finance
£176m

A former footballer for County Down, Brian Conlon learned his trade as an accountant with KPMG and went to work for Morgan Stanley in its risk management team. In his London years, he was famously treated for a knee injury by the same surgeon who looked after Gazza. Home beckoned and in 1996 he established First Derivatives in his Newry apartment as a consultancy and software business for the investment banking market with seed capital of £5,000. It floated on Aim in 2002 and Conlon has a 31.79% stake worth £165m. Turnover grew strongly during 2016 and so did the share price, now valuing the business at more than £544m. Dividends and other assets add £11m, taking Conlon to £176m.
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53= Lord Fink
15/09/1957
Finance
£160m

Lord Fink is a grocer’s son who has become “the godfather of hedge funds”. Born in Crumpsall, Manchester, he was educated at Manchester Grammar School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. Fink started his career at accountants Arthur Andersen, and briefly worked for Mars, followed by a spell at Citibank. He served as the chief executive officer of the Man Group, a hedge fund, from 2000 to 2007. He is credited with building the group to its current status as a FTSE 100 company and the largest listed hedge fund company in the world. In 2008, he came out of retirement to run Mayfair-based hedge fund ISAM. He also owns a 37.5% interest in the St Pancras Hotel. With £58m of share sales, a 60% stake in three other Swiss hotels, a £10m London penthouse, some £13m of net assets in other companies Fink should be at £160m.
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53= Brian Scowcroft & family
24/01/1956
Property
£160m

Kingmoor Park, Cumbria’s leading business park, has over two million square feet of industrial, office and warehouse buildings. It is set in more than 400 acres of landscaped grounds and was started in 1999 as a joint venture on what was then an old RAF maintenance facility. Entrepreneur Brian Scowcroft originally invested £7.2m in a joint venture to develop Kingmoor. Scowcroft, a qualified chartered accountant, made his name originally at Swinton Insurance, the car insurer founded by his father in 1957. The family exited the Manchester-based operation by the early 1990s, making around £150m. His Kingmoor Park Properties saw its net assets rise in 2015-16 to £25.4m. The family are worth £160m after tax.
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55= John Griffin & family
01/08/1942
Transport
£155m

Co-founder of the London-based Addison Lee taxi firm, John Griffin left school at 17 and bluffed his way into being taken on by a firm of accountants as an articled clerk. Griffin quit his training to help with the rescue of his father’s building business, earning his money by minicabbing. Griffin stayed with cabbing. He set up on his own in 1975 and never looked back. Now retired from Addison Lee after its £300m sale to an American private equity company in 2013, Griffin has been heavily involved in charity work and property development where he made a £30m profit on a London development. Griffin poured in €15m into Irish TV, a County Mayo media company pitched at Ireland’s Diaspora. Last December (2016) the business was wound up by order of the High Court on the basis of being insolvent as a going concern. He has also given generously to charity, including £10m to a West London hospital for medical research a few years ago. We clip the Griffin family back to £155m to take account of this generosity and the collapse of Irish TV.
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55= Yakub Patel & family
19/08/1953
Pharmacies
£155m

Yakub Patel, an accountant, and his brother Anwar started their first chemists shop in 1980, and sold 111 of their pharmacies for £130m in 2005. They kept 30 pharmacies worth £13.5m and have gradually built up their Cohens Chemist to 180 branches across the UK today. This business is worth around £40m on the strength of its £17.5m assets and profits of £4.3m on sales of £156.3m in 2014-15. The brothers also operate a separate pharmaceutical wholesaler, Prinwest. This operation is worth £70m on the back of £7.7m profit in 2014-15. After tax and reinvestment the Patels should easily be worth £155m.
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57 John Newman & family
24/11/1945
Industry
£150m

Accountant John Newman owns the Surrey-based Newship Group, which owns a collection of packaging, construction, engineering, property and other businesses. This operation made £25m profits on £122m sales in 2015. Assets have risen to £25.5m and we now value the conglomerate at £150m. Newman previously chaired TT Electronics, the Weybridge-based quoted electronics group until his retirement in 2010. An ex-Hanson manager, he started TT in 1986 and built it into a chunky business with nearly £600m sales. Newman keeps a stake worth £953,000. We now value Newman at £150m.
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58 Julian Schild & family
15/11/1959
Industry
£149m

