News
5 Sep 2014 09:41am

Accountancy Rich List: 10-1

Who will take top spot? The top ten revealed

10

David Bromilow 19/09/1942
Media
£650m

Bromilow has one British directorships: Donnington Castle Conferences, with £1.1m net assets in 2012-13. A shrewd entrepreneur and former accountant, Bromilow teamed up with private equity companies in 2003 to take over Survey Sampling, a US based information group. The £51m deal would have been small change for Bromilow, who made around £600m from the sale of his stake in the Adidas sports goods company in 1995 and 1997. Three years later he made a further £150m from the sale of his MediMedia publishing business. He stayed on the Adidas board until 2004. In all Bromilow, based in Thailand, should still be worth £650m after-tax and spending.

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9

John Reece 07/03/1957
Industry
£700m

An ex-Pricewaterhouse Coopers accountant, Reece joined chemicals giant Ineos as finance director in 2000. Ineos is based in Switzerland and Reece, who hails from the north of England, has a 20% stake in its controlling company Ineos Capital. Ineos should be worth around £6 billion on the back of £1.7 billion profit on £27.5 billion sales in 2012. His stake and other assets should take Reece to perhaps £700m.

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8

David Ross 10/07/1965
Mobile phones
£892m

On graduation from Nottingham University, David Ross joined Arthur Andersen and became a chartered accountant. He gave up his job as an accountant in 1989 to co-found the Carphone Warehouse mobile phone retailer with schoolfriend Sir Charles Dunstone. It floated on the stock market in 2000 and demerged its TalkTalk telecoms and broadband operation in 2010. Carphone Warehouse recently announced plans to merge with rival Dixons. Ross's combined stake is now worth £562m. He had a £192m property portfolio held by his Kandahar Real Estate business, but large chunks were sold off in 2011 to pare down debts. His portfolio is now worth around £105m. But losses here are offset by private equity gains, hefty Carphone dividends and Ross is now be worth £892m.

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7

Jasminder Singh 02/04/1951 & Family
Hotels
£896m

Singh's Edwardian Group turned in an exceptional £22.3m loss in 2013 after its borrowings were re-organised to take advantage of lower interest rates. Operating profits came in at £28.1m on nearly £164m sales.. The group has a franchise agreement with US-based Radisson Hotels World-wide to run its British properties under the Radisson Edwardian banner. It now has 13 luxury four and five-star hotels. The group has planning permission to turn a site adjacent to its Leicester Square hotel into a largely hotel development with cinema and restaurants. Singh arrived in Britain from Nairobi in 1970, planning a career as an accountant. He qualified as an ACCA in 1974 and later went into hotels with an uncle. In 1979, he bought his uncle out and Edwardian was born. With Edwardian's net assets rising to nearly £884m, we value the company at this figure adding £12m for other assets.

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6

Paul Coulson 28/04/1952
Industry
£960m

A Trinity College Dublin business graduate, Paul Coulson, known as "the Cooler," qualified as an accountant with Price Waterhouse. When he left Price Waterhouse he took a partnership in an accounting practice - Bates Coulson. About a year later he had an idea for a new business and left to set up the Yeoman finance company with the backing of a wealthy American then living in Cork, Eric Heckett. After a difficult time in the early 1990s, Yeoman recovered and in 1998 Coulson took over running Ardagh Glass, then a small glass bottle maker. He built it into one of the world's largest metal and glass packaging manufacturers, with 100 plants in 25 countries and 18,000 employees. His 36% stake is valued at around £900m while other assets and past salaries etc. should take him to £960m.

