Surrey's Richest 50 2011
PUBLISHED: 17:06 05 April 2012 | UPDATED: 11:32 19 May 2014
We may be in the midst of an economic downturn, but that doesn’t seem to be having much effect on Surrey’s wealthiest residents, with most of them increasing their fortunes again this year. Here, in our annual guide, Philip Beresford, the writer of the Sunday Times Rich List, reveals the 50 richest people in the county
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2011
Illustrations by Wil Walker
With grateful thanks to our sponsors Coutts & Co, Guildford
Surrey’s rich have never had it so good. This year, the combined wealth of the 50 richest people who were born or live in the county has reached a staggering £52.7 billion in the latest Surrey Life Richest 50. This is the fourth list and that figure is way above the £7 billion figure in our last list or, indeed, in any previous lists.
The reason for this unprecedented rise is simple: Surrey is an amazingly safe and attractive place for the world’s super-rich to live. The decision by Lakshmi Mittal, the richest person in Britain, to build a new £30m eco-home near Cranleigh is proof of that. Mittal’s £17,500m fortune is added to our calculations, so pushes up the overall wealth figure. But other Russian billionaires who have homes here are also forcing up the overall figure to the point that Surrey now has seven billionaires.
In total, 11 in our list have made their fortunes in finance, reflecting the proximity to the City. One of the biggest changes has been in property and construction. When we first started as the property boom was at its height, there were 18 property or housebuilding tycoons in the list. Today, it is just nine.
But where Surrey does score is in its celebrity wealth, be it music or media. With some ten out of the 50, this is a far higher percentage than any other county, reflecting Surrey’s
Accessibility to the capital, its availability of luxury but discreet homes where they can relax, and the ability to jet off quickly from Gatwick, Heathrow or a private airstrip. There are seven music millionaires in the county, including Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones such as Sir Mick Jagger and the evergreen Sir Cliff Richard, while Sir Michael Caine represents the film world.
Interestingly, it is also a very meritocratic list. There are still no aristocrats of the old school as Surrey does not have a tradition of great landed families. Of our 50, only six actually inherited their wealth, so this is a list of Surrey’s self-made tycoons.
It’s also a male list too. There are only five women in the Surrey Life Richest 50 and most are in by virtue of being in with their husbands as a family entry. The only female entrepreneurs are Jacqueline Gold, the driving force behind the Ann Summers retail chain, and Penny Streeter who runs A24, a company supplying nursing staff for care homes.
But to qualify someone for the Surrey Life Richest 50 is no simple matter. The 50 must either work, live or have a substantial presence in the area. Their wealth is assessed on land holdings, shares in quoted or private companies and any sale proceeds from company sales. Quoted company stakes were valued in April 2011.
Private companies are generally valued at about eight to ten times their latest profit figures depending on the financial health of the operation. We have no access to detailed personal financial records such as bank accounts or the like, and therefore make no allowance for these.
SURREY'S RICHEST 50: THE LIST
So, without further ado, here we reveal Surrey’s 50 wealthiest residents…
1 Lakshmi Mittal, 60, and family
Britain’s richest man, steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal plans to build a £30m estate on 340-acres near Cranleigh that will have a ‘zero-carbon’ footprint. He wants to create a country home that is self-sufficient in energy and harnesses outdoor temperature differences to create natural air-conditioning.
Although the site of the planned mansion lies in a designated area of outstanding natural beauty, Mittal hopes to win permission for its construction through a special “knockdown” deal. While Alderbrook Park has been a country estate since the 19th century, the original manor house was demolished in the 1950s and replaced with a property that would not have been out of place on a 1960s housing estate. Mittal hopes to replace this with his state of the art eco-home and restore outbuildings left from the original mansion to create a set of buildings worthy of the estate.
Mittal made his fortune by acquiring and turning round ailing ex-state-owned steel mills around the world, first with the family business and later striking out with his own operation, before settling in London.
In all, with past dividends, and a multi-billion investment portfolio, we reckon that the Mittal family is now worth perhaps £17,500m; plenty enough to build his new house.
2 Alisher Usmanov, 57
An Uzbek-Russian tycoon, Alisher Usmanov owns the Tudor manor house Sutton Place near Guildford. Set in some 300 acres, the estate was formerly owned by the world’s one-time richest man, J Paul Getty.
Born in Soviet Uzbekistan, Usmanov made his fortune through steel and iron ore mines. More recently, he made a huge profit on a stake in the £32 billion Facebook social network site. He has also increased his investment in top football club Arsenal to over 27 per cent, worth £194m.