The £409m takeover of medical technology group Huntleigh in 2006 netted the Schild family around £176m. The business was started by the late Rolf Schild, who died in 2003, leaving £19m in his will. It was later run by his sons, Oxford-educated Julian and David. Julian qualified as a chartered accountant at Coopers & Lybrand. He then worked at Huntleigh, rising to finance director. Today he serves as deputy chairman and senior non-executive director of Utility Warehouse. There are £9m of stakes and net assets held by the Schilds in Telecom Plus and Lizon Properties. The Schilds are still worth £149m after tax.
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59= James Murphy
15/07/1961
Industry
£145m

Endorsement from stars such as Jennifer Aniston and Cate Blanchett helped Galway man James Murphy turn his hair restoration brand Viviscal into a world beater. In February the former accountant sold the brand for €150m to the American household products giant Church & Dwight. He held a 90% stake. Murphy is a member of the Galway Tenors singing trio, who have performed at festivals across Ireland – highlights include an appearance at the K Club during the 2006 Ryder Cup and a show in Las Vegas. His Lifes2good company makes and markets nutraceuticals including anti-aging products and foot creams. It employs 100 people, including 50 in Galway, with sales of €50m and operating profits of €3m in 2015, making it easily worth €30m. Murphy began his working life in Limerick before moving to Brussels where he met his Swedish wife, Maria. He returned home in 1991, joining the Slendertone muscle toning company in Donegal, selling his stake in 1997 and founding Lifes2good with the proceeds. Viviscal, a blend of shark and mollusc powder, was originally aimed at balding men, but achieved success when Murphy switched the focus to female hair loss and branded it as a beauty product.
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59= Lochlann Quinn
05/11/1941
Industry
£145m

Lochlann Quinn joined Arthur Andersen & Co. in London and, in 1969, he returned to Dublin to head up its audit practice in Ireland until 1980. He then joined Glen Dimplex – a small, privately owned Irish company – as deputy chairman and finance director and helped founder Martin Naughton build it into a giant electrical appliance manufacturer. Quinn sold his 26% stake in Glen Dimplex in 2004. He benefited from some lucrative deals during the property boom and his other assets include a share of the Merrion Hotel, Dublin, which houses some of his art collection, including paintings by William Scott, Jack B Yeats and Sean Scully. Last year he and wife Brenda paid €2m for a work by David Teniers the Younger due to be auctioned by the Albert Beit Foundation, then donated it to the state. Quinn also has a collection of vintage cars, among them a Ferrari 599. These assets and the reinvestment of his Dimplex money amount to £145m.
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61= Robin Barr & family
15/02/1938
Food
£140m

Cumbernauld-based drinks business AG Barr is famed for its Irn-Bru fizzy drink. Shares in the business have struggled since the then chancellor George Osborne unveiled a sugar tax on soft drinks in the 2016 Budget. AG Barr is now valued at £585.7m on the stock market. The 19.4% stake held by former chairman and chartered accountant Robin Barr and his family is now worth £113.6m. More than £19m of dividends over the past decade and other assets should easily take the Barrs to £140m.
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61= Simon Dolan
25/05/1969
Business services
£140m

Former kickboxing champion Simon Dolan started his career selling eggs and cheese in Chelmsford market. Now a serial entrepreneur Dolan has interests ranging from accountancy to employment services, motor racing, publishing and an airline. His parent company, Hemel Hempstead-based SJD Group, was sold in September 2014 for £80m. He has become enthused by motor racing and created his own team, Jota Sport, in 2011, which won the 24 hour Le Mans race three years later. His past salaries, car collection and property interests take Dolan to £140m.
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63 Sir Rod Aldridge
07/11/1947
Computers
£135m

Sir Rod Aldridge worked for East Sussex Council as a trainee before ending up at Cipfa, the public finance accountants’ professional body. When local authorities started putting services out to tender under the Tories in 1979, he helped guide them through the maze. Eventually he formed a special computer group in Cipfa to do the work, but by 1987 he had had enough and led a management buyout of the unit. Renamed Capita, it floated on the stock market two years later. He left the board in 2006 but retains a near £30m stake in the £7.8bn firm. Share sales and option gains at Capita totalled at least £24m. His family office operation Aldridge Wealth has invested in property and fixed income products as well as operating as an incubator for small businesses. After charitable donations through the Aldridge Foundation we keep Aldridge at £135m. He now operates a network of 10 academies across the country. He has also opened a cricket academy which helps young players develop their sporting and academic skills.
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64 Alan McIntosh
02/11/1967
Finance
£130m

