31 October 2015 – by Noella Pio Kivlehan / Philip Beresford
The wealth of the 250 entrants totals £305.9bn, up from £218.3bn in 2014. The 40% rise is the biggest of any rich list in the UK since it was started in 1988.
EG Rich List compiler, Dr Philip Beresford, who also compiles the Sunday Times Rich List, said: “The amount of wealth on the list shows the extraordinary attraction of the London commercial and residential market to overseas billionaires.”
This compares with a total of £547.1bn for the 1,000 names on the Sunday Times Rich List – also a record – and up 5.4% on 2014.
This year also features 60 billionaires on the list. In 2009 there were just 10.
This year, Estates Gazette’s Rich List turns 13. Like all teenagers going through significant changes, the list has altered almost beyond recognition since it was first published in 2002.
For 10 years the Duke of Westminster reigned supreme. Then, in 2013 the duke was toppled by Chinese property entrepreneur Wang Jainlin of Dalian Wanda with his fortune of £10.4bn – pushing the duke into fourth place.
2014 saw Jainlin toppled by Inditex’s Amancio Ortega with a mighty £37.77bn – the duke slid to seventh place.
This year, Ortega holds on to the number one spot with an increase of £10bn, while Jianlin’s wealth increase of £12bn from 2013 to 2015 puts him in the number two position. The duke still resides at number seven.
The list now has a staggering 60 billionaires. In 2009, in the depths of the recession, it had 10.
What this shows is property in the UK, and London in particular, is continuing to be viewed worldwide as a safe haven for investment from the financial storm clouds that continue to threaten internationally – particularly in the Asian markets. The Chinese stock market crash in June has everybody worried.
Still, there seems to be no let-up in the amount of money flowing into this country. Nor in the appetite of those wanting to buy.
What will be interesting to watch, however, is if those Asian storm clouds do break and crisis does come to the financial markets. If, or when, that happens, no doubt the EG Rich List will change again.
Amancio Ortega – £45,760m
Amancio Ortega’s desire for London property shows no sign of diminishing. The founder of Spanish clothing empire Inditex, Ortega has the cash to splash on prime assets. In April he bought a £400m development at 26-48 Oxford Street, W1, via his investment company Ponte Gadea. The building includes Primark’s 149,000 sq ft flagship store as well as its extension and three other retail units.
The 79-year-old billionaire founded Zara in 1975 to sell clothes he and his wife made in their living room. Three months previously, Ortega acquired RioTinto’s headquarters in St James’s Square, SW1, for £225m. It is also part of his expansion strategy through the City: in 2013 he bought Devonshire House, W1, valued at £400m, in 2011 an office building on Oxford Street valued at £220m, and in 2006 he acquired 100 Wood Street, EC2, valued at £140m.
The son of a railway worker, Ortega is the majority shareholder in Inditex. The Ponte Gadea investment vehicle now has assets of $5.5bn (£3.5bn) and develops real estate projects in cities including Madrid, Barcelona, Paris, New York City and London. Ortega will also sell; earlier this year he agreed a £45m sale of Abacus House in Gutter Lane, EC2. He also holds $2.78bn of property assets privately and via Partler real estate. In all, his property empire is valued at $8.28bn (£5.32bn). This is about the same value as Earl Cadogan’s 93-acre Chelsea estate.
But, of course, there is much more to Ortega than even this large property portfolio. After opening his first Zara store 40 years ago in the northern Spanish city of La Coruna (Ortega started in fashion at the age of 14 as a shop hand for a local shirt maker), he went on to build a fashion empire that now includes 6,746 shops. The secret of Inditex (which has a further seven marques, including Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius) is multiple refinements of its range through the year, according to customer feedback. By manufacturing more than half of its clothing in Europe and North Africa, Inditex can get its products – designed at its headquarters – into the stores in just three weeks. Allied to the 100% bonuses that store managers can earn for hitting sales targets, and a potent retail force is unleashed.
Inditex floated on the Madrid stock market in 2001 and Ortega retains a near-60% stake in the business, now worth £39.4bn after an impressive 28% jump in profits in the first quarter of 2015. Famously reclusive (he has never given an interview), Ortega is now a non-executive director. His total wealth has now jumped to $71.2bn or nearly £45.8bn, pushing him up to second place among the world’s richest as compiled by Bloomberg, still behind Bill Gates on £55bn. But Ortega is catching up fast. He heads the 2015 Estates Gazette Rich List by way of his London property forays.
Wang Jianlin – £22,655m
Planning permission was granted in December for one of London’s most ambitious and audacious construction projects, the One Nine Elms scheme financed to the tune of £700m by the ever-acquisitive Dalian Wanda Group. This development, the first to be built by Dalian Wanda in the UK, will see the construction of two towers, rising 660ft and 525ft. The 1.13m sq ft project will have 436 flats overall as well as a five-star hotel in the second building, to be known as the River Tower. Dalian Wanda’s boss and founder, Wang Jianlin, is now Asia’s richest man, with a £22.655bn fortune.
But Wang has bigger, bolder goals for his Dalian Wanda conglomerate and himself – that by 2020 Wanda’s sales will reach $100bn (up from $40bn at present), with at least one-fifth coming from overseas. Wang is trying to transform Dalian Wanda into a truly global company. To that end, he has spent $10bn in overseas investments and acquisitions in the past five years. Poverty was all he knew in his youth and Wang spent his early years in the military during Mao’s cultural revolution. “In the early days, we really had to scramble to eat,” he told the Financial Times in a rare interview last year. “The hardship then was unimaginable.” But he survived and has since developed good connections with the Chinese elite as a member of the Communist Party since 1976.
It was only in 1992 that Wang started work for Dalian Wanda after leaving the army and working as an office administrator. To underline his commitment to the UK, he also bought the Sunseeker luxury yacht business in Poole for £320m at the same time as the Nine Elms deal was unveiled. Wang has his own £21m Sunseeker boat in Shanghai and claims he is the first Chinese citizen to own a private jet. Dalian Wanda also owns 9.03m sq m (97.2m sq ft) of investment property, 49 Wanda Plazas, 26 luxury hotels, 86 cinemas, 40 department stores, and 45 karaoke centres around China. The company became the world’s largest theatre owner in 2012 when it acquired AMC Theatres.
Wang, who chairs Dalian Wanda (as well as owning a 61% stake), said the group wanted to bring “branded Chinese luxury to the global market, where it has been long absent”, and added: “The London property market has excellent investment opportunities and we have confidence that Wanda’s strength and expertise will make the Wanda London’s premier hotel, further promoting development in the area.”
Ernesto & Kirsty Bertarelli & family – £10,190m
Crosstree Real Estate
Crosstree Real Estate was founded in 2011 to invest in the property market. It is part of the empire of Ernesto Bertarelli and his family. The two-time winner of sailing’s top prize, the America’s Cup, names his investment companies after anchors. There is also fund manager Northill and finally Kedge Capital, which invests in hedge fund and private equity. All have been busy in recent times.
In 2012-13 Crosstree, for example, spent more than £300m assembling a site in Mayfair that will be worth £600m on completion. Plans for the development have just been unveiled. Bertarelli is also said to be eyeing up a deal involving the O2 arena in London, best known for playing host to major music acts. Crosstree wants to buy a 50% stake in the retail and leisure element of the centre from US firm Anschutz Entertainment Group for about £100m and develop it into a designer outlet to rival Bicester Village.
The Bertarelli family has the firepower for such deals. The Italian-born but later Swiss-raised Bertarelli took over his family pharmaceutical company Serono in 1996 at the age of 31 from his terminally ill father. Ten years later it was sold to Merck of Germany for $13.3bn (£8.4bn), netting the Bertarelli family $8.6bn. The family had already made nearly $1bn from selling shares at Serono’s stock market float in 2000.
It was then that Bertarelli married his British-born wife Kirsty, a former Miss UK and now songwriter. Bertarelli’s cash holdings stand at around £8bn, while Crosstree is worth about £375m. In all, his investments, property and yachts add up to £10.19bn.
Thomas & Raymond Kwok – £11,507m
Sun Hung Kai Properties
The Kwok brothers formed a joint venture with Capital & Counties in 2012 to build the Lillie Square scheme, which forms part of the £8bn transformation of Earls Court, SW5. Work is now under way at the former car park on the site. In December, a Hong Kong court handed a five-year jail sentence to Thomas Kwok, who was convicted of conspiring to corrupt Hong Kong’s second-highest-ranking public official. An appeal is to be heard in November. He stepped down as co-chairman of Sun Hung Kai, the world’s second-biggest property firm. His brother Raymond was cleared of all charges and is now the sole chairman. The Kwoks inherited the property business after the death of their father Kwok Tak-seng in 1990. Their wealth totals around £11.5bn.
Joseph Safra – £9,800m
The Gherkin, as 30 St Mary Axe, EC3, is universally nicknamed, was sold for £726m in November 2014 to the Safra Group, a company controlled by Brazilian banking billionaire Joseph Safra. The purchase marks the Safra Group’s latest foray into the London property market. It already owns buildings in upmarket locations such as New Bond Street. Safra, a 75-year-old Sephardic Jew, arrived in Brazil in his 20s as a migrant from Lebanon. He continued the family’s banking empire, started by his great-uncle Ezra in Syria, by establishing Banco Safra, now Brazil’s eighth-largest bank with more than $50bn in assets catering primarily to private clients. The Safra Group said in a statement: “The acquisition of 30 St Mary Axe is consistent with our real estate strategy of investing in properties that are truly special – at the best locations within great cities.” In 2013, Safra’s family acquired more than a dozen properties in the US, primarily in New York City. They also own a portfolio of commercial real estate in Brazil. Safra’s fortune is believed to be worth £9.8bn.
David & Simon Reuben – £9,700m
The billionaire Reuben brothers recently bought two loans of £305m and $467m secured against a clutch of the world’s best-known hotels, including the Grosvenor House in London and New York’s Plaza. The Reubens are also reported to be looking at selling the three remaining developments at the Merchant Square development near Paddington Station, W2, including the 42-storey Cucumber Tower, set to be the tallest residential tower in London’s West End.
The three developments are valued at £250m and the Reubens have half the joint venture, with the rest held by the low-key Jarvis family. The Reubens also own London Oxford airport plus a swathe of properties across Europe, the iconic 5 Hertford Street nightclub, W1, and the boutique chain Art’otel. They have just been given permission for a 350-room development in Hoxton. Last year, they were given the green light by Westminster city council to turn Cambridge House in Piccadilly, W1, into the UK’s most expensive single home. Better known as the former In and Out Club, the dilapidated Grade I listed property, opposite Green Park, will become a 48-room residence with an underground swimming pool, a ballroom and a 35,000-bottle wine cellar. When completed, the property should be worth well over £200m.
The Reubens have been active in the UK property market for the past decade after making their fortune in Russia in the 1990s, where they were dubbed the ‘metal tsars’ for their role in restructuring the aluminium industry there. Born in Bombay, the Reubens made their way to London, where Simon went into property and David started trading in scrap metal. Their foray into Russia, which ended in 1999, earned them at least £1.3bn. Their most valuable asset now is the fast-growing datacentre company Global Switch, from which they recently took a £600m dividend. The Reubens have also seen an upturn in their property fortunes, and have been able to extract hefty profits from investments sold before the market crash. In all, their two main companies, Aldersgate (the parent of Global Switch) and Reuben Brothers, are now valued at over £9.6bn. Other assets take the brothers to a conservative £9.7bn.
