Surrey's Richest 50 2012: The worlds of finance, property, industry and entertainment collide
PUBLISHED: 19:49 02 July 2012 | UPDATED: 16:46 02 May 2018
With the UK economy officially back in recession, times are tough for Surrey’s wealthiest residents (though we’re not worried for their welfare just yet...). Here, in our annual guide, Philip Beresford, the writer of the world-famous Sunday Times Rich List, reveals the 50 richest people in the county
Surrey’s rich appear to be in meltdown this year, with the combined wealth of the 50 richest people who were born or live in the county falling sharply from the £54.8 billion records last year to just £44 billion in the latest Surrey Life Richest 50. This is easily the biggest fall we have seen in the five years we have been surveying our wealthy.
But relax all you purveyors of goods and services to the rich. Do not be alarmed by this fall. Surrey remains an amazingly safe and attractive home for the world’s super-rich – the decision by Lakshmi Mittal, the richest person in Britain, to build a new £30m eco-home near Cranleigh is proof of that. But we are held hostage, so to speak, to his fortune, because of the fact that he is so rich.
This year, Mittal is down nearly £7 billion to £12.7 billion, and that blows a big hole in our overall figure. Yet he still remains at number one – though only just, as Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov comes a close second with just over £12.3 billion. Even he has lost a bit, a mere £85m to be precise, largely because he has splashed out on his charity donations.
In all of our Surrey Life Richest 50, eight have made their fortunes in finance, reflecting the proximity of 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 house building tycoons in the list. Today, it is just eight.
But where Surrey does score is in its celebrity wealth, be it music or media. With 14 out of 50, this is a far higher percentage than any other county, reflecting Surrey’s availability of luxurious but discreet homes, where they can relax, and the ability to jet off quickly from Heathrow or a private airstrip. The music millionaires in the county include Eric Clapton, Rolling Stones such as Sir Mick Jagger and also The Who’s Pete Townshend while Sir Michael Caine represents the film world.
This is a very meritocratic list nonetheless. There are still no aristocrats of the old school as Surrey doesn’t 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 is also a male list. There are only five women in the Surrey Life Richest 50 and most are in by virtue of being in with their husbands or as a family entry. The only two women entrepreneurs are Jacqueline Gold, the driving force behind the Ann Summers retail chain, and Penny Streeter who supplies nursing home staff through her A24 operation.
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 2012. 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.
So, without further ado, here we bring you the Surrey Life Richest 50, 2012…
Surrey's Richest 50 2012
49= Pete Townshend, 67
GUITARIST and songwriter for The Who, Pete Townshend will be publishing his autobiography, Who I Am – A Memoir by Pete Townshend, this October, telling the stories of his long and successful music career. His two companies, Honorable and Eel Pie Publishing, had around £3.2m of net assets in 2010. He also has at least £6m of housing assets. We keep the Richmond-based star at £40m.
49= Mick Hucknall, 51
Simply Red ceased to exist as a band on December 19, 2010, when at the end of a world tour, Mick Hucknall announced: “Good night, adios. Simply Red are no more.” But the Walton-on-Thames resident will not face penury. As well as here in Surrey, he also has property in Ireland, Milan and Paris, and until recently had a restaurant in the French capital, Man Ray, jointly owned with Johnny Depp and Sean Penn. He also has a vineyard in Sicily and fishing rights in Ireland. With 50m record sales and past touring income, Hucknall is worth £40m.
48 Kenneth Green, 67, & family
Having spent his career in the perfumery and cosmetics industry, Kenneth Green founded his own fragrance and distribution company in 1990. Based in Weybridge, Kenneth Green Associates made £3.4m profit on £50.8m sales in 2010 and the operation is worth £34m. Other businesses and assets take the Green family to £42m.
46= Malcolm, 58, & Gillian Rae, 56
Formed in March 1991 by Gillian and Malcolm Rae, the Redhill-based business GEW (EC) provides a range of sophisticated machinery for the label industry worldwide. The award-winning company is worth £35m, and past salaries should take the Raes, who own it all, to £45m.