Alan McIntosh fought a bidding war against Heineken to take control of the Punch Taverns pub group but looks to have lost out to the Dutch brewing giant. The Scotsman was one of the pub group’s founders back in 1997. McIntosh’s bid was the latest move by his Emerald Investment Partners, the investment operation he set up in 2012. This entrepreneurial accountant has been involved in a string of major deals over the year – many alongside his key business partner Hugh Osmond at the pair’s Sun Capital Partners. McIntosh’s wealth includes a stake worth around £30m in the Phoenix Group insurance operation and a 3.5% stake in Irish housebuilder Cairn Homes – now worth around £32m after a strong rise over the past year. McIntosh was one of the beneficiaries of the sale of the Wellington Pub Company in 2004 which netted £100m profit for Osmond’s team. Emerald also bought the Carechoice nursing home group in Cork for €30m in 2014. We can also see another McIntosh company with £13.6m net assets. This pushes McIntosh to £130m.
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65 Killian Hurley & family
21/04/1958
Construction
£128m

Cork-educated Killian Hurley runs, and with his family largely owns, Mount Anvil group, a London developer and builder. A chartered accountant he qualified with Price Waterhouse and later established Mount Anvil in 1991. It has built 5,000 homes and made a record £25m profit on £252.1m sales in 2015. With £60.7m net assets, it is easily worth £150m in the current climate, valuing the Hurley family’s 85.5% stake at £128m.
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66 Chris Miller & family
25/09/1951
Industry
£126m

Harris & Sheldon, the Coventry-based industrial and property conglomerate, owns some of Britain’s leading hunting and fishing destinations. These include Junction Pool, probably the most famous salmon fishing beat in Scotland. The group reeled in slightly lower profits of £3.5m in 2015, but we value it on its burgeoning £85.2m net assets. The Miller family, led by brothers Michael and Chris, own it all. A chartered accountant, Chris Miller worked for Lord Hanson before joining the board of manufacturer to engineering group Wassall in 1988 as chief executive. It was taken over in 2000, valuing the Harris & Sheldon stake at £22m. Chris Miller is now executive chairman of the £3.2bn quoted Melrose industrial group, where he has an £40.4m stake. The Miller family should be worth at least £126m.
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67 Ian Suttie
08/06/1945
Industry
£120m

An accountant, Ian Suttie trained with Deloitte in Aberdeen, qualifying in 1971. He tried his luck in England, later returning to the north-east of Scotland in 1977 to join the oil industry. First he led a management buyout of the Orwell oil company in 1986 and had a 72.5% stake when it was later taken over in a $250m deal. He spent part of his proceeds buying First Oil. But the collapse in oil prices in 2015-16 meant that a First Oil subsidiary was put into administration in February 2016, even after a substantial cash injection by Suttie the previous July. Suttie’s other oil-related company, Nautronix, was sold for £42m. He should be worth £120m even after the setback.
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68 Maurice Critchley & family
26/08/1948
Industry
£112m

Maurice Critchley had set his sights on reading an economic degree, but failed to get the right qualifications and left school at the age of 17. He instead trained as an accountant before landing a series of management jobs including positions at Spillers, the UK food ingredients company, and Mallinckrodt, a US chemicals group. In 1989 He bought a small valve maker with the backing of a bank loan. Seven years later he bought the valves division of industrial group BTR in a £2m deal. The acquisition gave Critchley not just a new set of production operations but connections to key customers, especially the state oil companies in Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, that would turn out to be extremely important. Today the Gloucester-based Severn Glocon Group specialises in control valves for the world’s industrial markets. Critchley is renowned for his extreme attention to detail, vital in a safety-critical sector. Critchley was raised in Stroud, a small West Country town near Gloucester. In 2015 Severn Glocon made £12m profit on £116m sales. It is worth £110m. Other assets add £2m to Critchley and his family.
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69= John Denholm & family
15/05/1956
Transport
£110m

Glasgow-based shipping to seafood group J&J Denholm is planning to float its oilfield business, with a price tag of around £50m. The business was founded back in 1869 as a ships agency, but has adding fishing, logistics and contracting arms. Profits came in at £10.1m on sales of nearly £330m in 2015. The business has assets of £105m and is owned by the Denholm family, led by chartered accountant John Denholm. We value the business on its assets and will wait to see how the float fares. We add another £5m for dividends and other wealth.
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69= Carl McCann & family
03/05/1953
Food
£110m

Carl McCann, an accountant and FCA, joined the family’s fruit importing operation from KPMG and served as finance director of Fyffes from 1983 to 1998. He now runs Total Produce, a quoted Irish food distributor that was a subsidiary of Fyffes until its 2006 demerger. He has a £31.6m stake in Total Produce but the family stake in Fyffes and other assets take the McCann family to £110m.
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71 Michael Wainwright & family
09/11/1957
Retailing
£106m