The Duke of Westminster – £8,830m
A £500m London sister hotel to Hong Kong’s venerable Peninsula – known as the “grande dame of the East” – is to open in Belgravia in 2021. The Peninsula London will have 190 rooms, some overlooking the gardens of Buckingham Palace. A planning application lodged with Westminster council in July shows that the building, on Grosvenor Place near Hyde Park Corner, SW1, will replace a 1960s office block on the 1.5-acre site.
The hotel, designed by Marylebone-based Hopkins Architects, will have a colonnaded walkway and main public entrance on Grosvenor Place and an internal “palazzo-style” courtyard. The complex will include shops, a spa, a ballroom and up to 28 residential apartments. The plans have been developed in partnership with landowner Grosvenor. It comes at a time when the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Group, embracing his valuable London property round Mayfair, recently reported record profits of nearly £682m in 2014, up from £507m in 2013. Its net assets rose from £3.5bn to more than £4.055bn. The company sold UK assets worth £240m last year, while continuing its diversification into other markets across the world.
Grosvenor’s development pipeline stood at £5.5bn at the end of 2014, while the company said it had ring-fenced £1.1bn that can be used as a war chest should property markets tumble. The company is run by experienced professionals and Westminster, the sixth Duke, stood down as chairman of the board in 2007 after 33 years in the role.
All of Grosvenor Group’s shares are owned by the trustees of various Grosvenor trusts set up for the benefit of the Grosvenor family. Westminster’s private assets and estates include nearly 165,000 acres of rural land, a dairy farm, the Chester Grosvenor hotel and the UK’s largest bull stud operation. In all, the family wealth adds up to £8.83bn.
Henry Cheng Kar-Shun & family – £7,385m
Knight Dragon/New World Development
Plans for the Greenwich Peninsula, SE10, have been unveiled by Knight Dragon, a Hong Kong developer. It was in 2012 that Knight Dragon acquired 60% of the Greenwich Peninsula regeneration scheme from developer Quintain in a £175m deal. Knight Dragon assumed full control of the Greenwich scheme in late 2013, paying a further £230m.
Its plans include the creation of five new districts, or neighbourhoods. All will have architect-designed, mid-rise apartment buildings of 10 to 40 storeys and a mix of boutiques, restaurants, leisure amenities and outdoor spaces. There will be 15,500 residential units and three districts – Upper Riverside, Lower Riverside and Marina Quays – will have direct riverfront locations.
Parkside will include a large area of recreational land called Central Park, and Brickfields is being developed as a creative hub, with a film and media studio and the potential for arts workshops alongside residential blocks. Some 25% of the housing stock will be low-cost and social housing for local residents and workers in essential services such as medical care and education.
The first available units were introduced in September 2014, with more released in March this year, and sales have been brisk. Of the 377 available units, 348 had been sold by June 2015. Properties range from studios starting at £300,000 to three-bedroom, 230 sq m properties at £1.95m. Knight Dragon is run by Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, the son of Cheng Yu-Tung, one of Hong Kong’s great post-war titans of commerce. He took over from his father as chairman of the family property company, New World Development, in 2012. The Cheng family have other property interests in the UK, including The Knightsbridge, an upmarket residential scheme, and regeneration specialist Pinnacle.
The family started out in jewellery, but later branched out into hotels and property. The family is now easily worth £7.38bn.
John Elkann & the Agnelli family – £5,860m
Italy’s billionaire Agnelli family – founders of the Fiat car maker – run an investment operation called Exor. It is a major investor in Almacantar, the London property developer and owner of buildings including Oxford Street’s landmark Centre Point, W1.
More recently, Almacantar spent £550m on two buildings in Waterloo’s Shell Centre, SE1, which will form part of a 1.45m sq ft redevelopment scheme close to the London Eye. John Elkann, grandson of Gianni Agnelli, has headed both Fiat Chrysler and Exor since 2003. Exor bought an 80% stake in Cushman & Wakefield, the property agent, in 2007 but hired Goldman Sachs to put the business up for sale at the beginning of 2015 under plans to rebalance the family’s portfolio of interests.
Rival agent DTZ bought Cushman & Wakefield for $2bn in May, which netted the Agnelli family a $722m gain on its original investment in the agent. After the sale, the Agnelli family is worth around £5.860bn.
Kjeld Kristiansen & family – £5,610m
Kirkbi, the investment company that manages the Lego family money, has its sights set on investing in commercial property in London as well as in a number of companies.
Lego Group, now the world’s largest toymaker, was founded in 1932 by Ole Kirk Christiansen, a carpenter who started by making wooden toys. The private company is owned by Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, his grandson and Denmark’s richest man, and the Lego brick remains its most important product. In 2013 Kirkbi, based in Billund, Denmark, was handed £400m to invest.
The investment company, which does not have a preferred property agent in the capital, already has a building on New Fetter Place, near Holborn Viaduct, EC4, and snapped up another close by on Plough Place for £55m in May 2014. Lego will occupy four floors at New Fetter Place. Kirkbi, which owns two estates in Scotland, is on the lookout for more property.
Kjeld hails from Billund, Denmark. His father worked with his grandfather in the family Lego business. As a child, Kjeld often inspired and tested new model concepts and their building instructions. He also appeared on many of the company’s packages and marketing materials. In 1979, he became president and chief executive of the Lego Group. In 2004, he stepped down to focus on his role as owner of the Lego Group and vice-chairman of the board, while maintaining his role as chairman of the Kirkbi board.
His family own 75% of Lego via Kirkbi, which also owns 30% of Merlin Entertainments Group, a theme park operator that manages five Legoland parks. His family wealth is put at £5.61bn.
Daniel & Richard Tsai – £5,550
Brothers Daniel and Richard Tsai lead Taiwan’s richest family. In April 2015, they spent £222.4m buying a new office block at 95 Wigmore Street, W1. The building was completed in 2013 and the offices prelet to a trio of blue-chip tenants. The purchase price reflected a 3.4% yield, while rents range from £77.50 to £92.50 per sq ft on lease terms of between 10 and 15 years. The Tsai brothers assumed leadership of financial services giant Fubon Financial after their father, Tsai Wan-Tsai, the company’s founder, died in October 2014, aged 85. Since then, Fubon shares have soared by 50%. The Tsai family are also investors in Taiwan Mobile and momo.com, a TV shopping business. The Tsai brothers have a £5.55bn net worth.
Anand & Gaurav Burman – £5,000m
Property operation Elephant London is coming to market with its Battersea Square development. This consists of around 20,000 sq ft of residential space, with 60% sold off-plan. A similar 20,000 sq ft development nearby has just been given planning permission. Elephant London is looking for further sites and is also moving into pubs. It is owned by the Burman family, best known for its 69% stake in Dabur, India’s leading consumer goods company. It was founded in 1884 by Dr SK Burman, a physician in West Bengal, to produce and dispense Ayurvedic medicines. The family stake there in the quoted operation is worth around £3.56bn. The business is run by brothers Anand and Gaurav Burman. Gaurav is overseeing the UK investments in property and pubs. Other family stakes in insurance, property (including a Delhi tech park), health care, food and sports take the Burman family fortune to £5.5bn.
Ananda Krishnan – £4,930m
The London property market has proved a profitable area of investment for Ananda Krishnan, one of Asia’s top tycoons. Krishnan was born in Kuala Lumpur. His father, a Malaysian civil servant, had Sri Lankan Tamil roots. Krishnan went to Melbourne University at 17 as the youngest-ever Asian student there, graduating in 1961 and in 1964 graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School. He entered the oil-trading business and played a key role in setting up Malaysia’s state oil company, Petronas, in 1974. During Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s rule from 1981 to 2003, Krishnan won licences for telecommunications, satellite and broadcasting operations. He also won a horse-race betting monopoly and power concessions. In 1990, he received Mahathir’s blessing to develop a horse-racing track site into a town called the Kuala Lumpur City Center. With financing from Petronas, Krishnan enlisted architect Cesar Pelli to design the development’s centrepiece, the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers. The towers were the world’s tallest buildings from 1999 to 2004. Krishnan’s property foray into London also proved lucrative. He collected around $160m from his investment in the ExCel London exhibition centre in 2008. Three years later, he bought the 5.5-acre St John’s Wood barracks site, NW8, for £250m. Krishnan tore up the original plans for the site and in September 2014 submitted new plans to Westminster council for a luxury development of 163 flats with an end value believed to be more than £920m. Krishnan has a number of stakes in public and private companies, the largest being a $4.3bn holding in Maxis, Malaysia’s largest mobile phone operator. Other stakes in the country’s largest pay-TV company, an oil and gas provider and an Indian mobile phone company, plus a host of other assets take Krishnan to £4.93bn.
Earl Cadogan & family – £4,800m
The Cadogan Group recently achieved a record rent in its prestigious Sloane Square of more than £100 per sq ft for around 25,000 sq ft let to the Marshall Wace hedge fund. Cadogan purchased a residential portfolio of almost 200 properties in July 2014, paying £47m for the Thurloe & Gunter estates in South Kensington and Earls Court. One of the biggest beneficiaries of the boom in London house prices has been Cadogan, now life president of the group that bears his family name. The Cadogan Group’s 93 acres in Chelsea are among the top property hotspots in the world. In 2013, the group celebrated the 300th anniversary of the purchase of the estate by Sir Hans Sloane, the antiquarian, physician and scientist whose collection founded the British Museum. His eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married Charles, second Baron of Cadogan and the younger brother of the first Earl Cadogan. In 2014, the net assets at Cadogan Group rose smartly to £4.5bn while the total value of the portfolio hit a record £5.2bn, up 13.5%. The rental income was 6.5% higher at nearly £120m. The present Earl began his career at merchant banker Schroder Wagg and took on management of family’s property portfolio in 1974. Having inherited the title from his late father in 1997, Cadogan has presided over a hefty investment programme covering the Cadogan acreage. His son and heir Edward, Viscount Chelsea, chairs the group. Past dividends, including £100m from 2012 to 2014 inclusive, quoted investments held by the separate Cadogan Settled Estates, personal property and estates should take the Cadogan family to £4.8bn.
Christo Wiese – £4,400m
South African retail mogul Christo Wiese recently snapped up the New Look fashion chain for £780m. Back home, he is known for being the largest single shareholder of Africa’s biggest retailer, low-priced supermarket chain Shoprite. He also owns a large stake in discount clothes, shoes and textiles chain Pepkor, where he is executive chairman. He reckons his food retailing and other interests have sales of more than £16bn. But it is the UK that is now of interest to Wiese. He has taken over the Virgin Active gym group, with his investment firm Brait paying £682m for an 80% stake. Property is another area where Wiese is active. His Moorgarth investment operation has a near-£80m portfolio in the UK. It is made up of shopping centres, offices and industrial properties. In early 2013, Moorgarth bought a Glaswegian mall and at the end of the year it spent £23m on the 400,0000 sq ft Market Place shopping centre in Bolton, Lancashire, where a major £15m redevelopment will be completed in the new year. Wiese also has significant stakes in seven publicly traded companies, and those stakes have pushed his wealth to £4.4bn.
