Accountancy Rich List 2017
Philip Beresford 7 Sep 2017 12:24pm

Rich List: 25 to 11

A look at who just missed out on the top 10

11 Eugene Shvidler

Eugene Shvidler is a childhood friend of Roman Abramovich and has been at the oligarch’s side as the pair have both become hugely wealthy. Their latest success has been the London-listed steel and mining company Evraz. Shvidler is a director and owns 3.09% of the business. The shares have more than tripled over the past year and the company is now worth £3.43bn – valuing his stake at £105m. Shvidler spent two years at a leading accountancy practice in New York before returning to his native Russia in 1994. He co-founded the oil trading outfit Runicom in the early 1990s with Abramovich. They took control of Russian oil company Sibneft in 1995 via the Millhouse Capital operation and 10 years later, oil giant Gazprom took over the Millhouse stake for £6.6bn. In 2003 Shvidler advised Abramovich on the purchase of Chelsea, the Premier League football club. Shvidler also has stakes in Highland Gold Mining and AFC Energy worth nearly £75m – together up at least £20m on last year. Abramovich gave him one of his yachts, Le Grand Bleu, in 2006. Other Shvidler investments include Moscow real estate and a French vineyard. The soaring share prices alone justify a raise to £1.068bn this year.

12 Jasminder Singh & family

“Edward” is a pretty nifty member of staff at Singh’s Edwardian Group. Edward is in fact an artificially intelligent service designed to deliver exceptional experiences for guests who prefer digital brand interaction. Available at 12 Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotels, including Heathrow and the Vanderbilt in South Kensington in London, the new Interactive Text Response (ITR) mobile SMS service will allow guests to check and request hotel amenities – such as towels or room service, information about local bars and restaurants and even express complaints – simply by sending a text message. Edward will respond within a few seconds. It is this sort of clever thinking that justifies Jasminder Singh’s decision to forgo a career as an accountant. Having arrived from Nairobi in 1970, he qualified as an ACCA in 1974. But instead of totting up figures, he went into the hotel trade with an uncle. He bought out his uncle in 1979 and his Edwardian Group was born. It now has a range of luxury four- and five-star hotels in London and Manchester. The Edwardian Group turned in a record £32.1m profit in 2015, a rise of 162% on the previous year. With its net assets rising to nearly £920m, we value the company at around £1.02 billion, adding £40m for other assets of the Singh family.

13= Robert, Baron Edmiston
Property/car sales

With a £6,000 redundancy cheque, Robert Edmiston has created a £1bn business empire. He began his career as a bank clerk, later training as an accountant. When he joined Jensen Motors he rose quickly through the ranks to become finance director. However, the business slipped into bankruptcy and with his payoff he set up International Motors, which acquired the franchise for Subaru and Isuzu cars. Lord Edmiston is chairman of the Birmingham-based business, with his son Andrew serving as managing director of the firm since 2000. IM Group made profits of £149.8m on £571m sales in 2015. There are assets of £646.7m and this comfortably puts a value of £1bn on IM Group. Since 1998 Edmiston has had £79m in salaries from IM Group, but he has given more than £120m to charity. He was made a Life Peer in 2011, but retired from the Lords in 2015. A strong supporter of Brexit, his IM Group put £850,000 into the Vote Leave campaign. We value him at £1.02bn. A founder of the charity Christian Vision, he is reportedly Britain’s first overtly Christian billionaire.