46= Chris Ingram, 68, & family
Born and bred in Woking, local lad Chris Ingram left school at 16 with no qualifications to become a messenger in an advertising agency. In 1976, he started his own operation, Chris Ingram Associates, which was taken over in 2001 netting him nearly £63m. Since then, he has gone on to make a hefty investment at Woking Town Football Club and also in world-renowned sculptures, including works by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore and Elisabeth Frink, which he often loans to The Lightbox art gallery and museum in Woking. Ingram should be worth £45m.
45 Philip St Pier, 52, & family
The Guildford-based property company St Pier Holdings is run and owned by the low-key St Pier family. It should be worth its £45.5m net assets. Philip St Pier, the senior family member, is well known as a designer of beautiful and stylish furniture made by top craftsmen. Other assets take the family to £46m.
43= Penny Streeter, 44, & family
Founded by Penny Streeter in 1996, the Croydon-based A24 Group supplies staff to nursing homes. Streeter has also diversified into social care and runs a doctors’ locum service. The family owns all the £40m business and we add £10m.
43= Jens Montanana, 51
Based near Egham, Jens Montanana has a £46m stake in Datatec, a telecoms operation. He also has a £4.7m stake in the separate Corero Network Security business. We value him at around £50m.
41= Mark Hunter, 49
Software giant HCL Technologies took over the Egham-based Axon Group for £440m in 2008. It meant a near £48m windfall for founder Mark Hunter. Now running a Richmond-based building company, we put him at £52m.
41= Sir Cliff Richard, 71
A long-time resident of Surrey, Sir Cliff Richard may have sold his Wentworth home recently, but he still maintains a strong presence in the county with his charitable trust handled via Esher. Having clocked up 54 years in show business, the ever-youthful singer shows no sign of slowing down yet. As well as the release of a new album, Soulicious, last October, there was also a DVD, The Soulicious Tour – Live at the O2, in November. The royalty stream from his 250m record sales over the course of his career (including more than 150 singles, albums and EPs that have reached the top 20 in Britain), as well as a home in Barbados and a Portuguese vineyard, among other assets, should easily take the star to £52m.
40 Sir Michael Caine, 79
“It’s a pension for me if it works,” Sir Michael Caine said of his 2004 casting as the butler Alfred in the two Batman films, which grossed $1.3 billion between them. He reprises that role in the forthcoming Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. At 79, the Oscar-winning star has appeared in 51 films, which have grossed over $3.8 billion at the box office worldwide. He got his big break with 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. Today, past property deals and the like should take the Leatherhead resident, who is a patron of the Leatherhead Drama Festival, to around £53m.
39 Ronald, 75, & Peter Goldstein, 72
Kingston-based brothers Ronald and Peter Goldstein sold their Superdrug chemists chain in 1987 and should have netted at least £70m. The pair now have several small property companies and will easily be worth £60m.
38 Paul Gemski, 54
Claiming to have developed petrol as far back as the 1870s, the Leatherhead-based Carless Petrochem is a leading supplier of specialist fuels. In 2010, profits for the business soared to nearly £24m on £318m sales. Paul Gemski has a £64m stake in the £120m company.
37 Tony Brown, 75
Bisley Office Equipment is Britain’s leading manufacturer of steel office furniture. Worth over £53m, its 13-acre site in Bisley is also hugely valuable. With past dividends etc, we estimate that Tony Brown is worth around £78m.
36 Sir Terence Conran, 80, & family
Born in Kingston, Sir Terence Conran has made his fortune from restaurants and design. We can see at least £30m of wealth in his Conran Holdings and other stakes. Restaurant sales and property holdings should take the Conran family to £80m.
35 Roger Taylor, 62
Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor is regarded as one of the most influential drummers of the 1970s and 1980s. Queen Productions, the band’s main company, saw its turnover soar to £45m in 2010. Taylor also shared the past success through his Nightjar Productions company, which paid him a total of nearly £15m in the last seven years. With the continuing popularity of the Queen stage show, We Will Rock You, we value Guildford-based Taylor at £85m.
