27 Matt Moulding
Former Arthur Andersen accountant Matt Moulding had no experience of internet retailing when he set up The Hut back in 2004. “I remortgaged everything and went for it,” he has said. Some investors with deep pockets – including ex-Tesco boss Sir Terry Leahy and former M&S chief executive Lord Stuart Rose – have also helped. The Hut sells everything from clothes and homeware to toys and DVDs. It also owns the retailers Zavvi and I Want One of Those. A 20% stake was sold to an American private equity operation that valued the Cheshire-based operation at £500m in 2015. Further fundraising will have raised its value after a strong sales display in 2015. Profits rose to £15.2m on sales of £333.5m in 2015. The company is now looking to float in 2017, with a price tag of £1.5bn mooted. Moulding has a 23% stake, which should be worth at least £345m.
28 Sir Rocco Forte & family
The son of the late Lord Forte, Sir Rocco Forte was educated at Downside School. He later read modern languages at Pembroke College, Oxford, where he won a Blue for fencing. He qualified as a chartered accountant in 1969, later becoming a Fellow of ICAEW in 1979. He took over from his father as CEO of the Forte Group in 1992. In the mid-1990s, the Forte Group was faced with a hostile takeover bid from Gerry Robinson’s Granada. Ultimately, Granada succeeded with a £3.87bn tender offer in 1995 that left the family with around £350m in cash. Forte set up his own Rocco Forte hotel operation after the takeover. Today it owns some of the world’s best-known hotels, including Brown’s in London, The Balmoral in Edinburgh and Hotel Astoria in St Petersburg. Last year the Brexit-backing hotelier unveiled a first site in Saudi Arabia, the Assila. He has more openings planned for Italy and other parts of Europe. Profits at His Rocco Forte Hotels jumped to £8m on £172.8m sales in 2015-16. Assets grew by £5m to £137.3m. Back in 2014 an Italian sovereign wealth fund paid £60m for a 23% stake – valuing the business at more than £260m. After a strong year and more developments on the way, the Forte family should now be worth £340m after tax and reinvestment.
29 Will Roseff
Bookmaking is in Will Roseff’s blood. He is said to love standing behind the betting shop counter enjoy the banter and has an instinctive sense for how punters feel. His family founded the Bradford-on-Avon based bookies Blackhouse Bet in 1921. The group now has 16 shops and assets of around £1.6m. But Roseff’s real fortune came when he invested £1m in the online betting group Bet365, working with the Coates family to make the venture the huge success it is today. In 2015-16, Bet365’s profits surged to £459.6m, valuing the business at £4.5bn. Roseff, who sits on the board, has a 6.6% stake worth £297m. Other assets including over £25m of dividends since 2009 and a £4.5m stake in Helios, a London-based underwriter. This takes him to £315m after-tax.
30 Sir John Beckwith & family
City veteran Sir John Beckwith recently celebrated his 70th birthday and still hasn’t lost the entrepreneurial bug. In November 2016 he set up a new fund manager. Pacific Asset Management launched with $250m, poaching staff from HSBC and Deutsche Bank. Sir John, a chartered accountant by training, and his brother Peter sold their London and Edinburgh Trust property group to a Swedish group in 1990, netting £80m. Since then Peter has become a leading shareholder in the Ambassador’s Theatre Group, which was sold in 2013 for around £250m to a private equity group. He has also invested in property. Sir John has been investing in hedge funds, making £33m from the 2010 sale of the Thames River Capital into which he had put £3m. We can see around £50m of net assets in various Beckwith companies. They own an £7.8m holding in River and Mercantile Group, the quoted fund management group. We see another £1.2m holding in a quoted real estate investment trust. The brothers have also invested in sports-related businesses and sold them on at a profit of at least £50m. In all the Beckwith family should be worth at least £302m
31 Sir Angus Grossart & family
A former barrister and chartered accountant, Sir Angus Grossart started his working life selling toffee from a market stall in Glasgow’s Barrowland. Now Edinburgh’s leading banker, he co-founded the Noble Grossart bank in 1969. Though his original partner, Ian Noble, has left, Grossart continues at the helm and his daughter Flure joined the board in March 2016 as a non-executive director. He owns at least 85.6% of Noble Grossart with his family and trusts. Noble Grossart has seen its profits rise to £35.8m and its assets increase to £237.3m. It should be worth £300m, valuing the Grossart family stake at £238.5m. Other assets including a £3.5m stake in Independent Investment Trust, plus past salaries/dividends take the Grossart family to perhaps £285m.