Nathan Kirsh – £4,120m
Kirsh Investments (UK)
Based in London, Nathan Kirsh came to prominence in 2011 when he snapped up the landmark London skyscraper Tower 42, EC2, (formerly the NatWest Tower) for £282.5m. A new office block is planned on the six-building Tower 42 estate to replace an older building. Kirsh controls the Kirsh Group, which has a 75% stake in the New York-based cash-and-carry operation Jetro Holdings with revenues of more than $8bn in 2013. There are more than 100 Jetro Cash & Carry and Restaurant Depot outlets, which have a near-monopoly on the business of providing goods to small stores in New York City as other suppliers do not deem it worth their time. Kirsh made his first fortune in his native Swaziland, founding a corn-milling business there in 1958. He expanded into wholesale food distribution in apartheid South Africa, and then into a variety of other businesses, including supermarkets and commercial property development. His charitable endeavours are focused on Swaziland, where he has supplied more than 10,000 people with starter capital for small businesses. His Jetro stake is worth around £2.75bn. On top of that, Kirsh’s property assets (including Tower 42 and Abacus Property group) are worth around £850m. In all, Kirsh is reckoned to be worth £4.12bn.
Guo Guanchang – £3,850m
Fosun International, China’s largest privately owned company, recently joined forces with Resolution Property in London. Together, they plan to invest hundreds of millions of pounds in poorly performing assets through a joint venture called RPIM, which will look at London and other regional cities. Fosun also has ambitions to establish an overseas direct commercial real estate portfolio centred on the two major world centres of capital on either side of the Atlantic – London and New York. The first part of the London element came in 2013, when Fosun was part of a consortium that paid £64.5m for Lloyds Chambers, a City of London office block. Fosun is run by Guo Guangchang, its Shanghai-based chairman and largest investor. Raised in a farming community 190 miles south of Shanghai, he studied hard enough to win a place at Shanghai’s prestigious Fudan University, studying philosophy. After graduating, he worked for three years with the school’s Communist Youth League, in part doing research, before answering a call by former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in 1992 for entrepreneurially minded Chinese to join the capitalist world and start up businesses. Teaming up with a group of Fudan students, he launched Fosun with seed capital of 38,000 yuan to manufacture diagnostic kits for hepatitis. The venture ultimately made 100m yuan in profit. It was the start of a fruitful career as an entrepreneur and investor that has led Guanchang to be dubbed “China’s Warren Buffett”. His fortune is put at around £3.85bn.
Mike Ashley – £3,850m
Mike Ashley turned from tracksuits to luxury property in April, with a deal to build homes worth a total of £900m in one of the most expensive areas in London. The billionaire Sports Direct founder and Newcastle United owner was reported to be behind two companies that bought a prized development site in Chelsea from John Lewis. Citygrove and McLaren Properties paid the department store chain more than £200m for The Clearings, a storage depot near King’s Road with planning permission for 62 flats and seven townhouses. The scheme, a few minutes’ walk from the Qatari-owned Chelsea Barracks, is expected to be worth about £900m when finished. The cash – £160m for the land and about £40m for the relocation of the nearby Marlborough primary school – was said to have come from Ashley through his personal company, MASH Holdings. Ashley, who has already dabbled in high-end property in Miami, Majorca and Switzerland, planned to expand into luxury development to spread his wealth from Sports Direct. “It’s about not having all your eggs in one basket,” a source told theSunday Times. As the founder and deputy chairman of Nottinghamshire-based Sports Direct, Ashley has placed bets on retailers Tesco and Debenhams, and has stakes in MySale and JD Sports. Sports Direct, which recently reported a £300m profit for 2014-15 and is now valued at £4.71bn on the stock market. Funding the stakes outside Sports Direct has not been difficult for Ashley. He pocketed £929m in one day when he floated Sports Direct on the stock market in 2007 and a further £314m from sales in 2014 and January this year. It was after leaving school at 16 that Ashley first became involved in sportswear. He opened a small chain of sport and ski shops in and around London after quitting his job as a squash coach. His remaining stake is worth nearly £2.62bn. Other windfalls from the sale of leases he owned on 32 Sports Direct stores raised nearly £87m, past property deals, dividends and salaries and any remaining cash should make Ashley worth £3.85bn after tax and spending.
Eka Tjipta Widjaja & family – £3,720m
Sinar Mas Land
Indonesian investor Sinar Mas Land secured a deal to buy the Alphabeta, EC2, for £280m, a 4% yield, in July. The 220,000 sq ft redevelopment has transformed the historic banking hallinto a favourite of financially minded technology company occupiers, given its location at the intersection of the City of London and Shoreditch. Tenants in the fully let building include SEI, Silicon Valley Bank, Maxus Global, We Are Social, OpenTable, Pizza Buzz and Mendeley. Alphabeta is the second London building Sinar Mas has bought, following its 2013 purchase of the New Brook Buildings, WC2, for £85m. The firm sold the building in December last year for £113m. Sinar Mar is part of the business empire of Indonesian tycoon Eka Tjipta Widjaja, who came from China as a nine-year-old boy and started selling biscuits at the age of 17. His empire, embracing palm oil and mining, has pushed the Widjaja family to £3.72bn.
Kwek Leng Beng – £3,460m
Lord Heseltine’s Haymarket publishing operation sold its famous Teddington Studios to a listed Singapore developer in February. City Developments, chaired by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng, bought the 4.5-acre site in Middlesex for around £80m. Teddington Studios has planning consent for a £250m TP Bennett-designed 224,211 sq ft scheme comprising 213 flats and six houses. As Singapore’s property market “continues to experience challenging headwinds”, Kwek Leng Beng is focusing overseas, notably in Japan and Australia. Last September, his Singapore-listed City Developments jointly acquired a 4.2-acre plot of prime land in Tokyo for $262m. His London-listed Millennium & Copthorne has also opened a new hotel in the heart of Tokyo’s Ginza district. Kwek’s newest project at home is South Beach, a cluster of luxury residences, offices and a 654-room hotel designed by Philippe Starck. His family stake and other wealth adds up to £3.46bn.
John Grayken – £3,300m
British property operation Quintain was snapped up for £700m in July by US private equity firm Lone Star. Quintain owns swathes of property around Wembley Stadium including the new London Designer Outlet and Wembley Arena. It has planning permission for around 5,500 homes in the area. Lone Star is headed by ex-Morgan Stanley banker John Grayken. An American, Grayken lives in the UK and has had Irish citizenship since 1999. He founded Lone Star in 1995 and has never looked back. To date, Lone Star has organised 15 private equity funds with total capital commitments since inception of more than $45bn. Its investors include corporate and public pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, university endowments, foundations, fund of funds and high-net-worth individuals. Grayken’s share of the profits should give him a £3.3bn fortune.
Baroness Howard de Walden & family – £3,230m
Howard de Walden Estates
The Howard de Walden family picked up a £36m dividend in 2013-14 from its family estate company. Howard de Walden Estates saw its profits hit a record £48.1m that year. The company, which controls 90 acres of central London on behalf of the Howard de Walden family, also saw its net assets rise
to £2.9bn. The estate leases out and manages more than 850 buildings in the Marylebone area. But chief executive Toby Shannon has warned that prices could fall in London: “History tells us property values do not continue to rise uninterrupted, and after such a sustained increase in central London property values, it would be surprising if we did not see a slowdown in growth in values or a correction in due course, even if current sentiment and market forces might suggest otherwise.” The estate has been holding back on buying over the past year amid the surge in values. The Howard de Walden family is led by the 10th Baroness, the oldest of four daughters of the late Lord Howard de Walden, who died in 1999. We value the business assets of the family at £3bn and add a further £230m for past dividends and other property assets.
Ian & Richard Livingstone – £3,000m
London & Regional Group Holdings
The low-key Livingstone brothers plan to invest more than $500m to develop a luxury Cuban tourist resort in one of the first signs of big money interest in the island since Havana began talks to normalise relations with the US at the end of 2014. The Livingstones are perhaps best known for owning Cliveden, the stately home-turned luxury hotel made famous by the Profumo scandal in the early 1960s, and Chewton Glen. Ian, who trained as an optometrist, and Richard, a chartered surveyor, formed London & Regional Properties in the late 1980s, buying distressed assets in the midst of the commercial property crash. They now control a global empire spanning luxury hotels, casinos, Greenwich Peninsula, and the former M&S headquarters in Baker Street, W1. They have 3.5m sq ft of property developments in the pipeline in London alone and are also working on a huge £6bn development in Panama. We can see sharply higher net assets of £1.68bn in the 2014 accounts in London & Regional Group Holdings (up by around £640m), which also made a £190.3m profit. The total portfolio is worth £9bn, with two-thirds in the UK and the rest in emerging markets. Past dividends and handsome gains on sales of assets in Scandinavia, Russia and Cape Town, together with significant holdings in Latin America, should take the Livingstones to £3bn.
Eddie & Sol Zakay – £3,000m
The Zakays’ Topland Group is busy lending money for property deals and developments to the tune of £400m by the end of 2014. Brothers Eddie and Sol launched their business during the property boom in the 1980s. Under Sol’s leadership, the business has diversified into hotels, property lending, joint ventures, natural resources, solar energy and venture capital, in addition to property investment. Its portfolio is reckoned to be worth £4bn worldwide. We can see £550m of net assets in the 2013-14 accounts of 100 Zakay companies. But after stripping out borrowings, the Zakay family should be worth £3bn.
Vivien Chen & family – £2,940m
Hong Kong developer Nan Fung completed the acquisition of the Isle of Man unit trust that owns the City headquarters of law firm Withers, EC4, for around £75m in March 2015. The 95,000 sq ft office block – which was on the market via Bilfinger GVA for £79m, reflecting a 4.35% yield – is let to Withers until 2026, with a break in 2018. One of Hong Kong’s biggest developers, Nan Fung also agreed to buy an 11-storey tower in London’s Canary Wharf district in October 2014. The purchase price for 50 Bank Street, the London HQ of the US financial services giant Northern Trust, was £153.5m. Nan Fung’s founder, Chen Din-hwa, died in 2012. He had arrived in Hong Kong from Shanghai in 1949, setting up a textile company that grew into the major property developer and shipping business. His younger daughter Vivien has been running the company since 2009 and is now chairman. The family is embroiled in legal disputes over ownership of the business, but the family wealth has soared to £2.94bn.
Frank Lowy & family – £2,875m
Australian billionaire Frank Lowy now runs two property companies with his family following the spin-off of the Australian and New Zealand operations of the Westfield business he co-founded in 1960. The move narrowly won approval from the majority of his shareholders last year. The Lowy family owns 9.5% of Westfield and 4.2% of Scentre, the spun-off business. The Lowy family has to deliver on an $11.8bn development pipeline that includes opening a flagship mall at New York’s World Trade Center this year and new shopping centres in Milan and London. The UK assets include the £1.6bn Westfield centre in Shepherd’s Bush, W12, opened in 2008. In May last year, London mayor Boris Johnson approved plans to extend the Shepherd’s Bush site and build more than 1,300 homes. The £1bn scheme, immediately north of the existing centre, will be anchored by a four-level John Lewis department store – the first in west London. It should open in time for Christmas 2017. Its sister site is Westfield Stratford City, E20, next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Westfield has an interest in eight other centres around the UK. Lowy hails from Slovakia. He later headed to Palestine, where he joined the underground Israeli army, the Haganah and then the Golani Brigade, fighting in the Arab–Israeli War in Galilee and Gaza. He left Israel in 1952 to settle in Australia. With then-partner John Saunders, he created the Westfield Development Corporation through the development of a shopping centre at Blacktown in Sydney’s western suburbs. Over the next 30 years, Lowy and Saunders developed shopping centres across Australia and the US (from 1977), changing the name of the company to the Westfield Group and listing the company on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1960. Saunders sold his interests and left the company in 1987. Lowy is now non-executive chairman of the group, which is run by two of his sons, Steven and Peter, as joint chief executives. Lowy is now worth around £2.875bn.