34 Simon, 51, & Paul Upward, 49
Brothers Simon and Paul Upward run and own the Croydon-based property company Ocobase, which is worth around £76m. We add another £10m to their fortune for other assets.
32= Brian May, 64
Brian May noted in December that it had been ‘quite the year’ for rock group Queen, which celebrated its 40th anniversary. It saw new activity on the record front with re-released remastered versions of the Queen back catalogue. The Hampton-born guitarist, who lives with his wife Anita Dobson in Wentworth, is also a visiting researcher in Astrophysics at London’s elite Imperial College after completing his PhD on Interplanetary Dust in 2007. In the last seven years, Duck Productions, May’s company, paid him £15.5m in total. The continuing popularity of the Queen stage show, We Will Rock You, helps provide a steady income and we value May at £90m.
32= Christopher Hohn, 45
He may be a feared hedge fund manager, but Christopher Hohn, who grew up in Addlestone, has a heart of gold, giving away over £1 billion to charity from The Children’s Investment Fund. The hedge fund made a £64m profit on £79m turn-over in 2010-11, and we put him at £90m.
31 Grahame Chilton, 53
Grahame Chilton had a £77m windfall in 2008 when the Benfield insurance group was taken over by Aon, the American insurer, for £738m. Having recently completed his new luxury home, near Reigate, Chilton is worth around £95m with other assets.
30 Henry Lumley, 81, & family
Henry Lumley made his name in the insurance market as chairman of Edward Lumley Holdings, which was sold in 2003 for £133m. We can see £3m net assets in his latest venture, the Bagshot-based Lumleys.net, and we value the Lumley family at £112m.
29 Johnny, 66, & Patrick Byrne, 63
Based in Teddington, the Byrne Group building company is run by brothers Johnny and Patrick Byrne. It posted £8.8m profit on £232.2m sales in 2010-11 justifying an £80m valuation. Past salaries etc take the Byrnes to £115m.
28 The Goodliffe family
The largest privately owned property services company in Britain, the Sanderstead-based OCS is worth around £110m. Owned by the Goodliffe family, we add £6m for other assets.
27 Roger Waters, 68
One of the founder members of Pink Floyd, guitarist and vocalist Roger Waters, who is originally from Great Bookham, left the band in the mid-1980s. However, he still commands huge royalties, as well as hefty touring income from his career as a soloist. We value Waters’ fortune at £120m.
25= Sir Ray Tindle, 85
Based in Farnham, Tindle Press Holdings should make £2m profit in 2011-12. Owner Sir Ray Tindle began his career working on various Surrey newspapers – today his media business is worth around £100m. Other assets take him to £125m.
25= Ron Dennis, 65
The chairman of McLaren Automotive, Ron Dennis stepped down as principal of the McLaren F1 racing team in 2009 to concentrate on their luxury cars. Based out of their space age centre in Woking, they are now busy producing their £168,500 MP4-12C supercar after spending £780m on developing the vehicle. Dennis, who was brought up in Woking, and left school at 16 to become an apprentice mechanic, has a £105m stake in the business. Other assets add around £20m.
24 Tony Pidgley, 64
Based in Cobham, the Berkeley Group defied widespread gloom in the housing market by reporting a 64 per cent profit rise to £101m in the first half of 2011-12. The chairman of this house building and property company, Tony Pidgley, has an £86m stake in the business. We value him at £128m with past share sales and dividends.
23 Eric Clapton, 67
In the last 22 years, Eric Clapton’s earnings have totalled £138m. But old Slowhand shows no sign of wanting to put his feet up in his Surrey Hills home. He played 54 concerts worldwide in 2011. 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, he should be worth £130m.
22 Dr Philip, 75, & Patricia Brown, 73
former Daily Express science reporter Philip Brown launched PJB Publications in 1976. The Richmond-based operation provided market research for the bioscience industries. In 2003, Brown and his wife sold the business in a £150m deal, but still have ten businesses worth £50m. In all, we put the couple at £132m.
21 Robert, 49, & Patrick Wilson, 47
Brothers Robert and Patrick Wilson own Nelsons, a Wimbledon-based manufacturer of natural medicines including the Rescue Remedy brand. Its parent company made a £13.3m profit in 2010, and Nelsons itself is worth £130m. We add £5m for other wealth.
