Surrey’s most influential business people: Movers and Shakers 2013
PUBLISHED: 12:04 02 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:04 02 July 2013
In recent months, team Surrey Life has been busy speaking to our contributors and industry experts from around the county to get a feel for just who makes Surrey tick
Mohamed Al Fayed
Having become quite the local campaigner in recent years, Mohamed Al Fayed’s latest battle from his Oxted estate sees him joining neighbours in opposing plans to build 140 new houses on Green Belt land nearby. Following hot on the heels of his fights against quarrying and oil drilling in the area, the 84-year-old has become increasingly involved in local life since selling Harrods in 2010 for £1.5billion to Quatar Holdings. Today, Al Fayed remains as chairman of Fulham, the mid-table premiership club, and his other assets, including the Paris Ritz Hotel and a Scottish estate.
West Ham chairman David Gold, who lives in Caterham, also owns Gold Group International, which has interests ranging from property to the Ann Summers company, run by his daughter Jacqueline. West Ham’s move to the Olympic stadium will thrill Gold, 76, who has a long history at the top in football. Locally, he opens his garden at The Chalet every year to raise money for the National Gardens Scheme.
Born in Cyprus, Theo Paphitis has lived in Surrey for many years, first in Carshalton before moving to Oxshott, then Cobham and finally Weybridge. Having begun his career as a tea boy at a Lloyds insurer, the 53-year-old made his mark turning around ailing companies, including the stationer Ryman and the La Senza lingerie chain. He left the BBC’s Dragons’ Den TV series earlier this year after buying the Robert Dyas chain.
Keep on moving
Of course, any such list is subjective and many more could have featured within these pages. Get in touch with your Movers & Shakers, the people who influence how we all live in Surrey, on facebook.com/SurreyLife and twitter.com/SurreyLife and maybe you’ll see them included next time round!