Michael Wainwright and his brother Nicholas are the sixth generation to run the Boodles jewellery operation. Over the years the Liverpool-based operation, which dates back to 1798, has made Grand National trophies, a host of other sporting cups and even the solid silver stands for one of the Queen’s wedding cakes. There are now Boodles shops in Chester, Dublin, Manchester and a flagship store in London’s Bond Street. There are also outlets in the Savoy, Harrods and Royal Exchange. Profit rose strongly to £8.1m on sales of £10.3m in 2015-16. With £49.6m net assets and a strong reputation it should easily be worth £100m. Nicholas Wainwright has worked for the business for more than 43 years and is chairman, while Michael, who trained as a chartered accountant with KPMG after university, serves as managing director after over 30 years at the family firm. Dividends and other assets take the Wainwrights to £106m.
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72 Harold Sher
13/01/1947
Metal trader
£105m

Amalgamated Metal Corporation is one of the top metal traders in the City. In 2015 its profits fell to £7.7m on £446.9m sales. It has £172.6m net assets. Harold Sher, Amalgamated’s chief executive, studied commerce at university and started his career as a chartered accountant. He later served as the president of a major North American Steel Services Group before becoming chief executive of Amalgamated Metal in 1992. He led a £200m management buyout in December 2003 from the German travel company TUI. Sher’s stake should now be worth £80m. Past salaries, dividends and pensions should take him to £105m.
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73= Steve Caunce
20/01/1969
Retailing
£100m

As chief operating officer of AO World, the Bolton-based online white goods retailer, Steve Caunce was previously finance director of a mobile phone operation from 2001-2003. He held senior posts with other blue chip operations and helped AO World to its successful 2014 float which valued the business at £1.2bn. Caunce, an associate with ICAEW, sold £53m-worth of shares in the float. But the shares have had a rocky ride in 2017 following 2016-17 losses widening to £7m. As a result Caunce’s stake has fallen to £60m in value. After tax, Caunce – whose package increased by 12.5% to £517,395 in 2015-16 – should be worth £100m.
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73= Neil Hutchinson
16/04/1978
Internet
£100m

After a business degree, Neil Hutchinson started out in accountancy but quickly found it lacked the kind of “instant gratification” he wanted, so he started building websites in his spare time. A reggae site – he is a Bob Marley fan – won a design award, which led to a job as a designer for Spring Digital, a small London firm. But by December 2003, Hutchinson was restless again, struggling to make the most of London life on his salary. “I always wanted to work in the City, really,” he told the FT early in 2009. His City trader ambitions began to be fulfilled when he started TrafficBroker, an online advertising business. Now renamed Forward Internet, the online ecommerce and advertising business had assets of £55.9m at the end of 2015 when it made a profit of £5.3m. Until we see how future profits pan out, we clip the value of the Forward stable of businesses to £100m. That values Hutchinson’s stake at £96.5m. Other assets take him to £100m.
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73= Ian Read
Pharmaceuticals
£100m

Scots-born Ian Read is chairman and chief executive officer of the US pharma giant Pfizer. His pay exceeded £14m in 2016. He received his BSc in chemical engineering from Imperial College London in 1974. He earned his chartered accountants certification from ICAEW in 1978. He then began his Pfizer career as an operational auditor. Working his way up the company, Read was named vice president of Pfizer in 2001 and became CEO in 2010. Now chairman and CEO, Read has a £17m stake in the £157.5bn company. Share sales in 2016 came in at around £60m. Earlier share sales and a £20m salary package should take him to £100m.
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76 Sir Mick Davis
15/02/1958
Industry
£90m

“Big Mick” Davis is treasurer of the Tory Party. Having trained as an accountant he was a senior manager with firm Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co from 1980 to 1986. He made his name in his native South Africa restructuring Eskom, the South African utility. He quit in 1993 when he realised he would not be appointed CEO. He landed in the mining business and made his name transforming some coal assets into the world’s fourth-largest natural resources group, Xstrata. In the years after Xstrata’s 2002 London float, Davis had made at least £50m from wages, bonuses, and share option sales. Xstrata was taken over by Glencore in 2013 in a $76bn deal and Davis, who had a stake in unrealised options worth around £50m at the time, left the combined group. He is now building a new mining group called X2 Resources where he has $5bn of investors’ funds to put into buying assets. It has yet to complete a single deal as the expected fire-sale of assets from the big miners has yet to happen with the surge in commodity prices which Davis had not banked on. X2 recently vacated its London headquarters to cut costs. London-based Davis was knighted in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours “for services to Holocaust commemoration and education”, and should still easily be worth £90m.
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77 Solomon Potel & family
09/06/1933
Construction
£89m