20 John Dunsdon, 60, & family
Caterham-based Croudace Homes is run by Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, and his family also owns Croudace Properties and Maybrook Properties. Together, the three are worth £146m. Other assets take the family to £156m.
19 Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, 62, & family
Caterham-based Croudace Homes is run by Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, and his family also owns Croudace Properties and Maybrook Properties. Together, the three are worth £146m. Other assets take the family to £156m.
18 Ringo Starr, 71
Ex-Beatles drummer Ringo Starr released his 17th studio album, Ringo 2012, in January of this year and continues to perform live regularly, with many Surrey residents having watched him in concert at Hampton Court last summer. Meanwhile, the Beatles’ entire back catalogue was re-mastered and re-packaged in 2009, in tandem with the music video game Beatles-Rock Band. Today, the musician divides his time between homes in Cranleigh, Los Angeles and Monaco, and we reckon he is worth around £160m.
17 Peter Harrison, 75, & family
Reigate-based Peter Harrison made his fortune from selling his computer-network-integration company Chernikeeff in 1999, netting around £300m in the process. A generous supporter of charities through his Peter Harrison Foundation, the organisation has assets of £50m and spends £2.3m on charitable work. We estimate that his family is worth around £175m.
16 Theo Paphitis, 52
BORN in Cyprus, Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis has lived in Surrey for over 25 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, he later went on to sell watches before moving into property. Eventually, bored with that, he started to specialise in turning around companies, reviving stricken brands such as the stationer Ryman, and the La Senza lingerie chain. The latter netted £100m with its sale in 2006. In all, Paphitis is easily worth £180m.
15 Sir Mick Jagger, 68
It may be the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones this year, but another huge world tour will have to wait until 2013. In all, the Stones have generated £1.8 billion in receipts from touring since 1989. Sir Mick Jagger, the Stones’ frontman, lived for many years with his partner Jerry Hall at their home on Richmond Hill until their 1999 split. Past royalty earnings, his property and investment portfolio, song rights and the touring income give Jagger a £190m fortune.
14 Andrew Wates, 71, & family
The Leatherhead-based Wates Group made a £43.5m profit on £895.3m sales in 2010. Owned by the Wates family, the head of the family, Andrew Wates retired from the chairmanship in 2006. The business is worth £190m easily while other wealth takes the family to £220m.
13 David, 75, & Jacqueline Gold, 51
West Ham boss 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. In 2010-11, the Whyteleafe-based business made £10.5m profit on £121m sales. It is worth £110m. Property and other assets should take the Golds to £250m.
12 Zac, 37, & Lady Annabel Goldsmith, 77, & family
Richmond MP Zac Goldsmith is the son of Lady Annabel and the late Sir James Goldsmith, who died in 1997 leaving a fortune that was then reckoned to be worth around £1.2 billion. Lady Annabel and her family should have received at least £300m from the estate. However, a 2010 divorce cost the Tory MP a reported £20m. With that in mind, we clip the Goldsmith family, who remain based in the area, back to £280m.
11 Surinder Arora, 53, & family
Having started as an office junior at British Airways, while also moonlighting as a hotel waiter, Surinder Arora later worked at Abbey National. At the same time, he pushed the family savings into property, eventually developing a row of houses opposite Heathrow into bed-and-breakfast accommodation. From that emerged his first hotel and a deal with BA to accommodate its air crews. Arora Holdings, his family hotel operation, showed over £179.4m net assets in 2010-11. Overseas assets and property take the Wentworth-based Arora family to £323m.
10 Mark Dixon, 52
A former hamburger salesman, Mark Dixon founded Chertsey-based Regus in 1989 to offer high-class serviced offices. Dixon has a £345m stake and with share sales and property assets is worth £410m.
9 Peter Wood, 65
Peter Wood runs the Reigate-based insurance company Esure, famed for its “calm down, dear” adverts starring Michael Winner. Wood made his first fortune by launching Direct Line in 1985 with £25m backing from RBS. He quit in 1997, having made over £50m, and went on to start five other insurance operations including Esure, which is set to float on the stock market valued at £1 billion. That will make Wood worth £500m.