13= Michael O’Leary

Michael O’Leary, once one of Europe’s most outspoken bosses, has mellowed in recent times. And it has been good for his bank balance. The boss of budget airline giant Ryanair has become a billionaire on the back of rising passenger numbers which hit 117m last year and a surge in the share price that values Ryanair at over £19bn now. The surge follows Ryanair’s rebranding as a more customer-friendly carrier alongside an expansion of routes – O’Leary even suggested in November that flights could be free within 10 years, with airlines getting a share of the money spent at airport restaurants, cafes and shops. O’Leary grew up on a farm in southern Ireland, the eldest of five children. In 1979 he began a four-year Bachelor in the Economic and Social Studies programme at Trinity College Dublin. He graduated from Trinity and then worked as a trainee with Stokes Kennedy Crowley (later KPMG), studying the Irish tax system. He left after two years in 1985, setting up profitable newsagents in Walkinstown and Terenure, Dublin. While at Stokes Kennedy Crowley, O’Leary met Tony Ryan, head of GPA (Guinness Peat Aviation, a leasing company). Ryan was one of the firm’s clients and O’Leary advised Ryan on his personal income tax affairs. In 1987, he then hired O’Leary as his personal financial and tax advisor, where Ryan’s main interest was in GPA. Ryanair was established around this time and originally followed a traditional business model, but quickly began to lose money. Subsequently O’Leary was sent to the US to study the novel Southwest Airlines business model. O’Leary was deputy chief executive of Ryanair between 1991 and 1994. He was promoted to chief executive and has never looked back. It listed on the Dublin and Nasdaq stock exchanges in 1997. O’Leary’s stake is now worth £830m (up £207m since our last list). Share options and share sales add at least £205m. He and his wife Anita, a former Dublin banker, live in a Georgian mansion in his native Westmeath where he breeds prize cattle on his 900-acre farm. He is one of the nation’s biggest National Hunt racehorse owners and bought the 210-acre Plantation Stud in Newmarket in 2014. O’Leary has around £20m in other assets, including from the sale of his first business, a chain of Dublin newsagents. He has warned that Brexit could lead to a suspension of UK flights in 2019 if deals were not made, and accused the British government of “lunatic optimism” and a “Dad’s Army” approach – proof that his sharp tongue has not been entirely stilled. We value him at £1.02bn after tax.

15 Manfred Gorvy & family

South African-born accountant Manfred Gorvy founded Hanover Acceptances in 1974. The London-based group’s interests range from property and venture capital to African agricultural business and Refresco Gerber – Europe’s leading bottler of soft drink and fruit juices. Gorvey paid for the renovation of the lecture theatre at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The venue now takes the names of Gorvy and his wife. Hanover’s adjusted net assets rose sharply to £814m in 2015 when its profits also hit a record £191m. We value the company on the net assets, adding another £40m for other assets and past dividends to the Gorvy family.

16 Sir Brian Souter & family

Sir Brian Souter is backing a private equity takeover of a construction recruiter in the UK, anticipating a boom in house building as the government desperately seeks to ramp up numbers. His investment company, Souter Investments, also recently invested substantial sums in an upmarket Edinburgh residential property company. But Souter is best known for starting the Perth-based Stagecoach bus and train operator with his sister Ann Gloag in the early 1980s. Souter, who worked as a Glasgow bus conductor, later trained as an accountant. He chairs Stagecoach, which floated on the stock market in 1993 while Gloag, a former nurse, remains a shareholder. The family stake in Stagecoach has fallen sharply to £278m following problems with its East Coast rail franchise. But special dividends – on top of normal payouts – have garnered the pair over £320m since 2004. The siblings also hold much of their transport investments in a company called HGT Investments, showing £149m net assets in 2015-16. They are splitting this and putting the assets into their respective investment operations. Souter’s own Souter Investments, has grown sharply and its 2016 review noted it had invested over £250m in unquoted companies over the last eight years with over £200m invested in its current private equity portfolio. Three deals made Souter over £100m. But after 2016 dividends of £16m, we clip the pair back by £80m, dropping them to £840m.