Mark Pears & family – £2,800m
William Pears Family Holdings
The sale of the four-building Notting Hill Unit Trust in west London was completed in July this year for £219.3m – a 3.2% yield. Pears Group and LaSalle Investment Management sold the 171,000 sq ft estate, which comprises shops, restaurants, offices and a cinema, to Frogmore. The Pears family looks in fine fettle. In 2013-14, the top dozen of its 200 companies, led by the William Pears Group, showed a rise in net assets to £1.26bn while profits came in at £65m. The three Pears brothers, led by Mark, run a property empire started in 1952 by their grandfather, Bernard, with three north London greengrocers. The Hampstead-based business now embraces thousands of London homes, flats and office blocks and manages buildings for clients such as BT. The three young Pears were propelled to run the family empire when their father and ace dealmaker, Clive Pears, died in 1984. The value of the total Pears portfolio has been put at £6bn. They also own Telereal Trillium, the property manager which has 8,000 properties and houses about 1% of the UK’s workforce. Allowing for any borrowings, past dividends/salaries and successful investments such as the $100m the Pears made from the flotation of Facebook, we value the family at £2.8bn.
Teddy Sagi – £2,530m
Israeli gaming and software entrepreneur Sagi has a penchant for British assets. Last year, he picked up Camden Market in north London, a tourist hotspot, in a series of deals, spending nearly £500m. He later floated the whole as a business on the stock market. Now called Market Tech, it is worth £941m. Sagi retains an £813m stake. Sagi’s fortune originally derived from gaming software business Playtech, which he started in 1999 and floated on the London market in 2006. Sagi has a £783m stake in the £2.33bn operation. He sold a 15% Playtech stake in March 2014, just before the first Camden deal, raising £326m. Earlier this year, Playtech spent £333m buying another Sagi company, TradeFX. Sagi made £287m from that deal. He also floated two more companies on the London stock market last year: online payments processor Safecharge and big data company Crossrider. His stakes in both are worth a combined £364m. In June 2015, he bought the Plus500 brokerage operation for £460m. Sagi has real estate in Tel Aviv, London and Berlin. His fortune is now a conservative £2.53bn.
Sir Anwar Pervez & family – £2,440m
London-based cash-and-carry giant Bestway has a £500m property portfolio. It comprises owner-occupied warehouses, its maintenance, investment properties and the development of existing and new investment and commercial properties. In recent years, the group has developed nearly 1m sq ft of commercial space, comprising warehouse units round the UK. Bestway also has an investment division that invests in properties in addition to those held by the group for its business operations. Palmbest’s portfolio includes UK-wide prime office space, industrial estates, large warehouse units, large retail shops and residential property. Its blue-chip tenants include McDonald’s, Vodafone, NatWest, Café Rouge, Sainsbury’s, the Post Office and Argos. Bestway founder Sir Anwar Pervez recently snapped up the Co-op pharmacy business from under the noses of Boots and Lloyds for £620m. Profits at Bestway (Holdings) hit a record £250.3m on £1.98bn sales in 2013-14, while the separate Bestway Northern added £17m profit and £573m sales. Pervez came to the UK aged 21 from Pakistan and opened his first shop in 1962. He built a chain of 11 shops and then in 1976 he turned to cash and carry with his first depot in west London. Today, Bestway Group trades from 62 warehouses under the Bestway and Batleys names and enjoys an 18% market share in the grocery wholesale sector. It also has a leading cement operation and a bank in Pakistan. The two Bestway companies are together easily worth £4.7bn. The Pervez family owns just over half of Bestway and that stake is worth £2.41bn. Other assets add around £30m. Pervez would be much richer if he did not give large amounts to charity every year.
Ingvar Kamprad & family – £2,400m
Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, used its property offshoot, LandProp, to gobble up 26 acres in Stratford for £25m in 2011. A new quarter, Strand East, is being developed there, boasting 480,000 sq ft of office space, yoga studios, a creche, a Marriott hotel, shops and 1,200 homes. There will not be an Ikea store, and it is not painted corporate blue and yellow, but the overall tidiness is definitely Ikea. Similar projects are under way in central Europe, while Ikea hunts for land in other cities to create even bigger districts. Meanwhile, under the brand Ulito, Ikea plans to build student apartments, complete with health clubs and bars, all over Europe. Ikea was founded by reclusive Swedish tycoon Ingvar Kamprad. But just how rich is he? The Swedish rich list puts his wealth at £43bn; Bloomberg, in its daily ranking of the world’s top billionaires, puts his fortune at £27bn; while the Swiss rich list (where he is based) puts his wealth at £27.6bn. But all these figures are disputed both by Ikea and Kamprad’s lawyers. They produced documents in 2011 proving that Kamprad had irrevocably transferred the majority of his economic stake in Ikea to entities beyond his economic control and benefit decades ago. Kamprad began to develop a business as a young boy, selling matches to neighbours from his bicycle. He found he could buy matches in bulk very cheaply from Stockholm, sell them individually at a low price, and still make a good profit. From matches, he expanded to selling fish, Christmas tree decorations, seeds, and later ballpoint pens and pencils. When Kamprad was 17, his father gave him a cash reward for succeeding in his studies. Ikea was founded in 1943 at Kamprad’s uncle Ernst’s kitchen table. In 1948, Kamprad diversified his portfolio, adding furniture. His business was mostly mail-order. The acronym Ikea is made up of the initials of his name (Ingvar Kamprad) plus those of Elmtaryd, the family farm where he was born, and the nearby village Agunnaryd. In 2013, Kamprad resigned from the board of Inter Ikea Holding SA and his youngest son, Mathias, took over as chairman of the holding company. Although he eschews the trappings of wealth, Kamprad’s property assets, the sale of his remaining stake to the entities beyond his control and other assets take the family to £2.4bn.
John Whittaker & family – £2,370m
Liverpool2 is the new £300m container port on the Mersey, which opens later this year under the auspices of John Whittaker’s Peel property operation in a joint venture with Deutsche Bank. It is all part of Whittaker’s grand vision for Liverpool. A £5.5bn regeneration scheme for Liverpool, called Liverpool Waters, was given the green light in 2013. Over the next 30 years, Liverpool Waters is expected to create more than 20,000 jobs, deliver 9,000 houses and 3m sq ft of commercial development. Whittaker’s assets cover shopping centres, ports, airports, enormous land holdings, the Pinewood Shepperton Studios and Salford’s MediaCity, now home to large parts of the BBC. The low-key Whittaker, who nearly became a Catholic priest, went into the quarrying business before moving into property. In the 1980s, he fought a long-drawn-out, sometimes bitter battle to take over the Manchester Ship Canal Company, out of which the hugely successful Trafford Centre emerged. The centre is now part of the quoted intu Properties after Whittaker agreed a takeover in 2011, which saw his Peel business emerge as a large intu shareholder with a stake now worth £1.12bn. Whittaker, renowned for his long-term view and dogged determination in any planning or takeover battle, has 75% of the Peel Holdings business, which is worth, in his view, up to £3bn. That values his stake at £2.25bn. We add £120m for past dividends and other assets.
Hui Wing Mau – £2,350m
Goldman Sachs’s Paternoster Square base fell into Chinese hands last February for £270m. Hong Kong-listed Shimao Property, owned by billionaire Hui Wing Mau, bought Christchurch Court, EC1, from German fund Deka, in what was its first UK purchase. Goldman is expected to reduce its occupation after completion of its new headquarters off Fleet Street. Hui Wing Mau, the son of a doctor, was born in China’s Fujian province in 1950. After working at a state-run company in the late 1980s, he became a trader and built a fortune in textiles. He eventually began investing in real estate in Hong Kong and later back home in mainland China. Today he controls two publicly listed companies: flagship Shimao Property Holdings and Shanghai Shimao, a commercial property developer. His son and daughter work in his businesses and the family fortune is now worth £2.35bn.
Sammy Lee Tak-yee & family – £1,858m
Sammy Lee Tak-yee divides his time between London and Hong Kong. He snapped up the 16-acre Langham estate in central London from the receivers for just £51m in 1993. The estate, between Soho and Mayfair, had been valued at £175m in 1989. His family also has substantial property assets in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Switzerland and more in London. Tak-yee had been buying shares in West End property company, Shaftesbury, tabling an offer to buy nearly £230m worth of shares, but the offer fell through in August. His fortune now stands at £1.858bn.
Viscount Portman & family – £1,720m
The Portman Estate recently secured two upmarket restaurant operators at Portman Village, W1, which will help its efforts to create a stylish quarter. The estate has also been granted planning permission to demolish the former Marylebone police station at 1-9 Seymour Street, W1. A new six-storey development will be built fronting Seymour Street and Bryanston Street, including 24 flats, office and school space. The Portman Estate signed a deal to buy the site in 2014. All this activity is good news for Portman, whose family owns the 110-acre Portman estate. It has been busy in recent year refurbishing its properties and neighbourhoods in an effort to move upmarket in the manner of the adjacent Howard de Walden estate. Owned by a series of complex family trusts, the Portman estate was slower than the other big London landowners to start improvements as many of its properties were out on long leases. These are now coming to an end and the estate is taking a more proactive role in development, spending £40m on an investment programme that includes Portman Village. As well as the London estate, the Portman estate owns overseas assets in Australia and the US. Portman continues to develop his agricultural interests with the Portman Burtley Estate, which consists of 2,000 acres of farmland and woodland in Buckinghamshire. It complements Portman’s 3,000-acre Herefordshire estate. In all, the property assets should be up by around 20% this year, slightly above other quality London landlords. The Portman assets are now worth around £1.72bn.
Mahdi Al-Tajir – £1,670m
A £500m development called gWest is being developed by al-Tajir and his family near Gleneagles in Scotland, which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup. Al-Tajir, a former ambassador for the United Arab Emirates in the UK, has the resources to undertake such a development with metal trading, oil and gas interests, and a huge property portfolio held through Drift Properties, with £231m net assets in 2013. However, he is best known as owner of Highland Spring, the Scottish mineral drink operation, which turned in a £2.1m profit on record sales of £98m that year. Al Tajir spends much of his time in Britain at his palatial London home or his 24,000-acre Perthshire estate next to Gleneagles. We can see £325m of net assets in the 2013 accounts of five Al-Tajir companies. We put the Al-Tajir fortune at £1.67bn.
Sir Charles Dunstone – £1,666m
Sir Charles Dunstone and his business partner in the Student Castle operation, Roger Taylor, recently agreed to sell a prime student accommodation portfolio, with properties in London and other UK cities, for £335m. Student Castle, established in 2010, is not Dunstone’s only foray into property. The founder of the hugely successful Carphone Warehouse chain launched an online residential property sales firm, House Simple, that offers consumers a different choice to estate agents. Dunstone also recently bought a converted Notting Hill Victorian warehouse for £25.3m as his latest property investment. He owns a number of properties in the Notting Hill area. The £3.8bn merger of the Dixons and Carphone Warehouse retail chains in the summer of 2014 proved a shrewd deal for Dunstone. With sales of £12bn, 2,900 stores and 45,000 staff, Dixons Carphone is now the UK’s number one high-street electricals retailer. The combined operation is now worth £5.36bn. Knighted in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours, public school-educated Dunstone worked as a mobile phone sales manager before setting up Carphone Warehouse in 1989 with £6,000 savings. It floated on the stock market in 2000. Its TalkTalk telecom service was split off as a separate company in 2010. Dunstone’s stakes in both are now worth a combined £1.495bn. Share sales and other gains of over £200m since the original float should take Dunstone to £1.666bn after tax.