With the recent stock market improvements, we raise Usmanov to £12,400m.
3 Roman Abramovich, 44
Having spent close on £1 billion pursuing his dream of making Chelsea the top team in Europe, Roman Abramovich will be hoping that the Blues can finally win the Champions League next year after the disappointment of the last four seasons.
It was eight years ago that Abramovich bought Chelsea for £140m, and he spends much of his time at his plush home close to the Chelsea training ground in Stoke d’Abernon near Cobham. His own background, however, was anything but privileged.
Born in a bleak industrial town just south of the Arctic Circle, he was orphaned at three and raised by his uncle. Moving to Moscow at 14, he did his army service and then started his own business, first making cheap plastic products, later graduating to tyres.
Shrewdly, he moved into the burgeoning oil industry and teamed up with Boris Berezovsky, then the most important of the Russian tycoons. The pair bought the Sibneft oil operation in 1995 for around £120m. Berezovsky later went into exile selling his shares to Abramovich, who was left in charge of the business. In 2005, Sibneft was sold to the Russian natural gas monopoly Gazprom, and the stake held by Abramovich and his partners was worth around £7,500m.
In recent times, Abramovich has diversified his portfolio by investing in the Russian steel group Evraz and mining group Highland Gold. Abramovich and his partners have stakes in the two now worth £1,800m, up sharply on last year.
Even after a costly divorce from his former wife Irina, Abramovich also has a string of property, art and yachting assets worldwide.
With the hefty Chelsea spending and the value of his Russian holdings, we value him at the £10,600m figure in Finans magazine’s 2011 Russian rich list.
4 Pyotr Aven, 56
The head of Russia’s largest bank, Pyotr Aven was destined for the top from an early age. An astute politician and financier, he was educated at a well-regarded high school in Moscow for the city’s elite, before going on to attend the prestigious Moscow State University.
On graduating, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1989, and by 1992, he had already had a stint as minister of foreign economic relations. Then, in 1994, he joined up with Russian tycoon Mikhail Fridman who ran the Alfa Group. Aven soon became a shareholder of its Alfa-Bank, which he now runs.
Meanwhile, here in Britain, Aven also has a Surrey bolt-hole. In 2004, he bought a Wentworth house for £8.55m, demolished it and built his own fortress-style home with ‘intelligent’ electronic fencing and incorporated a bombproof shelter in the design. It also has a two-storey octagonal guardhouse by the main entrance. The whole project is rumoured to have cost him £43m.
He can certainly afford it: his fortune is put at £2,800m by Forbes magazine in its 2011 list of world billionaires.
5 Mohamed Al Fayed, 82
Four days before last May’s Europa Cup Final in Hamburg, Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed sold Harrods, the upmarket London department store, for £1.5 billion to Qatari Holdings, an investment fund of the tiny gas-rich Gulf state. Fulham lost the thrilling final to Atlético Madrid, but fans of the Cottagers will be hoping Chairman Mo will open his wallet for the London club after pocketing at least £900m from the deal after any borrowings were taken into account.
For Al Fayed, Fulham is just one of many interests. As well as his estate in Oxted, near the M25, in Scotland he is known as Mohamed of the Glen, wearing a kilt on his 65,000-acre Balnagown estate whenever he can and even making his own whisky.
Since 1999, the Al Fayed family has received £368m in dividends from Harrods. This has enabled Al Fayed to effectively bankroll Fulham. In total, he has put £165m into the club and wrote off £9.5m in 2007.
His other assets include the Ritz Hotel in Paris (bought in 1979 for just £10m), which has been mooted in the press as having a ‘for sale’ sign up with a £500m price tag.
Cautiously, we reckon these other assets will take Al Fayed to around £1,300m.
6 Mark Coombs, 51
Based in Wimbledon, the low-key Mark Coombs is the owner of specialist City investment group Ashmore, which has seen its shares soar of late and is now worth in the region of £2,400m.
The original owner, ANZ Bank, sold the business to a management team led by Coombs, one of its star bankers, for a nominal sum in 1999. He floated Ashmore on the stock market in 2006, going on to sell £192m worth of shares but retaining a stake of £1,032m.
Coombs should easily be worth £1,150m after tax and with other assets.
7 Nadhmi Auchi, 74
Owned by Nadhmi Auchi, General Mediterranean Holding (GMH) showed over £1 billion net assets at the end of 2009 when it made a £22m profit. Its business spans luxury hotels to telecom companies in the Middle East.