Fairholme Estates (Holdings), a London-based property developer and building contractor, is owned by chartered accountant Solomon Potel and his family trusts. In 2015-16 it made a £1.5m profit and showed more than £86.8m net assets. Other assets add £2m.
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78= Nicholas Cooper
13/12/1949
Finance
£85m

With over 40 years experience of the insurance industry and a chartered accountant by trade, Nicholas Cooper ran his own insurance operation, Sterling Insurance group, which he set up in 1994. Before the global economic crisis in 2008, Sterling was being tipped as a takeover target with a £150m price mooted by the insurance press at the time. In December 2014, Sterling was sold for an undisclosed sum to a French insurer. Cooper was recently elected to the presidency of the Racehorse Owners Association. His family sale proceeds less tax should have been around £80m. Other assets such as the Normandie Stud take the Cooper family to £85m.
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78= Avnish Goyal & family
15/08/1966
Care homes
£85m

After training as an accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Avnish Goyal decided not to enter the profession. He went into property instead working with his parent’s property portfolio but his parents-in-law, both doctors, had built a care home and he saw that this could be a profitable business. In 1997 he launched Billericay-based Hallmark Healthcare with its first 44-bed home, costing £850,000. Today it operates 17 care homes and has been rebalancing its portfolio to concentrate on south Wales and the south and eastern parts of England. In 2015-16 Hallmark’s profits came in at £7m on £52.8m sales. The £80m operation is owned by the Goyal family. Other assets take the Goyals to £85m.
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78= Sir Michael Heller & family
15/07/1936
Property
£85m

Knighted in the 2013 New Year Honours list for philanthropy, Sir Michael Heller, an accountant by training, has with his family a 56% holding in London % Associated Properties, a shopping centre specialist, and a controlling stake in Bisichi Mining. Together with other property interests and investments, these take the family wealth to a conservative £85m.
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78= Eddie Kilty
25/08/1948
Industry
£85m

Dublin-based Eddie Kilty joined the Ardagh glass and packaging group in 1972 as a management accountant and progressed to the role of chief executive. He is now chief executive of the South Wharf glass business and retains a 3.4% stake in Ardagh, worth £81m. Past earnings and dividends take him to £85m.
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82 James Pirrie & family
23/09/1960
Industry and private equity
£83m

Nevis Capital, a Glasgow private equity company was launched by James Pirrie and his brother John after the sale of their LCH Generators in 2006. It is a backer of Clyde Space, a satellite builder. The brothers had formed Glasgow-based LCH in 1980. John’s background was in engineering sales and James qualified as a chartered accountant in 1984, so together they were well placed to set up their own company. Working from home, John full-time and James part-time, they built a business buying and selling used diesel engines, which they shipped to customers, mainly in the Far East. By the mid 1980s, they had begun to respond to a growing demand for generators. They began to source and sell used sets, at the same time reducing their involvement with engines. James joined the company full-time in 1986, and in 1987 a third employee was taken on to work in repair and maintenance. The company, owned by the Pirrie brothers, was sold to Speedy Hire for £59m, including £54.5m cash. Nevis Capital made a healthy £4m profit in 2014-15 but only published abbreviated accounts in 2015-16 showing nearly £5m net assets. This should boost the Pirries to £85m after tax.
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83 Barry Hearn & family
19/06/1948
Leisure
£82m

Romford-based Barry Hearn is an East End boy from a council estate whose mother was a cleaner and dad a London bus driver. He trained as an accountant and became the youngest ever chartered accountant to become a member of the Institute. Hearn later worked for a large firm where one of his biggest clients was Deryck Healy International, a textile design company. In 1973, he persuaded the firm that it needed a full-time finance director. Overnight he had doubled his salary. “I couldn’t believe it: £150 a week.” One of his briefs at Healy was to look at possible acquisitions, so he took the company into snooker, buying the Lucania chain of snooker halls for £500,000 in 1974. It was such a good investment that he put his own money into it. When Healy sold it in 1982 for more than £3.5m, Hearn owned a third of it. He invested his cut in “bits and pieces, property, a forest in Scotland, you could do things with that sort of money in those days” and in June 1982 he left Healy and formed his own company, Matchroom. He had a Romford snooker hall, a fruit-machine and pool-table business in the East End, some offices and the best snooker player the world had yet produced, Steve Davis, who simply walked in off the street. Since then Hearn has dominated snooker, overseeing its extraordinary leap as it became established as Britain’s favorite television sport. He managed the best players, organized many of the top tournaments and sold them to television. He took 20% of his players’ income but reinvested heavily in the sport. He also branched out into boxing, pool, bowling, golf, fishing, poker and darts, giving the latter a much-needed injection of razzmatazz. Matchroom, owned by Hearn and his family, made profits of £9m in 2015-16 on £70.5m sales. It is worth £70m. With his other assets, Hearn is easily worth £82m.
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84= Geoffrey Elliott
07/01/1952
Pharmaceuticals
£80m