Yeoh Tiong Lay & family – £1,500m
Filton Airfield in Bristol, regarded as the home of Concorde, has recently been sold to the Malaysian conglomerate for nearly £70m. South Gloucestershire council approved an £800m residential-led development on the site. Plans include 2,675 homes and an employment hub expected to create about 7,785 jobs. The deal is the first entry into the local property market by Malaysian company YTL, which is best known in the UK for a luxury hotel arm and ownership of Wessex Water, which it bought for £1.2bn in 2010. YTL was founded by Malaysian tycoon Yeoh Tiong Lay in 1955. Today it is one of the largest companies on Malaysia and is quoted on the local stock exchange and the Tokyo market. It has annual revenues of £3.4bn and its interests include utilities, hotels and property development, including a 2,000-acre land bank in Malaysia. In all, Lay and his family are worth around £1.5bn.
Benzion Freshwater & family – £1,500m
The Freshwater family displayed its usual smart investment strategy in early 2015 when it unlocked a £300m Oxford Street development opportunity after acquiring the final piece in an island site. The family’s investment vehicle, Daejan Investments, spent £15m and it now owns the entire strip from Berwick Street to Wardour Street, W1, covering six properties. The firm began assembling the site in 2012 and, subject to planning and consultation with other landlords, West End agents said there was scope for a £300m, 250,000 sq ft mixed-use scheme. Values at the eastern end of Oxford Street are expected to rise with the arrival of Crossrail. Little wonder, then, that Daejan Holdings, the low-key London property group, has seen its share price surge and it is now valued at a record £1.05bn. It is largely owned by Freshwater, his family and trusts with a £830m stake. Freshwater’s father, Osias, arrived in London three days before the second world war as a penniless refugee. In 1957 he took over Daejan and when he died in 1976, he was London’s biggest private landlord with 20,000 tenants. The Freshwater family also has three other main companies – Highdorn, Metropolitan Properties and Centremanor – which had £1.125bn net assets between them in 2013-14. But we cut the net assets attributable to the Freshwater family to £600m to allow for double counting and any charitable stakes. We add £70m for past dividends and other assets, taking the family to £1.5bn.
Poju & Anita Zabludowicz – £1,500m
Tamares Real Estate Investments (UK)
“Twenty years of collecting” was the
title of a recent exhibition at the Zabludowicz Collection, housed in a former chapel in London’s Chalk Farm. The 3,000-strong collection has been built up over two decades, financed by Zabludowicz and his wife Anita. He has lived and worked in London for most of his life, although his father Shlomo, a Holocaust survivor, built the family business around Soltam, an Israeli defence contractor. The defence interests have now been offloaded and the family diversified into property and hotels in Israel and Las Vegas. In 2011, the family company Tamares sold its British Israel Property operation for $700m. Tamares has a dozen prime properties around the world and a series of quoted and private investments. Zabludowicz recently sold the Princes Arcade on Piccadilly for around £120m. Although there is little evidence of asset wealth in their British companies, such as Tamares Real Estate Investments with just £142,000 net assets in 2013, we keep the Zabludowiczs at £1.5bn.
Dermot Desmond – £1,480m
Belfast’s Titanic Quarter is one of the world’s biggest urban waterfront regeneration projects. Master-planned over 185 acres on the site where the ill-fated Titanic was designed and built, Titanic Quarter has a futuristic mix of residential, commercial, tourism, education and retail space, providing Belfast with a new urban quarter. With 145,000 sq m already completed, 90 companies on site and around 5,000 people already living and working in the area, this ambitious scheme will ultimately provide homes and employment for 50,000 people. Irish financier Dermot Desmond jointly owns Titanic Quarter and also has property assets in London. A former stockbroker-turned shrewd investor, he is best known as the leading shareholder in Celtic, Scotland’s leading football club, where he has a £25m stake. His London City airport operation and a stake in Greencore, an Irish food company, were sold before prices slumped, netting Desmond £848m. He earlier made £240m from selling stakes in Esat Digifone, Baltimore Technology, Manchester United and Golden Vale. Desmond is continually on the hunt for similar projects via his Dublin-based International Investment & Underwriting Company, which studies 40 projects a year. He also has around £64m of stakes in UK quoted companies, including a £5m stake in Great Portland Estates. In all, he is easily worth £1.48bn.
John Caudwell – £1,450m
Mobile phone tycoon John Caudwell is now heavily involved in property development, having been granted planning permission in January for his £250m Mayfair mega-mansion, built from two Grade II listed buildings, thanks to “exceptional circumstances”. He has the funds to do it despite possibly being the UK’s biggest taxpayer, having handed over £253m to the Inland Revenue in four years. A former engineering apprentice, later car dealer, Caudwell joined the fledgling mobile phone industry in 1987 and
never looked back. He sold most of his Potteries-based mobile phone retailer Caudwell Group in 2006 for £1.46bn, netting £1.24bn. He made a further
£100m when the company, trading as Phones4U, was sold again in 2011. He had previously sold off his Singlepoint customer billing operation to Vodafone for £405m. Caudwell is also working on another Mayfair house that he bought for £80m in 2012 from the brother of the Sultan of Brunei and reckons that refurbishment will take around two
years. Caudwell also has a £36m stake in Jon Moulton’s Better Capital private equity fund (down £20m).
However, his 10 small property companies showed negative net assets totalling £25m in 2013. We clip Caudwell back to £1.45bn. He does hefty charitable work for Caudwell Children, which grants holidays, provides equipment and support to youngsters with life-limiting illnesses and their families.
The Lazari family – £1,450m
The death of Chris Lazari in July at the age of 69 robbed the London property market of one of its shrewdest operators. His company, Lazari Investments, is a leading central and north London property business. It was set up by Lazari, a Greek Cypriot entrepreneur who came to the UK in the early 1970s to work in the fashion business. In 1978, he diversified into property and never looked back. In 2014-15, its property portfolio consisted of 136 separate buildings with more than 500 occupiers. The booming central London market meant the occupancy level was 98.6%. Of the available vacant 1.4%, more than half was under offer. There is not a single office unit in the entire portfolio to be let until the completion of a 57,000 sq ft office scheme in Wimpole Street in the third quarter of 2015. Little wonder that Lazari was able to report a 16.26% rise in profits to £43.56m and an even sharper 32.92% rise in net assets to £1.375bn in 2014-15. Other assets take the Lazari family to £1.45bn.
Kuok Khoon Hong – £1,436m
Aviva Tower, EC3, the City headquarters of the Aviva insurance giant, was bought in 2011 for £288m by two palm oil tycoons from Asia. But it was reported in July that detailed plans to build the City’s tallest skyscraper in place of the tower, which will rival the Shard in height and make it the second loftiest tower in Europe, are being drawn up and will be submitted to the City of London Corporation by the end of the year. The Aviva Tower, also known as St Helen’s, and sites opposite the Gherkin would be demolished to make way for the gigantic office block, according to early proposals. The site – 1 Undershaft – was bought by Singaporean magnate Kuok Khoon Hong, co-founder of the world’s largest palm oil company, Wilmar International, along with his fellow Wilmar board member, Chinese Indonesian businessman Martua Sitorus. Kuok Khoon Hong worked for Malaysian billionaire Robert Kuok (his uncle) before starting Wilmar in 1991. Wilmar merged with his uncle’s palm oil business in 2007 and Kuok Khoon Hong today has a £1.436bn fortune.
MA Yusuff Ali & family – £1,435m
Middle Eastern conglomerate LuLu Group is acquiring Great Scotland Yard, which is being turned into a five-star luxury hotel by Stephen Conway’s Galliard Group. The price is around £100m and represents another overseas foray into the London trophy property market by the LuLu Group, which also recently bought stakes in the London-based East India Company and its fine food subsidiary for around £53m in total. The group has been built up by Indian entrepreneur MA Yusuff Ali, who hails from the Thrissur district of Kerala. After moving to Gujarat to study, he made his way to the UAE in 1973 to work in his uncle’s tiny distribution company. He developed the import and wholesale distribution of the group and ventured into the supermarket business. Ali started his first LuLu Hypermarket in 1990s, a time when the UAE’s retail sector witnessed a major change, with traditional groceries and supermarkets yielding to large neighbourhood stores and hypermarkets. Today there are 110 LuLu stores in the Middle East, Africa and India, attracting 500,000 shoppers a day and taking a 32% share of the grocery retail sector. The company also has interests in manufacturing and food processing, food imports and exports, cold stores and warehousing, as well as logistics and trade. LuLu International Exchange is one of the biggest exchanges in the world, carrying out roughly 6% of all global remittances. Through Line Investment & Properties, it has also moved into shopping malls and real estate projects. Ali has opened his first mall in the southern Indian city of Cochin, where he also has a stake in its airport, two Marriott hotels, a Grand Hyatt hotel and a convention centre. Lulu Group has revenues of $5.7bn and that helps Yusuff Ali to a £1.435bn fortune.
Mangal Lodha & family – £1,285m
Indian property magnate Mangal Prabhat Lodha made his mark in London in 2013 with the $645m purchase of the former Canadian High Commission building in Mayfair and has since bought a second central London property for £90m. But his Lodha Group’s latest plans dwarf these two forays. In September, Lodha launched a drive to become one of the biggest investors in the London residential property market with plans to spend as much as $5bn by the end of 2018. Some $4bn will be spent on acquiring assets, with a further $2bn on construction in the super-prime to mid-market sectors. The aim is to use the cashflow from the Mumbai developments to finance the London spending spree. Lodha is India’s largest housing developer. Founded in 1980 by Mangal Lodha, the family-controlled operation earned $1.4bn in revenues over 2013-14, largely from sales in Mumbai, its base. Its newest project is Palava, an 800-acre township in suburban Mumbai that will comprise 800 residential towers and has Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachhan as its “first citizen”. The Park is an upcoming luxury residential development that will eventually consist of six high-rise towers and be spread over 5m sq ft in downtown Mumbai. One of the buildings will be the city’s first Trump Tower. Work is also proceeding on the 117-storey World One luxury tower in Mumbai, billed as the world’s tallest residence. Lodha is also active in Indian politics and is a senior member of the Bharatiya Janata party. His family fortune is now around £1.285bn after recent stock market carnage.
Multinational developer Reignwood Group joined Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in September 2014 to breathe new life into 10 Trinity Square, EC3, one of London’s most iconic buildings, by transforming the property into a luxury hotel and residential development. Reignwood is investing £400m in the project. The former Port of London Authority building has been redeveloped to establish one of the most exclusive addresses in London. With 98 guest rooms and suites, it will also include 41 private residences. Chinese-Thai businessman Chanchai Ruayrungruang leads the privately held Reignwood Group, which he founded in 1984. Last year it also bought the famous Wentworth golf course from Richard Caring for £135m. It also owns the Reignwood Centre, an office, hotel and retail complex in central Beijing, and the Pine Valley golf course in Beijing. Reignwood also has exclusive production rights for the Red Bull energy drink in China. Ruayrungruang’s fortune is put at around £1.275bn. Some is visible in the UK with a company, 10 Trinity Square Residences, showing £210m assets in 2013.
Fred & Peter Done – £1,250m
Betfred boss Fred Done is a fanatical Manchester United fan. The Salford-born bookie and his brother Peter started out as bookie’s runners for their father. From a single betting shop in 1967, the pair now owns what has become one of the UK’s largest chains. In 2011, Betfred took over the Tote for £265m. The brothers also have interests ranging from legal services to insurance, sports promotion, property and a restaurant. Via his Mosley Street Ventures business, Fred is building up a burgeoning property empire, most noticeably building the 11-storey No 2 St Peter’s Square project in Manchester. Done submitted plans to enter the PRS market in late 2014 with a 380-home project in Salford, Greater Manchester. The four main but separate Done companies together made around £120m profit in 2013-14. They should be worth £1,200m. Past salaries/dividends and Fred’s £30m stake in Satellite Information Services take the pair to £1,250m.