Born in Baghdad, Auchi established GMH in 1979 but left Iraq the following year after the Iran-Iraq war broke out, settling in Kingston where he quietly built up the business. In Britain, he also has a small property company, Tucan Investments.
Among the GMH hotels are the luxurious Le Royal hotel complexes in Beirut, Amman and Tunisia. But with political instability sweeping the region, which may impact on tourism, we cut Auchi back to £1,000m this year.
8 Boris Berezovsky, 65
RUSSIAN business tycoon Boris Berezovsky went into business in 1989 when he and two friends pooled their savings and bought a used Mercedes in Germany for $5,000. In Moscow, he sold it for three times the outlay, going on to set up the city’s first Mercedes dealership, which he built into a chain. He went on to sell the company for £350m, investing £75m in a stake in the Sibneft oil business, which he sold for £1,000m two years later.
With the rise of Putin, Berezovsky fled Russia in 2000, first for the south of France, and then London. Early in 2004, he bought the £10m Hascombe Court estate, near Godalming, from Radio 2 breakfast show host Chris Evans.
In July of last year, his former wife Galina obtained a quickie divorce and the two sides are working out a financial settlement. Even after the divorce, Berezovsky should be worth around £470m.
9 Navin, 60, & Varsha Engineer, 56
Hefty spending on research and development has led to a raft of new products from the Egham-based pharmaceuticals operation Chemidex. The company, run and owned by Navin Engineer and his wife Varsha, is making some serious profits: in 2009-10, Chemidex Pharma and another smaller but separate operation together made £9.7m profit.
Engineer, a trained pharmacist, started his chain of chemists by the simple expedient of looking for new sites that were close to doctors’ surgeries or health centres. They eventually built a chain of 14 very profitable pharmacies, which they sold in 1999 for around £12m. Rather than retire, they put the money into funding Engineer’s ambition to build a leading pharmaceutical operation.
Debt-free and with its string of patents and profitability, Chemidex should now be worth around £375m, and we add £25m for property and other assets.
10 Mark Dixon, 51
former sandwich salesman Mark Dixon formed the Chertsey-based Regus group in 1989. He plans to open 120 new business centres in 2011 taking the total to 1,200, as the recession powers a shift towards more flexible working patterns. With other assets, he is easily worth £390m after tax.
11 David Gold, 74, & family
Media and football
As the co-owner of West Ham, David Gold, who lives in Caterham, will be delighted that the club is destined to move to the Olympic stadium in Stratford.
Having sold Birmingham City and stood down as chairman in 2009, he went on to buy a 50 per cent stake in West Ham, along with his business partner David Sullivan, last year. They then extended that to 61.5 per cent. The takeover valued the Hammers at £105m. The pair plan to increase their stake to 82 per cent at the end of the season and invest up to £40m in the club.
Gold spent 16 years at Birmingham and made around £20m from selling his stake to the new Chinese owner.
He also owns the Croydon-based Gold Group International, which has interests ranging from property to the Ann Summers company, the latter being run by his high profile daughter, Jacqueline Gold. The business is worth at least £150m.
Other asset sales, such as Gold Air International and Sport Newspapers plus property, take the Golds to around £340m.
12 Zac, 36, & Lady Annabel Goldsmith, 77
Politics and finance
At the May 2010 election, Zac Goldsmith, son of Lady Annabel and the late Sir James Goldsmith, was elected as Tory MP for Richmond Park, where he grew up and still lives now.
Sir James Goldsmith died in 1997 and his fortune was then reckoned to have been at least £1.2 billion. We reckon Lady Annabel and her family should have received at least £300m.
Zac has little of real wealth revealed in his declaration of members’ interests in the House of Commons, which include shareholdings in Fitzdares Holdings, a bespoke bookmaker, and an ecology website called Ecosystems Ltd, plus a partnership in a film.
We put him and his mother here as representing the family and stick at £300m.
13 Surinder Arora, 52, & family
Based in Wentworth, Surinder Arora has made his name as a top hotelier with hotels around airports. His luxury hotel, the Sofitel at Heathrow Terminal Five, is particularly well regarded and has won awards.
Having started out as an office junior at BA, while also moonlighting as a hotel waiter, he later went on to become a salesman at Abbey National, rising to become branch manager. In what spare time was left, he pushed the family savings into property, eventually developing a row of houses opposite Heathrow into large-scale bed-and-breakfast accommodation. From that emerged his first hotel and a deal with BA to accommodate its air crews. He never looked back.
In 2009-10, Arora Holdings, his family firm, showed over £171m net assets. Overseas assets and property take the Arora family to £249m.