Geoffrey Elliott, a former partner with accounting firm Magee Todd & Vaughan, was finance director of Ulster pharmaceuticals group Warner Chilcott which was taken over in 2005. His stake was then worth £44m. Share sales from 1998 to 2001 totalled £15.5m. Elliott, from Armagh, also has property companies with around £30m net assets in total. We keep him at £80m after tax and reinvestment.
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84= Peter Hambro
18/01/1945
Finance
£80m

A member of the Hambro banking family, Peter Hambro had a spell at an accountancy firm before joining Hambros bank in 1966. He later moved to another City broker and stayed for 14 years. Moving into commodities, Hambro worked for the American financier Marc Rich, developing a passion there for gold. After working for other gold dealers and a US tycoon, Hambro met a Russian professor, Pavel Maslovsky, and the pair went into partnership to develop a gold mine. Hambro raised $5m for the project – and five years later the first gold started coming out of the ground. Peter Hambro Mining was floated on the stock market in 2002. Hambro chaired the business, now called Petropavlovsk, until his ousting in June 2017. He retains a £10m stake in the £220m operation. Proceeds from the bank sale should take him to £80m.
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84= Sir Robert Murray & family
03/08/1946
£80m

Entrepreneur Bob Murray co-founded Omega International, a kitchen manufacturer, in 1992. Kitchens and bathrooms are Murray’s speciality. The only son of a Sunderland miner, Murray left school without a job before training to be an accountant at night school. There he achieved six O-levels and an A-level in accountancy, then an Ordinary National Certificate (ONC) in business studies before progressing to study accountancy at Newcastle Polytechnic on day release in 1967. “I didn’t know I wanted to be an accountant when I went to technical college, it just happened to be one of the subjects in the ONC business studies and I got more than 90% in it. Accountancy is a funny subject, you can either do it or not,” he says. By the age of 22 he was part-qualified and that was something of potential interest to employers. He didn’t want to move too far from the north-east, so took a job as an assistant financial accountant with a chemicals company in Harrogate. Four years later he qualified as a chartered certified accountant and joined a kitchen manufacturer in Wetherby as financial accountant. He made a big impression, being promoted three times in his first nine months. “The company was struggling and I just put some disciplines in and some accountability and targets,” he says. He was so successful that aged 27 he was headhunted by Ladyship Industrial Holdings to be general manager of kitchen manufacturer Gower Furniture in Halifax. Two years later he was appointed to the board of the holding company. In 1978 the owner sold Ladyship and Murray and a few colleagues decided to go into business for themselves. They put some cash in and borrowed “a lot more” from Midland Bank, buying a derelict mill at Sowerby Bridge near Halifax. This was the basis of Spring Ram, later a fast-growing quoted bathroom group. Murray left the company in 1990, selling most of his shares for around £13m. He was chairman and owner of Sunderland Football Club from 1986 to 2006 and helped finance its move from Roker park to the modern Stadium of Light on the site of an old colliery. He sold up for £5.7m in 2006. Murray is also heavily involved in property development through Sterling Capitol, which has developed among other sites, Capitol Park next to the M62 at Morley. It made a £24.5m profit in 2014-15, though that fell to a £372,000 loss in the last six months of 2015. Omega is easily worth £80m on the back of £7.8m profit and £54m net assets in 2015. That values Murray’s stake at £56m. His past share sales at Spring Ram and other assets take him to £80m. He was awarded the CBE in 2003 for his extensive community work and later knighted in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
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84= Andrew Turner & family
29/06/1958
Finance
£80m

An accountant by trade, Andrew Turner set up Central Trust in 1987 in a small London office as a broker and lender of secured loans in the consumer finance sector. Central Trust’s principle subsidiary is one of the largest independent finance brokers offering loans to UK homeowners, while other subsidiaries operate in the loan packaging, mortgage packaging and telemarketing markets. Norwich-based Central Trust is owned by the Turners, Andrew and Sharon, via a parent company, Norfolk Capital. In 2016 Norfolk Capital made a £2.3m profit and showed £75.8m net assets. Other assets take the Turners to £80m.
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88= Alexander Badenoch
10/06/1946
Recruitment
£70m

