Surrey's richest 50 2009: No's 20 to 11

PUBLISHED: 17:08 05 April 2012 | UPDATED: 16:07 20 February 2013

Surrey's richest 50 in Surrey Life magazine

Surrey's richest 50 in Surrey Life magazine

Not surprisingly, it hasn't been the greatest year for Surrey's millionaires, with many of them losing a sizeable chunk of their fortunes - but, put it this way, we don't need to worry for their welfare just yet... Here, for the third time, we bri...

Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2009

Not surprisingly, it hasn't been the greatest year for Surrey's millionaires, with many of them losing a sizeable chunk of their fortunes - but, put it this way, we don't need to worry for their welfare just yet... Here, for the third time, we bring you our annual guide to the wealthiest people in the county, compiled by the writer of the Sunday Times Rich List, PHILIP BERESFORD

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20 Ron Dennis, 61
87m (last year 110m)

Ron Dennis may have stepped down as team principal of McLaren, but he is not leaving the sport, simply stepping up to become chairman and chief executive of the Woking-based operation. He certainly finishes on a high with driver Lewis Hamilton crowned as world champion at the end of the 2008 season.

In his new capacity, Dennis plans to shift his focus to building the McLaren Group, which includes divisions devoted to luxury car manufacturing, electronics and applied technology. He has big plans to begin volume production of luxury cars and float that business. A 250m investment will fund that expansion.

We value the McLaren business as a whole at around 450m. That would put Dennis's 15 per cent stake at about 67.5m. Past share sales, property and other assets take him to perhaps 87m.

19 Andrew Wates, 68, & family
115m (last year 170m)

Andrew Wates retired from the chairmanship of Leatherhead-based construction group Wates in 2006, though the family still owns all the shares.

Founded in 1897, the Wates Group works on some prestigious projects - none more so than the redevelopment of the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. In 2007, the company made 37.6m profit on nearly 949m sales.

On the back of these results, but bearing in mind the current property slump, we reckon that the Wates Group should be worth 90m.

Including their various other assets, we estimate that the Wates family is worth around 115m.

17= Peter Wood, 62
120m (last year 150m)

The founder of Reigate-based motor insurer, esure, famed for its TV adverts starring Michael Winner, Peter Wood is regarded as the leading innovator in insurance.

After launching Direct Line in 1985, with 25m backing from RBS, he quit in 1997 having made over 50m and started esure in 2000.

Given the success of esure, in which he has a 24 per cent stake, and its Sheila's Wheels brand, it should easily be worth 400m. That values Wood's stake at near 100m.
He also has a 3.8m stake in model train maker Hornby, as well as two Surrey restaurants, The Dining Room in Reigate and POST in Banstead, which he co-owns with celebrity chef Tony Tobin.

With his houses around the world, Wood should easily be worth 120m.

17= Eric Clapton, 64
120m (last year 140m)

Regarded as one of the world's greatest guitarists, Eric Clapton has certainly achieved longevity.

The former art student, who completed a one-year foundation art course in 1962 at Kingston College of Art, has collected a total of 15 Grammy awards during his long career with the Yardbirds and Cream, and latterly as a solo artist.

Last year was a relatively calm one for the Surrey Hills-based star compared to a frantic 2007. In February, he under-took a handful of gigs with Steve Winwood in New York, followed by a 27-date tour starting in North America in May then leading into some major shows in Europe between June and August. Pollstar, the research group, reported a box office gross of $21.4m from 12 North American shows to 183,000 people.

Since 1989, he has collected over 110m in salaries from his Marshbrook company. However, in 2007-08, it went from a 2.4m profit to a 671,000 loss on sales, which crashed from 24m to 4m. Also, Clapton only took a 1.5m salary against 12m in the previous year.

With his other assets, including a 9m yacht, Va Bene, previously owned by F1 racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone, his back catalogue and touring income, he should now be worth 120m.

16 Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, 59, & family
125m (last year 208m)

The planned 100m sale of Caterham-based housebuilder Croudace Homes was abandoned in May 2008 following the collapse in the housing market.