8 Navin, 61, & Varsha Engineer, 57
Navin Engineer and his wife, Varsha, own Chemidex Pharma and another smaller but separate pharmaceutical operation. Both of these Egham-based companies specialise in developing new drugs and treatments and together they made £13.5m profit in 2010-11. A trained pharmacist, Engineer made his fortune by starting his own chemists’ chain that he sold in 1999 for around £12m. Rather than retire, they put the money into funding Chemidex, which is now worth £500m. We add £70m for other assets.
7 Nadhmi Auchi, 74
Hailing from Iraq, Nadhmi Auchi runs the General Mediterranean Holding operation from his Kingston base. It made £9m profit in its 2010 accounts and has around £995m of assets in hotels and telecom interests in the Middle East.
6 Mark Coombs, 52
Based in Wimbledon, the low-key Mark Coombs is a highly successful City financier and runs the Ashmore investment operation where he has a stake worth £1,093m. Share sales and past dividends take him to £1.245 billion.
5 Mohamed Al Fayed, 83
Mohamed Al Fayed will not be getting any revenues from the oil discovered under his Oxted estate, but he really doesn’t need the cash. He sold the upmarket department store Harrods in 2010 for £1.5 billion to Qatar Holdings, pocketing at least £900m. 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, should take him to around £1.3 billion.
4 Pyotr Aven, 57
Russian banker Pyotr Aven bought a house on the Wentworth estate in 2004 for £8.55m, knocked it down and built his own fortress-style home with ‘intelligent’ electronic fencing and a bombproof shelter incorporated in the design. The property also has a two-storey octagonal guardhouse by the main entrance. The whole project is rumoured to have cost Aven £43m – not that it will have dented his bank balance very much. His fortune is put at £2.74 billion by Forbes magazine in its 2012 list of world billionaires.
3 Roman Abramovich, 45
His Chelsea dream may have cost him over £1 billion since he bought the London club nine years ago for £140m, but Roman Abramovich remains as passionate about the team as ever. Often seen at the club’s training ground in Stoke d’Abernon near Cobham, he also has a plush home close by – as do many of the highly paid football stars who tend to favour the leafier parts of the county. Abramovich made his fortune from the Russian oil industry and netted over £7.5 billion from the sale of his Sibneft operation in 2005. More recently, he has diversified into other areas such as steel and mining, and also has a string of property, art and yachting assets worldwide. But with the huge drain of Chelsea, we value Abramovich at £9.5 billion.
2 Alisher Usmanov, 58
Russian tycoon Alisher Usmanov owns one of Surrey’s most significant properties, the Tudor manor house Sutton Place, situated about three miles from Guildford. Set in 300 acres, it was built in around 1525 by Sir Richard Weston, a courtier of Henry VIII, and Usmanov has spent a substantial amount of money refurbishing the house. He can certainly afford it. Set to make up to £1 billion shortly from the stock market flotation of the hugely popular Facebook social media site, he also owns a £294m stake in football club, Arsenal. The son of a former state prosecutor in Tashkent, he became rich through steel and iron ore mines and also has a 50 per cent stake in Metalloinvest, Russia’s biggest iron ore miner. His extensive interests are worth at least £12.3 billion.
1 Lakshmi Mittal, 61, & family
Heading up our list for the second year running is the richest man in Britain, Lakshmi Mittal, who owns the 340-acre Alderbrook estate near Cranleigh. Not much has been heard lately of his plans to build a £30m eco-house on the site – but even with a slump in the share price of his steel company, Arcelor Mittal, the cost will be easy for Mittal to bear. His stake in what is the world’s largest steel group, plus a smaller specialist steel operation, are worth nearly £8 billion. Mittal also owns a large stake in the premiership football club, QPR. In addition to all of that, he has a string of other properties in London and, with a multi-million investment portfolio, is easily worth nearly £12.7 billion. That’s a drop of £7 billion from last year, but as the wealthiest man in the country, he’s not likely to be losing any sleep over that.