17 Sir Chris Hohn

Profits at Sir Chris Hohn’s TCI Funding Holdings – with more than £8bn of assets under management – rose to £259.1m in 2015-16. A separate company in the group shows a member of the company was paid $196.7m in 2015-16. This was reportedly Hohn. Hohn, the son of a Jamaican-born car mechanic, gained 13 O-Levels. He later attended the University of Southampton from which he graduated in 1988 with a first-class honours in accounting and business economics. While at Southampton, a tutor advised him to apply for Harvard Business School, where he completed the Master of Business Administration course. He graduated in 1993 as a Baker Scholar, meaning he was among the top 5% of all graduates. He later worked in private equity and in 1996 joined a Wall Street hedge fund, making £75m in earnings. He launched TCI in 1993 and was knighted in 2014 for services to philanthropy and international development. A High Court judgement in 2014 obliged him to pay his ex-wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn £337m. Taking account of tax and spending, we put Hohn at £820m.

18 Sir Donald Gordon & family

The popularity of Britain’s top retail centres was recently revealed when the Church Commissioners of England put its remaining 10% stake in the Gateshead Metrocentre up for sale with a £125m price tag. Intu Properties acquired a 90% stake in the centre from the Church Commissioners in 1995 for £364m, so it is now four times more valuable. Intu is one of two property companies to have emerged from the entrepreneurial work of South African Sir Donald Gordon. Trained as a chartered accountant with what is now Grant Thornton, Gordon started a South African life assurance operation in 1957. He sold up in 1999 to focus on his growing British property business. Now based in London, his main operation, Liberty International, split in 2010 into Intu Properties and Capital & Counties Properties. Intu’s shares have rocketed recently after the giant Westfield group increased its stake, igniting takeover hopes in the City. Still the Gordon family stake in both has been clipped back this year by around £55m to £692m on continued worries over the health of the retail sector. South African share sales and other assets add around £150m to the Gordon family, we reckon. Hefty charitable donations such as £10m to the Royal Opera House and a further £10m to the Wales Millennium Centre take the Gordon family down to £800m.

19 Peter Harris & family

Every year more than four million families visit a Butlins, Warner Leisure or other holiday destination owned by Bourne Leisure. The Hemel Hempstead-based business was co-founded by accountant Peter Harris back in 1964. Profits rose to a record £134.1m on sales of £951.4m in 2015. The company’s assets grew to almost £300m. We still value the business at £1.1bn and the Harris family stake at £400m. Dividends of £50m were paid last year, on top of more than £100m in the two previous years. He and his family own more than 60% of £300m spread-betting operation Spreadex, which has paid out more than £50m of dividends in the past three years. A successful horse owner and trainer, he has substantial racing assets. Taking account of strong dividends, past salaries, tax and other interests we now value Harris at £680m.

20= David Bromilow

David Bromilow made around £600m from selling his stake in the sports company adidas back in the mid-90s. Since then the former accountant has worked with a private equity group on a number of deals, including the £51m takeover of Survey Sampling, a US-based information group, and the £150m sale of his MediMedia publishing business. Bromilow, who lives in a lakeside villa in Thailand, should still be worth £650m after tax and spending.

20= David Ross
Mobile phones and telecom network

David Ross voted for Brexit, and the Carphone Warehouse tycoon’s insights into why the poorer parts of England crossed the Leave box give pause for thought. Communities that his foundation schools work with have been hollowed out by austerity, forgotten by Westminster and ignored by business. Little wonder they registered a protest vote. Ross who comes from a wealthy fishing family in Grimsby, graduated with a BA in law from the University of Nottingham and worked at Arthur Andersen from 1988, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1991. He had become friends with Charles (now Sir Charles) Dunstone at Uppingham, the top public school. Dunstone launched the Carphone Warehouse mobile phone chain in 1989 and Ross joined him two years later as finance director. He later became chief operating officer but has since reduced his role. Carphone Warehouse floated on the stock market in 2000, demerged its TalkTalk telecoms and broadband operation in 2010 and finally merged with Dixons to form Dixons Carphone in 2014. Ross’s combined stakes in the two are now worth £364m – down nearly £150m over a year. But dividends – including around £20m in the past year – a £105m property portfolio and other investments should take him to £650m. He plans to build Britain’s first new opera house for more than a decade at his 14th century Leicestershire mansion.

