Surrey's Richest 50 2010 - 40 to 31
PUBLISHED: 17:07 05 April 2012 | UPDATED: 03:45 06 February 2013
It may have been a tough year for the economy, but that doesn't seem to have had much of an effect on Surrey's millionaires
Originally published in Surrey Life magazine June 2010
It may have been a tough year for the economy, but that doesnt seem to have had much of an effect on Surreys millionaires in fact, many of them have even increased their fortunes. Here, we bring you our annual guide to the wealthiest people in the county, compiled by Philip Beresford, the writer of the Sunday Times Rich List
With grateful thanks to our sponsors Coutts & Co in Guildford and Paul James Jewellers in Oxted
Mark Hunter, 47
50m (last year 40m)
the Egham-based Axon Group was sold in late 2008 to an Indian company, HCL technologies, for 440m. This resulted in a handsome windfall for Mark Hunter, the companys founder. Hunter grew up in Belfast and after graduating from Queens, with a masters in computing, worked in the industry before setting up Axon Solutions, a software consultancy, in 1994. Hunters stake was worth 47.7m at the takeover. Previous share sales of over 30m meant that his total sale proceeds should have been 79m over the years or around 50m after-tax.
Nicholas Vetch, 51
52m (last year 60m)
The Bagshot-based Big Yellow Group operation is chaired by Nicholas Vetch who has a 31m stake. A chartered surveyor, Vetch was previously chief executive of Edge Properties, a quoted property company that was sold for 142m in 1998. He then co-founded the Big Yellow Group, which came to the stock market in 2000. After extensive share sales, Vetch should be worth 52m after-tax.
Ronald, 73 and Peter Goldstein, 70
60m (last year 54m)
The Goldsteins started chemist chain Superdrug in 1966 and floated it on the stock market in 1983. Four years later, it was sold to retailing giant Kingfisher. The brothers have now retired, but at one stage there were around 20m Kingfisher shares held by the extended family. We assume they have sold them, netting at least 70m. The Kingston-based Goldsteins now have several small property companies and should be worth 60m after-tax.
Paul Gemski , 52
based in Leatherhead, Carless Petrochem is a leading European refiner and supplier of speciality hydrocarbons, fuels and chemical solvents. In 2004, the management team, led by chief executive Paul Gemski, took over the company in a buyout. In early 2008, it was
reported that the management were looking to sell the business for 100m. In 2009, profits soared to 19.8m on 233m sales, valuing the company at 110m. Gemskis stake is worth 60m.
Simon, 49, and Paul Upward, 47
62m (last year 57m)
Brothers Simon and Paul Upward run and own Ocobase, a Croydon-based property company. In 2008-09, its profits fell from 5.2m to 3.1m on 5.3m sales. With 67m net assets, it is worth 55m in the current climate. We add another 7m for other assets including two more separate property companies, Bayside Investments and Sima Investments, taking the Upwards to 62m.
Grahame Chilton, 51
72m (last year 68m)
REIGATE-based Grahame Chilton had a windfall in August 2008 when the Benfield insurance group was taken over by Aon, the American insurer, for 738m. Chilton was Benfields chief executive and helped lead its 574m flotation on the stock market in 2003. He became vice-chairman of Aon after the deal and also collected around 77m for his stake. After-tax on that sale and earlier dividends, Chilton should easily be worth 72m.
Andrew Sasson, 40
75m (last year 60m)
Andrew Sasson sold a 50 per cent stake in his Las Vegas-based nightclub, restaurant and bar business, the Light Group, in February 2008. No price was disclosed but Sasson is undoubtedly one of the leading players in the Las Vegas entertainment industry.Born in Walton-on-Thames and expelled from school at 15, Sasson moved to Spain, where he got a job in Benidorm running a string of bars. Later, he went to America, opening a club in the fashionable Hamptons, before starting out in Las Vegas.Today, the Light Group is surviving the downturn well, and his stake and sale proceeds should be worth 75m.
Brian May, 62
75m (last year 70m)
Queens all-time greatest hits compilation, Absolute Greatest, was released in November 2009, surging into the UKs top 20 artist albums of the year, selling some 550,000 copies by the year-end.This is good news for Hampton-born guitarist Brian May, now a visiting researcher in astrophysics at Londons Imperial College, after completing his PhD on Interplanetary Dust in 2007.Rather better known for his guitar riffs, May started 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 groups popularity continued to soar even after the death of lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1991. May also shared in the bands past success, with 100m records sold over the years.With Queens enduring appeal, as well as past earnings, May will easily be worth around 75m.
David Gilmour, 64
BEST-KNOWN as guitarist, vocalist and writer with the legendary Pink Floyd, more recently David Gilmour has also achieved great success as a solo artist. Indeed, his last studio album, On an Island, released in March 2006, was very well-received indeed.However, hes been quiet on the live music front lately, playing just one official gig at Londons Union Chapel in the summer of 2009. Apparently, he has no plans to tour again with Pink Floyd, either, even for a reputed 150m.In 1986, Gilmour purchased the houseboat Astoria, which is moored on the Thames near Hampton Court, and transformed it into a recording studio. The majority of the two most recent Pink Floyd albums, as well as his latest solo release, were recorded there.With his two companies, David Gilmour Music and David Gilmour Overseas, and his property assets as well, we value Gilmour at around 78m.
Tony Brown, 73, and family
78m (last year 60m)
Bisley Office Equipment was started by Tony Browns father in 1931 to repair bodywork on cars. Today, the Bisley-based operation is now Britains leading manufacturer of steel office furniture. In 2007-08, its profits more than tripled to 7.5m on 87.2m sales. Owned by the Brown family, it has 68.4m net assets. We value it on the net assets, adding 10m for other assets to the Brown family.
Photo: Dan Wooler