14 Andrew Wates, 70, & family
The Leatherhead-based construction group Wates saw its profits rise smartly to £43.5m on £895.3m sales in 2010. Owned by the Wates family, it should be worth at least £180m.The head of the family, Andrew Wates, retired from the chairmanship in 2006. Other assets sales and past dividends keep the Wates family at £220m.
15 Peter Harrison, 74, & family
Based in Reigate, Peter Harrison is best known for his involvement in Britain’s challenge for the 2003 America’s Cup, yachting’s top prize. He also spent around £26.5m of his own money on the British GBR Challenge for the 2007 trophy, but a lack of sponsorship meant it had to be put on ice.
An accountant by trade, Harrison worked in British industry in the 1970s before buying Chernikeeff, a small computer-network-integration company in 1979 for the princely sum of £133,000. Twenty years later, Harrison sold 49.9 per cent of the Chernikeeff equity to a South African multinational for around £100m, and the rest to his South African partner for £200m a year later.
He is a generous supporter of charities through his Peter Harrison Foundation, which has assets of £40m. Rising share prices on his investments push him to around £200m.
16 Sir Mick Jagger, 67
After the exertions of the two-year Bigger Bang tour, which ended in August 2007, the Rolling Stones have been recuperating of late. There is no word yet whether the band will go on the road again, but it will be difficult to beat the £390m gross box office receipts achieved on that tour. In all, the Stones have generated £1.8 billion in receipts from touring since 1989.
On the recording front, the band signed a new exclusive long-term deal with Universal Records in 2008. The re-packaging of old hits such as Exile on Main Street, their 1972 hit that topped the UK charts and was No 2 in the US in 2010, seems to be the way forward for the Stones.
Based in Richmond, Sir Mick Jagger, the Stones’ frontman, has considerable wealth. Despite the absence of any accounts for the Rolling Stones, past royalty earnings, his property and investment portfolio, song rights and the touring income give him a £190m fortune. Our rock expert will raise him further when the Stones mount one final tour.
17 Ron Dennis, 64
The chairman of Woking-based McLaren Automotive, Ron Dennis recently launched the company’s new MP4-12C supercar. McLaren has spent £780m on the vehicle, which will be a rival to Ferrari. Full production at their space age base started this year with the car now on sale in Europe.
Brought up in Woking, Dennis left school at 16 to become an apprentice mechanic and went on to chaperone some of F1’s greatest drivers to ten championships and the McLaren team to over 138 Grand Prix triumphs.
Having stepped down as team principal in 2009, today he has a 21 per cent stake in the business. With McLaren worth around £750m on the back of £68m profit and £292m sales in 2009, that values Dennis’s stake at around £157m. Other assets add another £20m.
18 Theo Paphitis, 51
Born in Cyprus, Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis has lived in Surrey for over 25 years, first in Carshalton before moving to Oxshott, Cobham and finally Weybridge.
His family came to Britain when he was a child and his first job after leaving school at 16 was helping make the tea at a Lloyd’s insurer. But working for others didn’t suit Paphitis and so, aged 23, he set up in property finance with a friend.
Eventually, bored with that, he started to specialise in turning round companies in trouble, reviving stricken brands such as Ryman, the stationer, and the Contessa lingerie chain as well as La Senza.
The latter was sold in 2004, netting Paphitis around £100m for his stake. He still owns a majority stake in the Ryman stationery chain and controls Partners The Stationers. Ryman made £4.6m profit on £123.4m sales in 2009-10. With £36.4m net assets and a solid balance sheet, it is worth £70m.
In addition, Paphitis has recently launched Boux Avenue, another lingerie range. With his commercial property interests, he is easily worth £170m.
19 Johnny, 65, & Patrick Byrne, 62
Run by Irish brothers Johnny and Patrick Byrne, Teddington-based builders, the Byrne Group, posted £10.1m profit on £287.7m sales in 2009-10.
Founded in 1969, the company specialises in giant concrete structures and is working on the Shard of Glass office building at London Bridge and the media building at the Olympic site in London.
Adding some of the £9.3m directors’ pay to the bottom line pushes the profit to nearly £19m and justifies a £130m valuation on the company even today.
The Byrne family collected around £100m in salaries and dividends from 1995 to 2010. Adding £35m for this, after spending and tax, takes the Byrne family to £165m.
=20 Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, 61, & family
Croudace Homes saw its 2010 profits rise smartly from £1.5m to £5.4m. The Caterham-based company has over £77.3m net assets.
Now run by Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, the business was previously run by his father, the late Jack Brotherton-Ratcliffe, who died in 2009. During the war, he served in the RAF with distinction, later joining the business as a partner and buying it out entirely in 1950.