Peter Lim – £1,200m
Former Manchester United stars Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have teamed up with Singapore billionaire Peter Lim for a £200m development project in Manchester. Lim, who started as a stockbroker in Singapore, has taken a 75% stake in the 500,000sq ft Bootle Street project in the city, covering a former police station, a pub, a synagogue and some open land. Manchester city council has granted a 250-year lease and construction should start next year. When complete the site – to be renamed St Michael – will include a five-star hotel, shops, residential, leisure and offices. Lim also backed the United pair, plus Paul Scholes and Nicky Butt, in the shared ownership of Salford City Football Club and is also part of the team behind the players’ 138-bedroom Hotel Football project near Old Trafford. Lim’s early forays as investor started in 1996 when he bought into a palm olive company, followed by a fashion chain. He has a significant stake in McLaren Automotive, which makes high performance cars, and since 2014 has owned the Spanish football club Valencia. Lim has a controlling stake in the quoted Singapore development company Rowsley and is easily worth £1.2bn.
Jon Hunt – £1,186m
With a commercial property portfolio that has grown by 20%-plus in value to more than £560m, Hunt has clearly not lost his touch in the property world. The former owner of the Foxtons estate agency chain, Hunt sold up at the height of the boom for £375m in early 2007. Born to an army family, Hunt was awarded a scholarship to Millfield school. He left after O-levels to join the army, passing basic training for the Royal Artillery, in which his father had been a colonel. After leaving the army, and following a short spell washing cars
in Canada, Hunt returned to the UK in
1972 and spent the next eight years working as an estate agent in Surrey. In 1981, aged 28, he founded Foxtons, which took its name from a village near his Suffolk home. After selling Foxtons,
Hunt made substantial commercial property investments in central
London at the bottom of the market in 2008. He has also been active in
residential development in central London. He turned down an unsolicited offer for his seven-storey townhouse in Kensington Palace Gardens, W8, in 2008, reputedly for £200m. Hunt also has a luxury serviced office business called Dryland. “It’s built for the spoilt businessman,” he says. His other assets including a car collection and the Suffolk estate. In 2010 he launched Bacchus Partners, hoping to snap up derelict properties across the southeast and east of England, then turn them into housing. Hunt is now worth £1.186bn.
Ong Beng Seng & Christina Ong & family – £1,170m
An Asian consortium has bought a £1bn luxury flats development near the Tate Modern gallery on London’s South Bank, SE1, from the Carlyle private equity group. Singaporean tycoon Ong Beng Seng is part of that consortium via his Hotel Properties operation. The development will involve the construction of nine residential blocks, including a 48-storey tower. The low-key Ong family also has a £300m stake in the Somerset-based Mulberry luxury goods brand, a stake that is overseen by Ong’s wife Christina. The family also own stakes in Four Seasons Place, an $850m Kuala Lumpar development. In all, Ong and his family are valued at £1.17bn.
Richard Desmond – £1,150m
Northern & Shell
Desmond, who made a £433m profit on his sale of Channel 5 Television in 2014, is entering property development in a big way. He has appointed the Livingstone brothers to oversee the development of his 13.5-acre West Ferry Printers site in London’s Docklands into homes as his printing operation moves to Luton. Around 3,000 homes could be built on the site in a project that could be worth £500m. Desmond’s Thames-side base for his newspapers is owned by his Badger Property Partners operation. The building, which earns Desmond £8.2m a year in rent from the Express titles, was bought for £28m in 2004 and is now worth £130m. The former ad salesman-turned-publisher bought the Express titles in 2000 for a bargain-basement £125m. In 2013, Express Newspapers turned in a handsome £30.4m profit on £204.8m sales and showed £365m net assets. Desmond has paid off the borrowings he needed to buy the titles and paid himself, in salary or pension contributions, some £158m between 2002 and 2007. The Express titles – now the subject of Mirror Group takeover interest – should be worth more than £100m, lower than the net asset figure. In all, he should be worth £1.15bn even after his pledge of £300,000 to UKIP in December.
Rodney Sacks – £1,120m
American billionaire Rodney Sacks, who created the Monster energy drink brand, paid Stenprop £48.5m – a 5.3% yield – for 24 Chiswell Street, EC1, in March. The 76,465 sq ft office, completed in 1989, is the latest in a string of London acquisitions by Sacks’ private family trust, including 14 Holborn, EC1, and John Snow House. Sacks is the long-time chairman and chief executive of Monster Beverage, which competes with Red Bull and Rockstar Energy. He started running Monster in 1990, back when it was a small-time soda company called Hansen’s Natural. Sacks was part of an investment group that bought the company from its previous owners and then took it public in 1992. It had $2.5bn sales in 2014. The popularity of the energy drink led Sacks, who owns an estimated 7% of the business, to change the company’s name to Monster Beverage in 2012. In August 2014, Coca-Cola bought a 16.7% stake in Monster. Sacks’ stake and other assets are worth around £1.12bn.
Sir Brian Souter & Ann Gloag – £1,115m
Brian Souter’s investment company, Souter Investments, recently invested substantial sums in an upmarket Edinburgh residential property company. Best known for starting the Perth-based Stagecoach bus and train operator with his sister Ann Gloag in the early 1980s, Souter has been diversifying into other areas, with stakes in Scottish bus builder Alexander Dennis and European bus operations. Souter, who worked as a Glasgow bus conductor, trained as an accountant. He chairs Stagecoach, which floated on the stock market in 1993, while Gloag, a former nurse, remains a shareholder. The family stake in Stagecoach is now worth £615m while special dividends, on top of normal payouts, have garnered the pair over £320m since 2004. Souter Investments has grown sharply and its portfolio was valued at £334m in 2013, with three deals making Souter over £100m. The past Stagecoach dividends and property investments take the pair to £1.115bn allowing for tax and reinvestment.
John Christodoulou – £1,100m
Cyprus-born property entrepreneur John Christodoulou left Cyprus for Britain after the 1974 Turkish invasion. Leaving school at 16, he trained as a diamond mounter and bought his first property in 1994. His London-based Yianis Holdings’ net assets rose to £291.3m in 2013-14. It is the second-largest freeholder at Canary Wharf with 2m square feet, including two luxury five-star hotels. He also has around 2,000 increasingly valuable residential and commercial freehold units in central London. Other interests include Manchester’s Hilton Tower, the tallest residential hotel building in Europe. Christodoulou also has overseas business assets valued at more than £600m. Personal assets take him to a conservative £1.1bn.
Simon Glick & family – £1,100m
A low-key diamond and property tycoon from New York, Simon Glick has made a handsome return from investing in London property, notably Canary Wharf, E14. His father, Louis Glick, made his fortune as a trader setting up Louis Glick & Co, renowned for its expertise in rare yellow diamonds. Simon Glick later began to manage the family’s investments in property and financial companies. Glick was a personal friend of the late Paul Reichmann, founder of Canary Wharf, who lost control of the business after the early 1990s economic slowdown. Glick backed his efforts to regain control in 1995 in an £820m deal. Canary Wharf thrived and floated on the stock market in the late 1990s. Reichmann lost control again in 2004 after a bitter takeover battle that saw his friend Glick back the Morgan Stanley consortium that took control of Canary Wharf through Songbird Estates. Floating on the stock market in 2004, Songbird was acquired in April this year for £2.6bn by Canadian giant Brookfield Investment Properties, backed by the Qatar Investment Authority. Glick’s family stake and trusts had a near £680m stake. But in 2006, Glick sold £19m worth of shares in a placing and a year later it was reported his family had received around £120m in Songbird dividends. Also, he spent $64.4m in 2005 to buy a near 10% stake in Six Flags, the US amusement park group. Glick has also had stakes in banks and mortgage providers. The New York Times reported that a consortium he was part of was underbidder on a large Manhattan property deal with a $5.1bn bid. Glick and his family clearly have huge firepower and we value them at £1.1bn.
Martua Sitorus – £1,060m
Aviva Tower, the City headquarters of the Aviva insurance giant, was bought in 2011 for £288m by two palm oil tycoons from Asia. But it was reported in July that detailed plans to build the City’s tallest skyscraper in place of the tower, which will rival the Shard in height and make it the second loftiest tower in Europe, are being drawn up and will be submitted to the City of London Corporation by the end of the year. The Aviva Tower, also known as St Helen’s, and sites opposite the Gherkin would be demolished to make way for the gigantic office block, according to early proposals. The site – Number One, Undershaft – was bought by Singaporean magnate Kuok Hong Khoon, the founder and chief executive of the world’s largest palm oil company, Wilmar International, along with fellow Wilmar board member, Chinese Indonesian businessman, Martua Sitorus. The building occupied by Aviva generates a net annual rental income equivalent to 5.42% of the purchase price. The Aviva purchase was a private investment by the pair separate from Wilmar, which they co-founded in 1991. Sitorus traded shrimps as a teenager and holds a degree in economics from an Indonesian university. Now Wilmar chairman, Sitorus has a stake in Wilmar and private assets worth in total around £1.06bn.
Lord Sugar – £1,040m
The BBC’s The Apprentice star Lord Sugar is shrewdly riding the London property market. In June he sold Burberry’s old flagship store on London’s Haymarket, SW1, for £65m to a Qatari investor, netting a healthy profit for his Amsprop group. He bought the building empty from an unknown Russian for £31.5m two years ago. In 2014 he emerged as the buyer of a £23.3m building near the Old Street roundabout, regarded as the centre of London’s tech hub. Late last year he spent around £20m on three properties in the same area through his Amsprop business. Sugar, showing all the skill he demands of his apprentices, has generated higher returns in the buildings he has bought, with rents rising from £20 per sq ft to above £40 in recent lettings. He is also a canny seller and, in May 2013, sold a Mayfair office block for almost £50m more than he had bought it for just five years ago. Sugar’s other property operation, Amshold, saw its net assets soar by more than £100m to £552m in 2013-14. A Hackney tailor’s son, Sugar started his Amstrad consumer electronics operation in 1968. Following the £125m sale of Amstrad in 2007, his business activity is largely concentrated in the property field. Sugar should have received around £36m for his Amstrad stake and, after chairing premiership football club Tottenham Hotspur from 1991 to 2001, he picked up at least £25m for his stake. Sugar has at least £700m worth of property. With £150m of cash and other personal property assets, the rising Amshold net assets and the recent £50m property profit take Sugar to £1.04bn.
Nicholas Roditi – £1,030m
Workspace Group, the London real estate investment trust, has seen its share price soar, valuing the group at £1.45bn. The company recently bought Amnesty International’s former Clerkenwell HQ for £16.6m. The building, at 25 & 28 Easton Street, WC1, is to be reconfigured and let as a business centre after a two-year leaseback to the charity. Nicholas Roditi, a former fund manager, will be delighted as his family stake in Workspace is now worth £400m. Roditi once worked closely with billionaire financier George Soros. The magic must have rubbed off as Roditi now has stakes in seven quoted companies, including online grocer Ocado and AO World, the online white goods operation, worth a total of £630m. In 2007, a Russian business paper outed Roditi as the owner of a 1.5% stake in Russian energy giant Unified Energy Systems, with a £600m stake. Roditi also has holdings totalling £100m in two private companies, PGI and Belvedere Realty Investments. The US magazine Financial Worldreported that Roditi earned £50m in 1995 and £80m in 1996. In all, with past Russian investments, Roditi should be worth £1.03bn allowing for reinvestment.