An accountant by trade, Alexander Badenoch put his knowledge of the profession to good use in 1980 when he co-founded a recruitment company specialising in accountancy and legal staff. London-based Badenoch & Clark grew fast until it was sold in 1997 to the American recruitment operation, Accustaff, for £72m. Badenoch, who had an 80% stake, remained with the business until the middle of 2000. He received around £58m for that 80% stake. Shortly after the sale he joined forces with his former MD to repeat the success story with the Venn Group, another recruitment operation. Its profits hit £858,000 on £127m sales in 2015. It should be worth £20m. Badenoch’s stake and other assets keep him at £70m after allowing for tax and reinvestment of sale proceeds.
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88= Graham Mellstrom & family
05/01/1931
Property and land
£70m

Property tycoon and farmer Graham Mellstrom left school at 16, and started his first business venture just after the war when milk was rationed. He did a milk round in the morning and trained to be a chartered accountant during the day. It paid off: his family own Glen House Estates, a Grayshott property group which showed nearly £37m net assets in 2016, a rise of £10m. Mellstrom also has a 700-acre farm near Bramshott in Hampshire and restored the historic Woolhanger Estate manor house on Exmoor with 4,000 surrounding acres. In 1997 he was beaten by a local syndicate in his efforts to take over the Scottish island of Eigg. His estates are worth £25m. In addition, an industrial estate and huge cattle station in Australia and private assets take Mellstrom and his family to £70m after allowing for debt.
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88= Robert Morton
11/02/1942
Property
£70m

An inveterate investor, Jersey-based Morton left school at 16, then qualified as a chartered accountant. He teamed up with a client to go into business, and has been buying and selling companies ever since. Morton is well known in the City for his love of dog racing, having tried to buy Walthamstow Stadium in 2012. We can see stakes in four quoted companies worth £13m in all. At the height of the dotcom boom, Morton’s stakes were worth £150m. We reckon that with other stakes in unquoted companies such as Merritts Properties and Stackbourne (with over £30m net assets between them) plus various trust funds, Morton should still be worth £70m.
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88= Stewart Newton & family
31/10/1941
Finance
£70m

A chartered accountant, Stewart Newton founded his own investment management operation in 1977. Newton Investment Management was sold to the US Mellon Bank in 1998. Newton himself received some £56m for his shares and invested £12m of that back in the business. In 2000, Mellon announced it was acquiring the rest of the equity and Newton finally retired in 2002. But he is still highly active in fund management through his Real Return Group, set up in 2003. It merged a year later with Veritas Asset Management. But in 2013 Veritas was restructured again and split into two. Its Veritas Investment Management operation concentrates on private individuals and charity investors. This is where Newton works and it has over £2bn of funds under management. It made a £2.9m profit on £12.1m turnover in 2015-16. Newton has a near 16% stake there. He and his family trusts also own Sussex Research with £30.3m net assets in 2015-16. With past proceeds and the success of Veritas, Newton should still easily be worth £70m.
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88= Michael Winterbottom
23/04/1938
Industry
£70m

Started in 1968 as Hyde Tools, a five-man tool room located in a small mill in the Hyde area of Greater Manchester, Hyde Industrial Holdings is now a leading high-technology engineering group. Initially the company specialised in press tools for mains gas, electrics and gas fires. Today its markets are worldwide and diversified from aerospace to a dedicated nuclear division established in 2012 to enhance the group’s nuclear capability. In recent years Hyde also began offering automotive design engineering, pharmaceutical engineering, software development and R&D services. Hyde has been engaged with projects as diverse as the support of the Northern and Central Line upgrades to the London Underground and the fabrication of elevators for aircraft carriers. Chartered accountant Michael Winterbottom and his family trusts own around half the business. In 2015 Hyde made a £6.8m profit on £96.5m sales. It is worth its £116m net assets. Past dividends add £12m.
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93 Noel O’Callaghan & family
18/12/1949
Leisure
£68m

Noel O’Callaghan, who is from Cork, is an accountant by profession who moved into property development before becoming an hotelier. With his wife Miriam and their three sons, they each own about 20% of the four O’Callaghan Hotels in Dublin, the Tamburlaine in Cambridge, the Eliott in Gibraltar and the Annapolis in Maryland in the US. They have an extensive property portfolio and other assets including estates in Kildare and Tipperary, taking the family wealth to over £68m.
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94 Rahul Sharma & family
02/10/1958
Leisure
£65m