The family also owns the Croudace Properties Group and Maybrook Properties, which showed over £66m net assets between them in 2010. We value the three businesses at £138m. Other assets take the family to £150m after tax.
20= Peter Wood, 64
Peter Wood has been the leading innovator in insurance since he launched the Direct Line business in 1985 with £25m backing from the Royal Bank of Scotland. He quit in 1997 having made over £50m.
He went on to start five other insurance operations including the Reigate-based esure, famed for its ‘calm down, dear’ advertisements and the pink Sheilas’ Wheels girls, which became the fastest-growing female financial brand ever.
In early 2010, Wood led a management buy-out that took over the 70 per cent of esure he didn’t own from former joint venture partners HBOS/Lloyd Banking Group for £185m backed by private equity money. esure also has a 49 per cent stake in online site Gocompare, which could be worth up to £200m.
Outside the world of insurance, Wood has a £6m stake in Hornby, the model train maker.
With a stock market float for esure now mooted within the next three years, Wood should be worth at least £150m.
22 Sir Ray Tindle, 84
The Farnham-based Tindle Press Holdings saw its profits fall to £3.3m on nearly £43m sales in 2009-10. But it has a healthy balance sheet, no borrowings and £62.1m net assets.
Sir Ray Tindle began his career on various Surrey newspapers before starting his first title, The Tooting & Balham Gazette, in the 1960s. Today, his 225 local titles range from the South London Press to the Cornish & Devon Post.
Tindle Press Holdings is worth perhaps £120m in the current climate. Other assets take Tindle to £145m.
23 John Dunsdon, 59, & family
THE Esher-based property company Coldunell made £6.5m profit on £10.2m sales in 2009-10, while its net assets hit £114.3m.
Run by John Dunsdon, and owned by his family and trusts, the business was founded by his father in 1959.
We value the company on its net assets, adding £30m to the family for other assets.
24 Dr Philip, 74, & Patricia Brown, 72
A former Daily Express science reporter, Philip Brown launched PJB Publications in 1976. The Richmond-based operation provided market research publications for the bioscience industries.
In 2003, Brown and his wife Patricia sold the business in a £150m deal. They had dividends totalling £48m from 1994 to 2003.
The Browns tend to keep a low profile but have a portfolio of ten businesses covering property and publishing with over £50m of net assets in 2009-10.
After tax and allowing for reinvestment of sale proceeds, today they should be worth £132m.
25 Eric Clapton, 66
ERIC Clapton’s Marshbrook company made a £1m loss on nearly £10m turnover in 2009-10, but that was after paying Slowhand £3.9m in salary. This was down on the previous year when he took an £11.7m salary.
In the last 20 years, his earnings have totalled £138m. He shows no signs of slowing down either, with 34 concerts in America and Europe in 2010 and a new album that did much better world-wide than in the UK.
The former art student, who completed a one-year foundation course at Kingston College of Art in 1962, has racked up 15 Grammy awards in his long career with the Yardbirds and Cream, and latterly as a solo singer.
With his other assets, his back catalogue and the touring income to come, not to mention his home in the Surrey Hills, Clapton should be worth £125m.
26 The Goodliffe family
Owned by the Goodliffe family, Sanderstead-based company OCS began life in 1900 as the New Century Window and General Cleaning Company, when a Frederick Goodliffe set off with a ladder and pail to clean the windows of Holborn in central London.
Today, the business claims to be the largest privately owned property services company in Britain. In 2009-10, it made a £10.6m profit on £688.7m sales and has nearly £97m of net assets.
We value the company at £115m in the current climate, and add £5m for other assets and past dividends to the Goodliffe family.
27 Henry Lumley, 80, & family
The Bagshot-based investment and property group Lumleys.net is Henry Lumley’s latest business.
Originally, he made his name in the insurance market as chairman of Edward Lumley Holdings, which was sold in 2003 for £133m.
We can see £3.2m net assets at Lumleys.net in 2008-09 and value the Lumley family at £112m after tax.
28 Tony Pidgley, 63
The chairman of Cobham-based housebuilders Berkeley, which is valued at just over £1.2 billion, Tony Pidgley made his reputation in the early 1990s when he sold his land bank at the top of the market, and cherry-picked the best sites back for a fraction of their price as recession struck then. Today, his stake in the business is worth £66m, and share sales etc take him to £110m.
=29 Roger Waters, 68
Born in Leatherhead, ex-Pink Floyd member Roger Waters launched a worldwide solo tour in September last year to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their hit The Wall.