32 Sir Michael Bibby & family
Liverpool-based Bibby Group saw it 2015 revenues fall 15% to £1.45bn while profits also fell to £29.5m as the 204-year-old group faced a challenging time in its offshore oil and gas markets. But with a strong balance sheet and £298m net assets, the group can weather the storm. Its diversified portfolio includes retailing through the Costcutter chain and financial service. Sir Michael Bibby became the sixth generation to head the business after becoming MD in 2000. He graduated from Oxford in 1984 and joined Coopers & Lybrand in London where he later qualified as a chartered accountant. He then spent several years at Unilever as a project accountant where he was involved in a number of acquisitions, disposals and joint venture projects. The Bibby family’s 89% stake is now worth £250m. Other assets add £20m.
33= Assem Allam & family
Egyptian-born Assem Allam left Nasser’s Egypt back in 1968. After studying economics at the University of Hull he became an accountant, later buying the firm that had taken him on. However, he made his fortune from Allam Marine, a manufacturer of generators. Across the north today he is probably best known as the owner of Hull City. Relegation at the end of the 2014-15 season to the Championship pushed Hull into a £20m loss on turnover down sharply to £41.9m. But the club fought its way back to the top flight for the 2016-17 season. It was a brief stay and relegation followed at the end of 2016-17. The club is reported to be up for sale with four groups battling for control and the price tag having risen sharply from £80m to £120m. Allam’s various interests are held in Allamhouse, which saw its profits halve to £9.4m in 2015. With the new value on the football club, Allam and his family should be worth £250m.
33= Michael Gooch
Essex-born Mickey Gooch trained as an accountant. He first became interested in the world of foreign exchange trading while chatting to some currency dealers in a local pub. He soon left for New York where he worked for a number of blue chip American financial institutions. It was only when he was made redundant from the broker Refco in 1987 that he set up Wall Street brokerage GFI, specialising in government bond options. He floated the business in 2005 and stayed as chief executive until 2013. It was recently taken over, netting the Gooch family around £185m. Other Gooch family assets add around £65m.
33= Aziz Tayub & family
Where the South Africa billionaire Christo Wiese failed, Aziz Tayub and his brother Rashid have succeeded. The Leicester-based brothers took control of Poundstretcher back in 2007 after Wiese failed to make a success of the business. The pair invested £50m on revamping the chain. Today the business employs 6,000 people and has 400 stores. Last year profits at the discount retailer came in at to £2.4m on sales of £429.5m – down slightly on last year. The brothers’ two main parent companies showed net assets of £214m last year. Taking account of assets we still value the family, represented here by Aziz, an accountant and member of ICAEW, at £250m.
36 Norman Springford & family
Norman Springford worked for the Inland Revenue before becoming a partner in an accountancy practice. In 1991, he left to concentrate on his commercial interests mainly in the leisure and hospitality fields. Today he runs and owns Apex Hotels, which has hotels in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee. Profits more than doubled to £10.3m in 2015-16 and it has £188.9m assets. We now value the business at £220m, adding another £10m for dividends and other wealth. Other assets add £5m. Springford has teamed up with Queen Margaret University to fund a scholarship programme to support students developing skills for the hospitality industry. Ian Springford, Norman’s son, has an architectural practice that provides designs for the hotel group.
37 Duncan Sinclair & family
Established by brothers Frank and Irvine Sinclair in 1937, low-key London property operation Mountview Estates pushed up its profits to £48.4m in 2015-16. The Southgate-based business floated in 1980 and is now run by accountant Duncan Sinclair. The Sinclair family own 53% of the company, now worth around £213m. Dividends and other assets add £20m.
38 Keith Bradshaw & family
Keith Bradshaw was appointed High Sheriff of the West Midlands in 2016. The post means the entrepreneur is the Queen’s judicial representative in the area. Aston-born Bradshaw, who trained as an accountant, returned from West Africa in the 1970s with some savings and co-founded the Takare nursing home operation in 1979. Ten years later, Takare floated on the stock market. After a merger, it became part of the Care First group, which in turn was taken over by Bupa in 1997 in a £273m deal that valued Bradshaw’s stake at £21m. Bradshaw also helped set up the car dealership Listers of Coventry, which made £21.5m profit in 2015-16 as turnover approached a record £1.1bn. His family own half of this £250m business, which has had a stunning year. Aside from his motor interests, Bradshaw has a flourishing musical instrument distributor, and a large property portfolio held by his property company Nurton Developments. There are also £28m net assets in various Bradshaw operations and property outside Listers, taking the family to £215m.