22 Lance Uggla

A Canadian bond trader, Lance Uggla started up financial data provider Markit Group at his then Hertfordshire home in 2001. He had studied business at Simon Fraser University, received a master’s degree in accounting and finance from the LSE and landed at Wood Gundy (later CIBC World Markets) in 1986, rising to head of global sales and trading. In 1995, he crossed the street to TD Securities, where he was responsible for all the foreign debt capital markets business. Markit, now London-based, floated on New York’s Nasdaq in 2014 valued at £2.8bn. In March 2016 Markit announced plans to merge with rival US financial data group HIS to create a £9bn giant based in London. The shares have had a good run since the tie-up and we raise Uggla to £630m this year. Arsenal-supporting Uggla has built a sizeable collection of 20th century art and become a patron of both the Young Vic theatre and the Tate. One of his daughters stars in Made in Chelsea, the scripted reality show about monied young Londoners. Uggla will take over as chief executive in 2018, when the current CEO retires.

23 Alastair Salvesen & family
Transport and plant hire

Aggreko, the Glasgow-based plant hire and temporary power supply group, has had a tough ride on the stock market in the last year and is now worth £2.6bn. Aggreko was acquired in 1984 by the Christian Salvesen distribution company and later demerged and floated on the stock market. The Salvesen family still has a 20% stake worth £460m – a fall of £68m on last year. In 2007 Christian Salvesen itself was taken over in a £254m deal by the French giant Norbert Dentressangle. The family, represented here by Alastair, made around £60m. The Salvesens also own Dawnfresh, one of the UK’s largest suppliers of seafood and fish – which showed £30.5m of assets in 2016. This Lanarkshire-based operation is the UK’s biggest trout supplier and has contracts with a number of major supermarkets. Allowing for the falling share price, tax, Aggreko dividends and other businesses, the family should be worth £532m after tax. Alastair Salvesen, a long-standing member of the Royal Company of Archers (the Queen’s bodyguard in Scotland) is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland. He attended Fettes College and is deputy chairman of the Fettes Trust, which raises money for the Scottish private school and its students.

24 Ramesh Sachdev & family
Care homes

Borehamwood-based Life Style Care has been built up by Ramesh Sachdev, a care home veteran and accountant by training. His wife Pratibha started the homes in 1987. He sold two businesses for around £275m in total but kept the Life Style name and rebuilt the portfolio. Sale proceeds and other family interests including an Indian hotel and blue chip properties in central London take the Sachdevs to £418m. Charity donations by the Sachdevs total £4m in the last few years.

25= Sir Martyn Arbib & family

Sir Martyn Arbib was born in London and educated at Felsted School in Essex, where he acquired the nickname Snurge. After training as a chartered accountant he went off to Australia before setting up Perpetual as an independent fund-management group in 1974. He made a virtue of having its headquarters in Henley-on-Thames, well away from the feverish atmosphere of the City. When he sold to Amvescap, the Anglo-American fund manager in 2000, Perpetual was worth £1.05bn. Arbib took £113m in cash and shares in Amvescap worth around £300m. He stepped down from the board in 2015. With previous share sales and other assets, the Arbib family should still be worth £350m. A racehorse enthusiast, he owns the filly Star Rider. His thoroughbred Snurge won the St Leger in 1990. Last year he sold Four Winds, his six-bedroom Barbados beach mansion, for $35m – well below the $55m initially touted.

25= Patrick McKenna

An accountant and former partner at the ripe old age of 28 with Deloitte & Touche – where he headed its media and entertainment group – Patrick McKenna later ran Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group until he started his Soho-based Ingenious Media operation in 1998. It invested in Hollywood blockbuster movie Avatar, making about £123m. Its more recent film successes include Pride, Suffragette and High Rise. McKenna’s Ingenious Asset Management operation was sold to Tilney BestInvest in early 2016 for around £43.4m. McKenna had a 90% stake. In 2015-16 his main Ingenious operations made a combined profit on (of?) £1.6m. With past salaries and dividends, McKenna should be worth £350m.