The first part comprised 56 dates in America through late 2010 with another 60 in Europe planned for the first half of this year. Pollstar reported gross box office receipts of $90m from the shows in the States.
Waters had also had three years of frenetic touring, particularly in 2006 and 2007 when his concerts grossed over $150m.
One of the founder members of Pink Floyd, the guitarist and vocalist left the band in the mid-1980s after an acrimonious dispute, though the group did reform for the one-off Live 8 concert in July 2005. However, any hopes that they might be tempted by a reported £150m payday to get back together again were dashed with the death of keyboard player Rick Wright in 2008.
Today, Waters still commands huge royalties and an income stream from the 200 million albums sold by Pink Floyd over the years.
On the commercial front, he renewed his publishing deal in 2010 for the administration both of his songs for the Floyd and his solo career with Warner/Chappell. His two firms, Roger Waters Music UK and Roger Waters Overseas, had £35m sales between 1988 and 1996. His company Roger Waters Music Overseas paid him £24.9m in 2000, though it only files limited accounts now as does Roger Waters Music UK.
The frantic touring and the new deal, along with his £6m home in London and a £1m Hampshire estate, mean that we can raise Waters to £105m this year.
=29 Robert, 48, & Patrick Wilson, 46
Brothers Robert and Patrick Wilson own Nelsons, a manufacturer of natural medicines founded in 1860. Today, it is well known for its Rescue Remedy stress relief brand and Bach Original Flower remedies.
The parent company, Wimbledon-based Nelson & Russell Holdings, made a £11.6m profit on £42.6m sales in 2009. On these figures, we value the company at a conservative £100m.
Other assets etc. take the Wilson family to £105m.
=31 Angus Ball, 47
the Dorking-based company Binomial is a fast-growing car insurance group. Trading as Sabre, it is headed by its co-founders Angus Ball and Keith Morris (see above right) who each have a 50 per cent stake.
In 2010, Binomial saw its profits hit £25.4m on £156.9m sales. That should value the company at perhaps £150m. The stakes held by Ball and Morris are worth £75m apiece. Past salaries and dividends add £20m each.
=31 Keith Morris, 57
Keith Morris owns half of the Dorking-based car insurance group Binomial (see Angus Ball). His stake is worth £75m, and past salaries etc add £20m.
33 Grahame Chilton, 52
Based in the Horley area, Grahame Chilton had a windfall in August 2008 when the London-based Benfield insurance group was taken over by Aon, the American insurer, for £738m. Chilton became vice-chairman of Aon after the deal and also collected around £77m for his stake. After tax and with other assets, Chilton is worth £93m.
34 Simon, 50, & Paul Upward, 48
Brothers Simon and Paul Upward run and own the Croydon-based property company, Ocobase. Its profits hit £4.8m on £6.5m sales in 2010-11. It is worth its £76m net assets. We add another £10m for other assets to the Upwards.
=35 Brian May, 63
Hampton-born Brian May, the guitarist with Queen, is now a visiting researcher in astrophysics at London’s elite Imperial College, after completing his PhD on Interplanetary Dust in 2007.
Rather better known for his guitar riffs, May began his career with the group Smile before joining Queen in 1970. Like the other band members, he has enjoyed an influx of wealth as the group’s popularity continued to soar even after the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1991. May also shared in the band’s past success, with 100m records sold over the years.
In the last six years, May’s company, Duck Productions, paid him £13m in total. Meanwhile, Queen Productions, the band’s company, saw its turnover rise sharply to £40.5m in 2009. Queen’s record deal with EMI ended in 2010 and the group has now signed with Polygram outside the US market. The continuing popularity of the Queen stage show, We Will Rock You, also helps provide a steady income. The new Polygram deal allows us to raise May to £85m.
=35 David Gilmour, 65
It is David Gilmour’s son Charlie who has been in the news of late, accused of various offences during the student riots in London last December. Gilmour himself has had a quiet year, but the word is that he will not tour again as part of Pink Floyd, even for a reputed £150m.
His two companies, David Gilmour Music and David Gilmour Overseas, paid him a total of £36m from 1988 to 1999. The two companies showed £5.7m net assets between them in 2009-10.
Gilmour is clearly not short of a bob or two: he gave the £3.6m proceeds of his London house sale to charity but still has homes in Sussex and Greece. He also owns a houseboat, which is moored on the River Thames near Hampton Court, that he transformed into a recording studio. The majority of the two most recent Pink Floyd albums, as well as Gilmour’s 2006 solo release, On an Island, were recorded there.