39 The Duke of Richmond and Gordon & family
Land, property and art
The Goodwood Estate Company made a £2.8m profit on a record £86.7m turnover in 2015, when its net assets came in at £178.8m. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon succeeded his father to the title in 1992. His father said to him; “What do you think you are going to do? You are very good at maths. I think you ought to consider going into chartered accountancy.” The Duke did six years of work in a chartered accountants in London and became an FCA. Later on, he worked in a large industrial company in the Midlands. The entrepreneurial Earl of March, heir to the Duke, has done wonders at the 12,000-acre West Sussex estate. The annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, a three-day summer event featuring historic motor racing, has proved so popular attendances have had to be capped at 150,000 per day. With rising land and art values allied to the Goodwood brand, the family asset wealth should now be £210m easily.
40= Sir Peter Harrison & family
After leaving school at 16 Sir Peter Harrison qualified as a chartered accountant in 1959 and joined the Crest Nicholson Group in 1971. Eight years later he bought Chernikeeff, an ailing marine computer network integration company for the princely sum of £133,000. Twenty years later, Harrison sold the business, in two tranches, for £300m. He is a generous supporter of charities through his Peter Harrison Foundation and the Peter Harrison Heritage Foundation, with £49m net assets between them. The main foundation has given more than £39m away in over 16 years, while the heritage foundation recently found £200,000 to restore a Fairey Swordfish biplane. A keen sailor, he once sponsored and led a British challenge to the America’s Cup. This pushes Harrison, a vice president of Chelsea FC, up to £205m.
40= Stephen Martin & family
Hull-based Arco is the UK’s leading supplier of safety clothing and equipment. Founded in 1884, the business is largely owned by the Martin family. Brothers Tom and Stephen were the third generation to take the reins at the company, which now has 40 outlets and employs 500 staff. Tom graduated from Cambridge University, where he rowed for the Goldie boat. He joined the family firm at the age of 23 after completing his National Service in the Royal Navy, serving as chairman for 24 years now. He is now president of the business and remains on the board. His younger brother Steven also went to Cambridge. He trained as an accountant and served as Arco’s finance director. Profits surged to £32.5m on £281m sales in 2015-16. It should be worth £200m. Other assets add £5m.
40= Mayank Patel
The son of a Zambian-based businessman who had left Uganda to escape the Amin terror, Mayank Patel was sent to Britain to study. He worked briefly for a firm of accountants before getting a job in 1991, at the age of 23, with a derivatives-trading firm in the City. He loved it, staying in derivatives for another four years. By the age of 28, though, Patel decided he wanted to run a business of his own. He started London-based Currencies Direct in 1996. The currency and international payments group was sold for more than £200m to a private equity company in August 2015. Founder Patel had a 63% stake and retains a significant minority interest. Other assets include investments in the recruitment industry, a property portfolio spanning Dubai, Mallorca and India and a £9m 15-acre Buckinghamshire estate. In all Patel is worth £205m. He received an OBE in 2011 for services to the finance industry and entrepreneurship.
40= Robert Slowe & family
Robert Slowe is one of two cousins who are directors of J. Leon, a London-based property operation now in its fourth generation. High street shops in prime locations make up three-quarters of the group’s property portfolio. J. Leon also has a portfolio of central London residential properties and farmland in the Candover Valley, Hampshire. There is also a residential development in the Sussex town of Chichester and ZeroC’s Olympic sailing village at Portland. In 2015-16, the business made a £3.7m loss, but we value it on the £197.2m net asset figure. We add another £8m for a steady run of dividends and other wealth to the Slowes. Robert Slowe is a chartered accountant by training.
44 Charles Wigoder
A veteran of the telecom sector, Charles Wigoder qualified as a chartered accountant with KPMG in 1984 and was subsequently employed by Kleinwort Securities as an investment analyst in the media and communication sector. He set up Cellular Communications in 1988, later selling the renamed Peoples Phone to Vodafone in 1996 for £77m. But Wigoder was too young to retire and immediately started up again with Telecom Plus, using many of his old team from Peoples Phone. Based in north London, Telecom Plus has evolved from a telecom operator into a multi-utility company with a market cap of £934m. Wigoder is executive chairman and holds a 19.97% stake, now worth £184m. A £6.8m share sale in 2003, plus dividends and other assets should take him to £200m after-tax.