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5

Sir Brian Souter 05/05/1954 & Ann Gloag 10/12/1942
Transport
£1,000m

Bus and rail group Stagecoach reported a profits of £105.6m for the six months to last October helped by a 40% rise in operating profit at its North American division, which includes yellow school bus services and Megabus coaches. This has perked up the share price at the Perth-based group, now worth over £2.24 billion. That will have pleased Souter and Gloag, the brother and sister team who launched the company as a bus operator in the early 1980s and floated it on the stock market in 1993. Souter, who worked as a Glasgow bus conductor, trained as an ICA accountant. He chairs the group while Gloag, a former nurse, remains a shareholder. The family stake in Stagecoach is now worth £582m while special dividends - on top of normal payouts - have garnered the pair over £320m since 2004. But Souter and Gloag have also been developing a range of outside investments. Souter has Souter Investments, which as a £700m portfolio, including his stake in Stagecoach. But he is reckoned made more than £100m from three major deals alone - the sale of a stake in yacht maker Sunseeker International, the flotation of insurance group Esure and the sale of Motherwell-based Argent Energy. The past Stagecoach dividends and property investments take the pair to £1000m.

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4

Denise Coates 26/09/1967 & Family
Online gaming
£1,200m

While still in school, Denise Coates worked for her father, Peter, as a cashier crunching numbers in his betting shops. She finished school, trained as an accountant and then took over some of those shops, turning around their fortunes before selling them off to large bookmaker Coral for around £40m. Assessing the lay of the land after the deal with Coral, she noticed the success of online gambling businesses around the time of the dot-com boom and steered her family in that direction. She bought the domain Bet365.com in 2000 and launched the website in March 2001 after being shunned by traditional venture capitalists. Potteries-based Bet365 turned in a £148.3m profit on £993.4m sales in 2012-13. Denise Coates was awarded a CBE in the New Year Honours List in recognition of the company's success. Her brother John is the other joint chief executive. Bet365 currently employs over 2100 staff locally. Their father, Peter, chairs Stoke City, the local premiership football club. A miner's son, he founded a catering company, Stadia Catering in 1968, which provided food and drink at football clubs, later moving into the betting shops. Bet365 is worth at least £1000m and we add £200m to the Coates family for other assets.

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3

Farhad Moshiri 18/05/1955
Industry
£1,700m

Iranian-born Moshiri is a leading shareholder in Arsenal, the premiership football club. With Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov, he has a near 30% stake. That is now worth £285m. Moshiri, who trained as an accountant and worked for Deloitte & Touche, first met Usmanov in 1989 and has served as his financial adviser ever since then as well as partaking in Usmanov investments. Moshiri has a 10% stake in a new parent company - USM Holdings - for certain of Usmanov's assets, including a stake in Metalloinvest, a Russian metals operation. He has done well from the stock market flotation of Russian mobile phone company OAO Megafon, now valued at over £11.2 billion. Now based in Monaco, Moshiri is valued at £1.7 billion in the Forbes 2014 list of world billionaires.

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2

Alan Parker 31/03/1939
Retailing
£2,340m

The Parker family's Oak Foundation helps humanitarian projects in Africa and has also backed Greenpeace in its battle against the exploitation of the Canadian tar sands. A British-born accountant Parker worked for Hong Kong-based Duty Free Shoppers where he became the third largest shareholder. Its 1997 takeover by the LVMH luxury goods operation netted Parker around £464m for his 20% stake. Parker, who is now based in Geneva, was given an honorary doctorate in 2006 by an American university in recognition of his generosity. With other assets and after his charitable giving worth over $100m a year, we agree with Bilan, the Swiss magazine, which put Parker's fortune at £2,340m in its 2013 Swiss rich list.

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1

Peter Hargreaves 05/10/1946
Finance
£2,390m

Known as a plain speaking Lancastrian, Hargreaves stepped down from the role of chief executive at Bristol-based financial adviser Hargreaves Lansdown in 2010. But he remains on the board of the business which is now worth £6.98bn after a recent share price recovery following budget changes to pensions. A chartered accountant by training, Hargreaves worked for blue chip companies before launching Hargreaves Lansdown in 1981. The Bristol-based financial adviser floated on the stock market in 2007. Hargreaves retains a £2,245m stake in the business. Past share sales and dividends take Hargreaves to £2,390m.

Philip Beresford

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