A deal on digital royalties agreed with EMI in January will benefit all the former Pink Floyd members. Based on that, we raise Gilmour to £85m this year.
=35 Sir Terence Conran, 79, & family
Design and food
Kingston-born Sir Terence Conran is back to what he does best: design and catering. He has a new contract to design furniture for M&S and, in 2008, returned to the restaurant business by opening Boundary in Shoreditch, East London, and later Lutyens in Fleet Street.
Following a spell in the 1980s running the Storehouse retailing empire, which included the Habitat chain he started back in 1964, Conran opened his first London restaurant in 1991. He went on to sell nearly half of the operation to the management for £24m in 2006, valuing the whole at £48m. Meanwhile, his family company Conran Holdings cut its losses in 2009-10 to just £806,000, but its net assets halved to £12m.
Taking that into account, we cut the Conran family back to £85m this year.
=35 Christopher Hohn, 44
The son of a mechanic, Christopher Hohn grew up in Addlestone and learnt about hedge funds working on Wall Street. He later went on to launch his own hedge fund, The Children’s Investment Fund, backed by 25 investors including Yale University.
Known for his generous donations to charity, in 2008 he gave almost £500m to the foundation run by his wife, Jamie Cooper-Hohn, that benefits projects across Africa and the developing world.
In 2009-10, the hedge fund saw its profits fall sharply to £97.5m on a £116m turnover, but despite this, Hohn has continued to make his huge charitable donations. He is easily worth £85m but would have been a billionaire if he was not so generous.
39 Tony Brown, 74, & family
Britain’s leading manufacturer of steel office furniture, Bisley Office Equipment was started by Tony Brown’s father in 1931 to repair bodywork on cars. In 2009-10, the Bisley-based company made a £378,000 profit on £65.3m sales but it is worth its near £64m net assets. We add £13m for other assets to the Brown family.
40 Penny Streeter, 43, & family
Penny Streeter runs A24, a Sutton-based operation supplying nursing staff for care homes. Streeter and her family own all of the £60m business, which made £12.4m profit on £70.4m sales in 2008-09. Past salaries and dividends add £10m.
=41 Paul Gemski, 53
Claiming to have developed petrol as far back as the 1870s, Leatherhead-based Carless Petrochem is a leading European refiner and supplier of speciality hydrocarbons, fuels and chemical solvents. The company is also the official supplier of fuel to both the British GT and British Formula 3 International Championships.
In 2004, the management team led by chief executive Paul Gemski took over the company in a buyout backed by private equity firm 3i. In early 2008, it was reported that the management were looking to sell the business for £100m. It has yet to happen and in 2009 profits soared to £19.8m on £233m sales.
On these figures, we value the company at around £110m for now. That values Gemski’s stake at £60m.
=41 Ronald, 74, & Peter Goldstein, 71
The Kingston-based Goldstein brothers started the chemist chain Superdrug in South West London in 1966 and floated it on the stock market in 1983. Four years later, it was sold to the quoted Kingfisher retailing giant. The Goldsteins stayed with the company and had a large Kingfisher stake. We assume they must have sold their shares over the years and should have netted at least £70m for them. The Goldsteins now have several small property companies and should be worth £60m easily.
43 Mark Hunter, 48
The founder of the Egham-based Axon Group, when Mark Hunter sold the company for £440m in 2008, he received a near £48m windfall.
Having grown up in Belfast, he set up Axon Solutions, a software consultancy, in 1994, before floating it on the stock market in 1999. Hunter sold £3.5m worth of shares at the float while further sales before the takeover netted nearly £28m.
Now running Richmond-based building company Petersham Farm, in all he should easily be worth £52m after tax.
=44 Sir Cliff Richard, 70
He may have celebrated his 70th birthday in October, but Sir Cliff Richard shows no sign of slowing down yet. Indeed, he marked the occasion with six birthday concerts at the Royal Albert Hall. At the same time, he released a new studio album, Bold as Brass, of swing and jazz classics recorded in Nashville with a 17-piece band.
This year, meanwhile, he is set to tour with some of Motown’s greatest living artists and will release an album called Soulicious.
Based on the exclusive Wentworth Estate, Richard also has a house in Barbados to supplement his Portuguese set-up where he recently opened a commercial vineyard producing Vina Nova wine.
His company Balladeer paid out some £12m in salaries between 1999 and 2005, virtually all going to Richard. Since then, it has only published abbreviated accounts showing £2.8m net assets in 2009-10. However, as he has never written his owns songs, Richard has missed out on this lucrative income stream. That said, the royalties from his 250 million record sales over the course of his long career (with more than 150 singles, albums and EPs that have reached the top 20 in Britain) will easily give him wealth of around £50m.