45 Jim Flavin
A Blackrock College boy, Jim Flavin started his career as a clerk in Ireland’s old National Bank. He qualified as a chartered accountant, and by the mid 1970s was running Allied Combined Trust (ACT), the venture capital arm of Allied Irish Bank. There he developed the skills he needed to start his own venture capital firm, Development Capital Corporation (DCC), in 1976. Dublin-based DCC, a £5.9bn London-listed holding company, provides sales, marketing, and distribution services primarily to Irish and British companies in the health care, energy, information technology, and the food and beverage industries. Flavin resigned from the company over alleged insider trading involving DCC’s stake in Fyffes, the fruit importer, but was subsequently cleared. The value of his 3% stake has risen to £177mm over the past year. Past dividends, large salaries and bond dealing take Flavin to £193m.
46 Tony Bramall & family
Bramall is in his sixth decade as one of the biggest names of Britain’s car dealership world. After qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1960, he worked in a Sheffield finance company for two years. But in 1963 he joined his father’s Sheffield-based car dealer. Today he is running his third such venture, after selling the first two and collecting around £120m for his family stakes. Bramall then spent £56m in 2006 acquiring a stake in the quoted Lookers dealership. That stake is now worth £73m. Bramall sold shares worth £15.5m in March 2015. There are also two family companies, Bramall Properties and Winterquay, with more than £60m net assets in 2015. Bramall and his wife run a charitable trust that funds medical research and has helped people suffering from disabilities or other serious health conditions. Taking account of dividends, tax and other assets, the Bramall family should be worth £190m after tax.
47 George Burnett & family
Surrey-based Ashtead Group hires out plant and equipment to construction companies. George Burnett, a Scottish accountant by training, retired in 2006 after building the group into an international player with a strong US operation. He and his wife have a stake in the business worth at least £80m – a rise of at least £30m over the past year. Other assets should take him to £185m.
48 Tony Fernandes
A US consortium is currently on the lookout to buy a London football club and Tony Fernandes will be in their sights. The Malaysian entrepreneur spent £35m acquiring a stake in Queens Park Rangers FC back in 2011. Educated at Epsom College and the LSE, Fernandes worked for Virgin Atlantic as an auditor, subsequently becoming the financial controller for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Records in London from 1987 to 1989. A member of ICAEW, he was also admitted as Associate Member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in 1991 and became Fellow Member in 1996. Upon his return to Malaysia, he became the youngest managing director of Warner Music. In 2001, he took over AirAsia, the heavily-indebted airline. Fernandes quickly turned it round and floated it in 2004. It suffered a crash in December 2014 when an AirAsia Indonesia plane carrying 162 people went into the Java Sea after trying to avoid a storm. He won high marks for his handling of the disaster, responding quickly and keeping the public and his one million Twitter followers well informed. He has launched other airlines and an insurer. AirAsia shares took flight again in 2016 and the business is now worth £1.6bn. Fernandes’ wealth is put at £184m in Forbes 2016 Malaysian rich list. Fernandes once bet Sir Richard Branson that his Formula 1 team would beat the Virgin tycoon’s drivers in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The pair agreed that the owner of the losing team would don an air stewardess uniform and serve drinks on the other’s airline. Branson lost and duly obliged – complete with lipstick and high heels while chatting up some of Fernandes’ passengers.
49= Kevin Coyle & family
A chartered accountant, Kevin Coyle is one of Britain’s leading recruitment consultants and has several profitable companies including Coyle Personnel and Mayday Healthcare based in Harrow. Mayday Healthcare was founded in 2003 to provide round-the clock emergency medical staff for prisons. Prisons still account for a third of the company’s business. Its other clients include Harley Street hospitals and NHS trusts that need staff in a hurry. Coyle provided the funding for the company and he owns a 99% stake. His five main businesses made a total of £27.3m profit on £223m sales in 2015. They should be worth £170m. Other assets add £10m.
Mayday Healthcare had a tough year.
49= Jeremy Peace
After 14 years in charge at West Bromwich Albion, Jeremy Peace sold his 88% stake to a Chinese businessman for around £175m in 2016. This was a better than expected price for the Premier League club, which made profits of £4.9m on sales of £98.3m in 2015-16. Peace worked in the City as the chairman and the chief executive of a photographic and video company called Quadrant Group. He was also one of the early investors in the UK telecommunications market back in the 1980s. Peace’s father died when he was 16 and studying at Shrewsbury School. After completing his A-levels he headed straight for a diverse career in the City, working as an accountant, stockbroker and investment banker in the 1970s and 1980s. Taking account of tax and other assets, Peace should be worth at least £180m.