59 Mark Dixon – £1,020m
Mark Dixon’s Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspaces and serviced offices. Essex-born Dixon left school at 16 and after a foray into the sandwich business, he then worked his way around Europe, Asia and Australia before running a burger van on London’s North Circular Road. He set up his own bread company supplying fast-food vendors, which he sold in 1988 for £800,000, and relocated to Brussels. After he noticed how business people held meetings in cafes, in 1989 he set up Regus, floating the company in 2000. It is now valued at a record £2.74bn with takeover rumours circulating. Dixon has an £894m stake in the Luxembourg-based operation. Nearly £100m of share sales and other assets should take him to £1.02bn.
Sir Donald Gordon & family –
The popularity of Britain’s top retail centres was revealed recently when the Church Commissioners of England put its remaining 10% stake in the Gateshead Metrocentre up for sale with a £125m price tag. Intu Properties acquired a 90% stake in the centre in 1995 for £364m. Intu is one of two property companies to have emerged from the entrepreneurial work of Sir Donald Gordon, who sold up his South African life assurance operation in 1999 to focus on his growing British property business. His main operation, Liberty International, split in 2010 into intu Properties and Capital & Counties Properties, where the Gordon family now has stakes worth £900m in total. South African share sales and other assets add about £150m to the Gordon family. Hefty charitable donations clip the family back to £1bn.
Sameer Gehlaut – £980m
Backed by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal, Sameer Gehlaut set up the Indiabulls Group – a real estate, financial services and power empire – with two college friends in 1997. The business was later split and Gehlaut took over the property and financial services interests. In June 2014 he bought 22 Hanover Square, W1, for £155m. “The building’s location in prime Mayfair adjoining Bond Street is truly exceptional and Hanover Square will become arguably London’s ‘best-connected’ square when the new Bond Street Crossrail station opens in 2018. The building has huge potential for redevelopment,” said Gehlaut. He recently upped his stake in Indiabulls, his main real estate operation, to over 38% with a near $85m cash infusion, which sent the shares rocketing. He is now worth around £980m.
Zameer Choudrey & family – £975m
An accountant, Zameer Choudrey has for 10 years been chief executive of Bestway, the west London-based cash and carry and pharmacy giant, which has its own substantial property operation. Profits hit a record £250.3m on £1.98bn sales in 2013-14, while the separate Bestway Northern added £17m profit and £573m sales. Together, the two are worth £4.7bn. Choudrey, a nephew of Bestway’s founder Sir Anwar Pervez, has a £949m stake. We add £26m for other assets.
Sir Roger & Peter De Haan
Former Saga boss Roger de Haan was knighted in the 2014 New Year’s Honours List for being a “hugely generous and active philanthropist”. His local town Folkestone has been the recipient of his largesse in recent years. This year his charitable trust spent £1m helping to build a new park for the town in time for the recent Folkestone Triennial public arts festival that De Haan started in 2008 and which takes place from August to November. The De Haan family money comes from the Saga holiday operation, which started as a local hotel run by his father. De Haan took over the running of the company in 1984 and sold up in a £1.35bn deal in 2004. After stripping out any debt and tax he should have netted at least £850m. His Folkestone Harbour Holdings saw its profits soar to £11.3m in 2013. His brother, Peter, had been finance director, but now runs his own wine business and has a property company, Opus Trust, which showed £28.7m net assets in 2013-14. In addition, Roger bought Peter out of some of his shares in an earlier £81m deal. We reckon the De Haan family should now be worth £950m, allowing for the huge and continuing commitment to Folkestone.
Eddie Healey – £950m
Eddie Healey sold his Parc Trostre retail park in Wales to M&G Real Estate for £156m in August 2014. It could have been a canny move at the top of the market by Healey, who knows all about retail development, having built the hugely successful Meadowhall Centre outside Sheffield. Its £1.17bn sale in 1999 netted him around £420m. Having reinvested some of the Meadowhall proceeds, we can see nearly £403m net assets in the 2013 accounts of SPH 2011, the main Healey family company. After Meadowhall, Healey developed Centro, Europe’s largest shopping centre, built on 196 acres of an old steel work site on the Ruhr in Germany. A £550m refinancing of the 1.6m sq ft centre in 2012 followed the purchase of a 50% stake in 2011 by a Canadian pension plan for around £250m. Despite some hefty losses at SPH 2011 totalling £76m in two years, the Parc Trostre deal should push the Healey family to £950m.
Steve Morgan – £880m
Buyers are forking out up to £20m each for high-end flats once home to royalty and Sir Winston Churchill at Connaught Place, W2, which overlooks London’s Hyde Park. Developer Redrow, which is led by Wolverhampton Wanderers football club chairman Steve Morgan, completed a £100m overhaul of Connaught Place in May 2015. Flintshire-based Redrow is now one of the UK’s largest housebuilders and property groups, valued at £1.6bn. Morgan started Redrow in 1974 and floated it on the stock market 20 years later. He sold £240m worth of shares in the float and when he left the board in 2000. He returned in 2009 and now has a £657m stake. Morgan should be worth £880m after tax and with other assets.
Prince Charles – £890m
Duchy of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall, created by royal charter in 1337 by Edward III, delivers its annual income to Prince Charles in his capacity as Duke of Cornwall, but he cannot profit from the sale of capital assets. The most significant event for the Duchy in 2014-15 was the £4.7m purchase of the Port Eliot southern estate. At more than 700ha this is the most substantial purchase of farmland in Cornwall since the Prince of Wales became Duke of Cornwall in 1952. It is a significant acquisition, which retains an important land holding intact, builds on existing Duchy holdings and enables the Duchy estate to further support farming in the South West. Overall, the 130,000-acre Duchy estate produced a record surplus of £19.8m. Its net asset value rose to £871m, of which £143m is in urban and commercial developments, mainly in London around the Oval cricket ground (which the Duchy also owns). We value the Duchy on its net asset figure, and Prince Charles in his capacity as steward of those assets, at £890m with personal assets added. Aside from his work as heir to the throne, Prince Charles is also one of Britain’s most innovative property developers. Poundbury, outside Dorchester, was built on Duchy of Cornwall land and tested his ideas about architecture, the environment and town planning. The Duchy joined forces with a Dorset farming partnership to build and run a Poundbury anaerobic plant. Renewable electricity is now being generated and exported to the grid, and biomethane is injected in to the local gas distribution network, the first commercial scale operation in the country. Poundbury, now 22 years old, is being extended and by 2025 will house more than 5,000 people and create 2,000 jobs.
David Sullivan – £850m
West Ham United co-owner David Sullivan is looking to make money off the pitch with the sale of a prime Oxford Street building. His investment vehicle is seeking more than £55m for Russell & Bromley’s flagship shop close to Bond Street tube station. The property brings in rent of £1.325m pa. The whole building is held on a long leasehold from the Grosvenor Estate for a term of 150 years from 24 June 2006 (141 years unexpired) and the next rent review is in 2018, which coincides with the date Crossrail is scheduled to become operational. Landlords near Crossrail stations are banking on big rental hikes as footfall and the public realm improves. Conegate made a £14.7m profit on £23.4m turnover in 2013 when its net assets came in at £119m. It has an impressive property portfolio worth close to £300m. Essex-based Sullivan will be delighted with the way the Hammers returned to top flight football for 2012-13 after just a year away. He has a 51% stake in the club, which could be worth up to £400m after its forthcoming move to the Olympic Stadium, E20. Roldvale, his main company, made a £609,000 profit in 2013. Sullivan’s dividends and salaries there in recent years total nearly £60m. Asset sales such as the £50m from Sports Newspapers in 2007, a £100m pension pot, and £160m of recent property deals underpin Sullivan’s £850m fortune.
Jim Mellon – £850m
Regent Pacific Corporate Finance
A former Hong Kong fund manager, Mellon has made his money from a range of investments including a £55m return on a stake in Charlemagne Capital in 2006. A year later he made around £25m from a £10,000 investment in a uranium mine. He is also a big investor in German property where he has around 70% of his wealth. Isle of Man-based Mellon is one of the island’s biggest property owners. He has two homes there, four other homes round Europe and several properties in Ibiza. We can see more than £16.6m of holdings in London-quoted companies and a £4m stake in Regent Pacific, the Hong Kong quoted investment operation held by Mellon. In all he is still worth £850m.
Henning Conle & family – £830m
The Conle family made its fortune from construction projects in post-war West Germany, followed by an airline, LTU International. The business was sold in stages and in 2000 the family fortune was put at £600m by the German paper Der Spiegel. Since then the low-key family, led by Henning Conle, has invested heavily in the London property market and it owns a string of trophy assets including Shell Mex House, WC2, the Liberty department store and Barkers department store in Kensington. In total the Conle family has snapped up nearly £2bn worth of London assets through its Sirosa company. Shell Mex House cost around £610m in 2013. The family fortune is put at around £830m in the Bilanz list of the 500 richest Germans in 2014. We see no reason to differ. Some of that wealth is apparent in the UK accounts of a company called Strandbrook, showing £204m net assets in 2013.
Richard Caring – £800m
Camden Market Estate Holdings
Caring was part of a consortium that sold London’s fashionable Camden Stables Market, NW1, in early 2014 for £400m. Caring should have made £100m from the deal. In September 2014, he sold the prestigious Wentworth golf club for £135m to Chinese conglomerate Reignwood Investments. In June 2013 he was part of a consortium that sold a Grosvenor Square building for over £250m. A fashion tycoon originally, Caring owns International Clothing Designs (Holdings), a London-based operation, which made a £303,000 loss in 2013-14. But restaurants are where Caring is making his mark today, although he is happy to sell restaurant assets too if the price is right. The recent £100m sale of the Côte Brasserie chain followed the £83m profit Caring made from the 2007 sales of the Bierodrome and Strada restaurant chains and more recently from the trendy Soho House operation. His upmarket restaurants and clubs in London are doing well: Caprice Holdings, which has The Ivy and Le Caprice in its stable, made a profit of £7m on £47.8m sales in 2014. His £90m purchase of the upmarket Annabel’s nightclub in 2007 was a shrewd move, too. Annabel’s and its related operations made a combined £4.3m profit in 2014. Caring is expected to invest his sale proceeds in restaurants. We keep him at £800m, allowing for debt.
Luke & Brian Comer – £750m
Originally from Galway, the Comer brothers, Luke and Brian, made enough money in Britain through tirelessly plastering houses to start acquiring properties of their own. The low-key pair built a British property portfolio and then went into the German market when it was in recession, buying assets cheaply. In 2010, with the Irish economy in deep trouble and property prices in freefall, they turned their attention to their homeland and started buying at the bottom of the market. The Comers, who are known in racing circles for owning five stud farms and 80 horses, told the local Galway paper last year that they had 500 companies worldwide and that their assets were worth £2.25bn. “A conservative evaluation would be that we would be worth around £1bn in England, three-quarters of that in Germany and half a billion in Ireland,” Luke told the Galway Advertiser. We can see just £75m net assets in 14 British companies. But the brothers show no signs of flamboyant living. Luke lives quietly in Monaco, while Brian oversees operations in Britain. Allowing for any debt, we clip the Comers back to £750m.