=44 Sir Michael Caine, 78
Often seen out and about in his hometown of Leatherhead, Oscar winning actor Sir Michael Caine still supports the town’s drama festival every year, usually presenting the awards on the final night, and is now a patron of the local theatre.
At 78, Caine has appeared in over 50 films that have grossed over $3.8 billion at the box office worldwide. His latest role is as the voice for Lord Redbrick in the Disney animation Gnomeo and Juliet. He also had a role in the 2010 blockbuster Inception, which grossed over $830m.
Born in South London to a Billingsgate fish porter and charlady, as Maurice Micklewhite, Caine was an evacuee during the war. After national service in Korea, he went on stage and TV before landing a starring role in Zulu in 1963. But it was as Alfie and later as Harry Palmer in the spy films that he made his name.
Aside from films, he has extensive business interests and earns £5m annually according to a survey of celebrity high earners in OK! magazine. “It’s a pension for me if it works,” Caine said of his 2004 casting as the butler Alfred in two Batman films, which grossed $1.3 billion between them. His past property deals and the like should take Caine to £50m.
46 Nicholas Vetch, 50
The chairman of the Bagshot-based Big Yellow Group, Nicholas Vetch was originally a chartered surveyor and went on to become chief executive of Edge Properties, a quoted property company that was sold for £142m to rival Grantchester in 1998. Vetch made around £5.7m for his stake.
He then went on to co-found the Big Yellow Group, which came to the stock market in 2000. He has a £28.4m stake and since 2005 has made around £31m from share sales and option gains.
In all, he must be worth in the region of £48m with other assets and allowing for tax.
=47 Chris Ingram, 68, & family
local Woking lad Chris Ingram has created enough wealth to build up an extensive sculpture collection over the years, including works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Elisabeth Frink, among others. A well-known name in the town today, a number of items from his collection are on loan to the town’s art gallery and museum, The Lightbox, and some are also on show this year at Guildford Cathedral to mark their 50th anniversary.
Having left school at 16 with no qualifications, Ingram went on to become a messenger in an advertising agency. Within ten years, he was a director of a London agency, and in 1976 started his own operation, Chris Ingram Associates. It grew rapidly and floated on the stock market in 1989. A media buying agency, it was later re-named the Tempus Group, and in 2001 was taken over by Sir Martin Sorrell’s WPP, netting Ingram nearly £63m. In 2003, he launched the Ingram Partnership with an initial investment reckoned to be £10m, but it closed in 2007.
Ingram has a £245,000 stake in Vitesse Media, a quoted online media group, and has made a hefty investment at Woking Town Football Club. In all, he should be worth £45m after tax.
=47 Alan Spence, 64
Having sold his Britannic Travel business in 2003 for £45m to the Australian group, Flight Centre, Alan Spence stayed in charge of the New Malden-based operation until early 2008. He helped the group, which specialises in business travel, to a record £8.3m profit on £29.6m sales in 2006-07.
He started out in business selling candyfloss at Chessington Zoo, before graduating to work as a shipping agent in the City. At the age of 19, he started his own company, Britannic Shipping Services. Ten years later, in 1976, he moved into the travel business after selling his freight firm.
Spence owned all of Britannic Travel and with £16.4m in dividends and salaries between 1997 and 2002 is easily worth £45m after tax in the current difficult climate. He has now returned to his roots running Regal Freight Solutions, a small freight operation based in Surbiton.
=49 Kenneth Green, 66, & family
Having spent his entire career in the perfumery and cosmetics industry, Kenneth Green founded his own fragrance and distribution company in 1990. Since then, Kenneth Green Associates has become one of the largest specialist distribution companies in the world, and one of the 100 best companies to work for in the UK, according to a recent Sunday Times survey. We value the Weybridge-based operation at around £32m. The family also owns the separate Classic Beaute operation worth around £6m. Past dividends and salaries should take the Green family to £42m.
50 Pete Townshend, 66
Guitarist and songwriter for The Who, Pete Townshend recently played with the band at the 2010 Superbowl final in America to one of the largest television audiences of their career.
It is difficult to know how much he has earned historically from his great works for The Who, as his private UK companies have always filed abbreviated accounts. However, we know that Eel Pie Recording Productions and Eel Pie Publishing had around £4.7m of net assets between them in 2008-09. He also has at least £6m of housing assets. This year, we keep Richmond-based Townshend at £40m.