Run by the Brotherton-Ratcliffe family, they have three main companies: Croudace Homes Group, Croudace Properties Group and Maybrook Properties. Between them, the three made around 34.5m profit in 2007 when they showed nearly 199m net assets.

In view of the failed sale and the current depressed market, we value them at around 110m. Other assets, including 35m of dividends from 1993-05, take the family to 125m.

14= John Dunsdon, 57
130m (last year 180m)

Esher-based property company Coldunell saw its profits fall slightly in 2007-08, dropping from 6m to 5.8m on sales actually up from 10.1m to 11.5m. However, its net assets continued to grow, from 150.4m to 155.6m.

Now regarded as one of the shrewdest operators in the property auction market, the business is run by John Dunsdon and owned by his family and trusts.
Dunsdon had a surveying background but learned more from his property dealer father, who founded Coldunell in 1959.

Today, we value the company below its net assets at 100m in today's climate, adding 30m for other assets.

14= Dr Philip Brown, 72, & Patricia Brown, 70
130m (last year 150m)

Possibly the richest ex-journalist in Britain, Dr Philip Brown started out as the science reporter on the Daily Express.
It was in 1976 that he launched the Richmond-based PJB, providing market research and financial information for the bioscience industries through publications such as Scrip and Clinica. Then, in 2003, Brown and his wife Patricia sold their PJB magazine empire in a 150m deal.

They still have a number of directorships in the publishing and pharmaceutical and property sectors today. The two largest are Warren House Conference Centre in Kingston upon Thames and SG Court in Richmond, with over 27.6m net assets between them. In all, we value the Browns at around 130m.

13 Surinder Arora, 50, & family
140m (last year 225m)

The owner of the biggest family-run hotel chain in Britain, Wentworth-based Surinder Arora has been busy extending his empire of late.

As well as developing a 180m hotel and convention centre at Heathrow's T5, last year he bought 40m of assets near Gatwick airport from BAA and Morley's Airport Property Partnership. That was in addition to the 265m of assets he had already purchased from them.

We reckon that in the current climate, the family parent company, Arora Holdings, owned by Arora, his wife Sunita and family trusts, should be worth 130m. Other assets and property take the Arora family to 140m.

11= Sir Ray Tindle, 82
145m (last year 225m)

Bucking the industry trend, Sir Ray Tindle's media group performed very well in 2007-08. Despite the onset of the credit crunch, Farnham-based Tindle Press Holdings saw its profits hit a record 8.6m on 46.4m sales.

A newspaper man through and through, he began his career in the media as a 'dogsbody' on various Surrey papers and started his first title, the Tooting & Balham Gazette, in the 1960s. Nowadays, he has 225 local papers.

In the current climate, Tindle Press Holdings is worth perhaps 120m. Other assets take him to about 145m.

11= Theo Paphitis, 49
145m (last year 135m)

Best-known as a judge on the TV show Dragons' Den, Theo Paphitis has lived with his family in Surrey for over 25 years - initially in Carshalton before moving to Oxshott, then Cobham and finally to Weybridge.

He first made a name for himself when at the age of 23 he set up in property finance with a friend.

Eventually, he started to specialise in turning around companies in trouble, reviving stricken brands such as Ryman, the stationer, and the Contessa and La Senza lingerie chains. He still owns a majority stake in Ryman and controls Partners The Stationer.

The Ryman Group made over 5m profit on 115.7m sales in 2007-08. With 30.5m net assets and a solid balance sheet, it is worth 60m. Until July 2006, he also controlled La Senza, but it was sold to a private equity house for an undisclosed sum - though it could have been up to 100m. He kept a minority stake in La Senza but we value his proceeds at around 80m.

He also owns the gift experience company Red Letter Days with his Dragons' Den colleague Peter Jones and has commercial properties all around the UK.

Football is another business dear to his heart: for eight years, he was chairman of Millwall, taking it out of administration and into the FA Cup Final. He is also a director of local football club Walton and Hersham.

Overall, we reckon Paphitis should be worth around 145m.

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