Best At Travel, the London-based travel company, turned in a £659,00 profit on £81.9m sales in 2015. Rahul Sharma and his wife Rita own all of the company, which started in 1986 as a bespoke travel business. In 2003 the Sharmas invested over £3m in its Bestattravel.co.uk web site. Rita Sharma had long experience in the travel industry when she launched Worldwide Journeys as an upmarket bespoke travel business in 1986. Her marketing savvy was complemented by the financial skills of her husband Rahul, a chartered accountant, who left his partnership with a London accountancy firm in 1992 to join the business. The business is still worth £30m. We add another £35m for properties and other assets, taking the husband and wife team to £65m.
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95 Paul Jeffery & family
14/12/1966
Care homes
£64m

Colchester-based Myriad Group made a £1.4m profit on £161.5m turnover in 2015-16, but it has nearly £112m net assets. The business, trading as Caring Homes, is regarded as one of the leading independent care home groups in the UK market. It was founded in 1994 by mother and son team Helena and Paul Jeffery. She is a trained nurse and is nursing director, while he runs the group utilising his background as a chartered accountant. It operates over 143 homes for the elderly or specialist disability services with 3,000 residents in total. The Jeffreys have a controlling stake worth at least £60m. Other assets take them to £64m.
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96 Satish Chatwani & family
14/03/1953
Hotels and care homes
£63m

Fairview Hotels & Healthcare showed over £48m net assets in 2015. The Chatwani family, led by Satish Chatwani, run the Ruislip-based hotel to nursing home operation. He trained as an accountant but was barred from returning to Uganda by Idi Amin in 1973. He built up an accountancy practice before moving into hotels. In 1989, he took over Copson, a quoted builders’ merchant as a shell company. In 1991 Chatwani took the company private in a £6m deal. The Chatwanis are assumed to be the owners of Fairview Hotels & Healthcare, which is worth its net assets. They also own Kanta Enterprises with £14.49m net assets. In all the family should be worth £65m.
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97= Matthew Allen
05/04/1956
Finance
£60m

After reading law at Cambridge, Matthew Allen trained as a chartered accountant with Arthur Andersen. He later worked as an international advertising executive with Saatchi & Saatchi. But he started on the road to serious wealth at PizzaExpress, the restaurant group, where he was on the board for nine years. Here he worked with financiers Luke Johnson and Hugh Osmond, who bought the chain in 1993 for £18m. Eight years later when its shares peaked, PizzaExpress was worth £701m. Though Johnson and Osmond parted company, Allen teamed up with Osmond and became a key member of his team in his Sun Capital Partners operation, buying up undervalued assets from dental surgeries to pubs and more recently life insurance companies. It is difficult to determine exactly how much Allen made from sales of pub and restaurant assets but we reckon that it should have been at least £20m. We can see stakes held by Allen in seven companies worth around £31.5m. In all Allen should easily be worth £60m.
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97= Mike Gaskell
06/08/1962
Construction
£60m

Housebuilder Morris Group began trading in the 1960s. Around 90% of the business’s developments are on brownfield sites, creating energy-efficient, well-designed homes from derelict buildings and disused land. The business completed 972 homes in 2015 – up around 10% on the previous year. The Wilmslow-based business has net assets of £80.2m and made a healthy £17.8m profit on £268m in 2015-16. Chartered accountant Mike Gaskell joined the business as finance director in 1988 and is now chief executive. With his family he owns nearly half of the £120m operation. Past dividends, previous pay and other wealth take Gaskell to at least £60m.
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97= Aidan Heavey
14/03/1953
Oil
£60m

Aidan Heavey recently stepped down as chief executive of London-based Tullow Oil to take up the chairmanship of the £2.1bn company he founded in 1985. Heavey, educated in Co. Kildare and at University College Dublin, and a trained accountant, sold his vintage car collection to fund Tullow. He built the business from virtually nothing. The massive TEN project off the coast of Ghana, which has come on-stream, is expected to boost its finances. While remaining a non-executive director of Tullow, Heavey plans to spend time on infrastructure projects and charity work in Africa, a country he has known for 30 years. Heavey has a stake worth £15m. He cashed in £24m of options in 2008, while further gains, property assets and share sales take him to £60m.
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97= Julie Mahoney & family
29/07/1956
Industry
£60m

ReadyPower provides bulldozers, dumpers and other heavy-duty machinery to the construction and railway industries. The Wokingham-based business made profits of £8.7m on sales of £27.4m in 2015-16. The firm’s assets have grown strongly to £22.1m. This sturdy balance sheet suggests the business is worth at least £72m. Accountant Julie Mahoney is the managing director and owns 52% of the operation, with other family members holding at least another 32%. She is one of the owners of Peterborough Panthers, the speedway team. We value Mahoney and family at £60m.
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