Manfred Gorvy & family – £745m
South African-born accountant Manfred Gorvy founded London-based Hanover Acceptances in 1974. Its residential and commercial property portfolio, held through the subsidiary Dorrington, has more than 5,000 residential units in the rented sector. It also has a strong presence in the central London commercial property market, buying tired or unloved buildings and developing them. In June it spent more than £44m buying a prime South Bank private rental block from the Crown Estate. The net assets of Dorrington stood at £347m at the end of 2014, but the actual value exceeds this sharply and the adjusted figure is nearly £670m. Hanover Acceptances also owned Gerber, one of Europe’s largest fruit juice operations. This merged with another operation, Refresco, in 2013 and in early 2015 the combined business floated on the Euronext exchange. Hanover Acceptances retains a 14% stake in the enlarged business, now worth around £108m. Its profits hit £15m on £504.5m sales in 2014. Its adjusted net assets, in line with the Dorrington increase, were £725m. We value the company at that level, adding another £20m for other assets and past dividends to the Gorvy family.
Peter Jones & family – £730m
Peter Jones runs the Alderley Edge-based Emerson Developments operation. A former joiner, Jones moved into housebuilding in Cheshire way back in 1959. He was one of the first developers to spot the development potential of south Manchester, buying up tracts of land cheaply. He never looked back and has taken his development work overseas to Portugal and Florida, United States. Emerson turned in sharply higher profits of £33.7m on a £187m turnover in 2013-14. It is worth its £655m net assets. Jones’ other company, PE Jones (Properties), had £47.4m of net assets. Jones and family trusts own the two, which are worth £702m. Other assets add £28m.
Paul Sykes – £690m
Sykes has given UKIP around £1.3m over the past year, but suspended donations in the run-up to the May general election as he wanted grassroots members to finance the campaign. A Yorkshire miner’s son, Sykes made his fortune in property. He developed Sheffield’s Meadowhall Centre with Eddie Healey and the pair sold it in 1999 for £1.2bn. His personal sale proceeds from Meadowhall and his Highstone Group, which saw its net assets rise £45m in 2013-14 to £299m net, should take Sykes to £690m.
The Duke of Bedford – £680m
A new £200m Center Parcs holiday village on his Woburn estate opened in 2014, which will please Harrow and Harvard-educated Bedford. Well versed in the hospitality trade, he runs the extraordinary 13,000-acre Woburn Abbey estate and house. His late father left £39.1m in his will. We can see just £11.8m net assets in the 2013 accounts of three family companies, including Woburn Enterprises. The house and grounds must be worth £150m easily. The art treasures inside, including 24 Canalettos and a recently identified Rembrandt, should be worth £450m, but we halve that to £225m to allow for any tax in the event of a sale. A new company covering Bedford’s London estate, consisting of 180 buildings in Bloomsbury, showed £106.3m net assets in 2013-14. With land and art prices rising we raise Bedford to £680m this year.
Trevor Hemmings – £675m
Northern Trust Group
The gallant win of Many Clouds in this year’s Crabbie’s Grand National earned Trevor Hemmings a third victory in the race. A keen horse-racing follower, Hemmings also has the Wood Farm Stud, which is managed by his son Phillip. Hemmings started out as a bricklayer’s apprentice locally in Leyland, later building his own housebuilding firm, selling it for £1.5m in the early 1970s to the late Sir Fred Pontin. Hemmings became his right-hand man in the Pontins leisure operation. He later took over the business and sold it in 1989 for a hefty profit to Scottish & Newcastle for a share stake that was worth £218m when S&N was itself taken over in 2008. Through his Northern Trust operation, Hemmings owns 8m sq ft of warehousing and factories, while his Trust Inns has 420 pubs. He also has the Classic Lodges hotel brand. We can see more than £220m of net assets in the 2013-14 accounts of his main companies, including Preston North End, the Championship football club. In all, Hemmings is worth £675m.
Chua Thian Poh – £670m
Ho Bee Land
Singapore property group Ho Bee Land made its debut in the London market in 2013 with the acquisition of Rose Court, SE1, and followed this with the purchase of 1 St Martin’s Le Grand, EC1, and 60 St Martin’s Lane in Covent Garden, WC2, last year. It recently added to its London portfolio with the £144m purchase of British Land’s 39 Victoria Street, SW1, at a 4.3% yield. Ho Bee is reported to be closing in on £200m worth of West End offices. The company, which also has assets in Singapore, China and Australia, was founded in 1987 by its chairman and chief executive Chua Thian Poh. It went public on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 1999. It is valued at £625m, while the Poh family stake is worth £455m. He also has stakes in several related companies according to the 2014 annual report and with past salaries/dividends and options is reckoned to be worth around £670m by the Forbes list of world billionaires in 2015.
Michael O’Leary – £618m
Now spreading his wealth beyond the Ryanair budget airline he has built up since becoming chief executive in 1994, Michael O’Leary has invested, via his Bradley Investments, in a City of London office block in Mark Lane and an industrial complex in Altrincham. O’Leary, one of Europe’s most outspoken bosses, grew up on a farm in southern Ireland, the eldest of five children. In 1979 he began a four-year bachelor in economic and social studies programme at Trinity College Dublin. He graduated from Trinity and then worked as a trainee with a local accountancy firm called Stokes Kennedy Crowley. He left after two years in 1985, setting up profitable newsagents in Walkinstown and Terenure, Dublin. While at Stokes Kennedy Crowley, O’Leary met Tony Ryan, head of GPA (Guinness Peat Aviation, a leasing company). Ryan was one of the firm’s clients and O’Leary advised Ryan on his personal income tax affairs. In 1987, he then hired O’Leary as his personal financial and tax adviser, where Ryan’s main interest was in GPA. Ryanair was established around this time and originally followed a traditional business model, but quickly began to lose money. Subsequently, O’Leary was sent to the USA to study Southwest Airlines’ business model. O’Leary was deputy chief executive of Ryanair between 1991 and 1994, promoted to chief executive in January 1994 and has never looked back. Ryanair listed on the Dublin and Nasdaq stock exchanges in 1997. Today it is worth £11.55bn, while O’Leary’s stake is valued at £437m. He has netted £171m from sales of shares given in the airline before it floated. With his investments and other assets, O’Leary is easily worth £618m.
Manny Davidson & family – £600m
Wolfe Property Services
Manny Davidson started the Asda Property Holdings operation and floated the business. The Davidson family’s stake was worth £253m when it was taken over in 2006. He set up a trust fund for his children in 1967 which has grown to a £600m valuation. But recent court documents reveal a rift in the family and his children have begun legal proceedings to try to change the structure of the family trust and remove their parents’ power to appoint new trustees. The children, son Gerald and daughter Maxine, have also put the £12m family home in Gloucestershire up for sale. Manny and his wife have lived in Monaco since 2013. He now concentrates on his Wolfe Property Services operation. We ignore the family dispute, widely reported in the press, and put the whole Davidson family at £600m.
Henry Moser & family – £600m
Cheshire-based Henry Moser runs Jerrold Holdings, the specialist mortgage lender. He left school at 16 and worked as a market trader, starting the business in 1974. Known for his hard work ethic, Moser refused to take a business lunch for 20 years as he felt guilty about taking the time out of the office. Jerrold, which trades under brands such as Blemain Finance and Lancashire Mortgage Corporation, could be sold or floated on the stock market as Moser examines his options. He has a 70% stake in the business after selling 30% in 2006 for £113.5m. On the back of around £80m profit last year it is reported to be worth from £800m to £1bn. That would value Moser’s stake at £700m. Cautiously, until we see a float or sale, we clip Moser back to £600m.
Michael Tabor – £600m
Horse Racing Enterprises
A gaming and horseracing millionaire, Tabor bought the 55% of Victor Chandler’s BetVictor online gaming operation last year. He had 45% in the Gibraltar-based operation, which has a £1bn turnover. No price was disclosed. Monaco-based Tabor is the former owner of the UK-based Arthur Prince bookmakers’ chain, sold in 1995 for £27m. He has a £25m Barbados house, a third of the island’s Sandy Lane Hotel and a £20m stake in British pubs group, Mitchells & Butler. Sales of a New York skyscraper and a British fitness company netted Tabor around £360m. His fortune grew hugely through playing the world’s currency markets and investment in horseflesh.
He has a stake in the first foal sired by super-horse Frankel. We stick at £600m until we see how his wager on BetVictor fares.
Freddie Linnett & the Murphy family – £595m
Charles Street Buildings (Leicester)
Property group Leicester-based Charles Street Buildings saw its 2014 profits fall slightly to £34.2m on £40.4m turnover. The business was started by Linnett’s late uncles, Hugh and Paddy Murphy, who came to Britain from Ireland after the war. They started in construction and buying and selling vehicles. By 1954, the business called Murphy Bros had expanded and built a new depot on a large site. Around 25 acres of land was surplus to requirement and it became the catalyst for design and build property projects. In 1956 a site in Charles Street, Leicester, was acquired and a new office block built. In 1961 Charles Street Buildings (Leicester) was incorporated. Today the group continues to be owned and operated by the Murphy family with more than 6m sq ft of property let on commercial terms. In October 2014 the company secured the largest city centre office deal in Nottingham for four years with pharma giant Parexel. It is now working on a regeneration plan for an largely derelict eight-acre site in Leicester’s Waterside area which it
owns. The aim is to extend the city centre to Waterside with a bold transformation of the disused Leicester Central railway station (closed in 1969) into a boutique hotel. It will be a much more high-profile role for the low-key Charles Street. But it has the firepower to do it. Its net assets rose to nearly £584m in 2014. Other assets take Linnett and the Leicester-based Murphy family to £595m after tax.
John Magnier – £587m
Sloane Capital, the property investment vehicle of Irish racing tycoon John Magnier and business partner JP McManus, is run by Limerick entrepreneur Aidan Brooks. It has a strong asset base and has been buying trophy assets in major cities such as Los Angeles, United States. In London Sloane owns Unilever House, EC4, (bought for £170m in 2005) and a hotel in Canary Wharf. Yet much of Magnier’s wealth stems from horsebreeding and property. He controls the Coolmore racing empire, with studs in Co Tipperary, Kentucky and Australia. McManus and Magnier have a 22.4% stake in the pub group Mitchells & Butlers worth £350m. The pair also had a £227m stake in Manchester United, the premiership football club, until they sold out to the Glazer family in 2005, netting a £90m profit. Magnier also made a tidy £23m from the sale of a 13% stake in Devro, the Scottish sausage-skin maker. Magnier also has a 20% stake Barchester, a profitable nursing home operation and 33% of the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados. He shared in a £40m windfall in 2006, selling an option on a London office site. With McManus and Desmond, he also sold the Next Generation fitness chain for around £132m. Sloane Capital’s property portfolio is now worth around £860m, though it has hefty borrowings. Magnier also has homes in Spain, Ireland, Barbados and Switzerland, where he lives for tax purposes. He is easily worth £587m.
JP McManus – £586m
JP McManus, a former Irish bookie and legend in racing circles, is a partner in Sloane Capital, a London-based property investor run by Irish investor Aidan Brooks with £860m of assets. McManus and John Magnier, another Irish tycoon, have a 22.4% stake in the pub group Mitchells & Butlers now worth £425m. The pair also had a £227m stake in Manchester United, the Premiership football club until they sold out to the Glazer family, in 2005, netting a £90m profit. McManus also shared a £125m dividend from the Barchester Healthcare group in 2006 and also shared the £132m proceeds from the sale of a fitness chain. McManus, based in Geneva, is also one of the top racehorse owners in Ireland, with over 100 horses in training and a stud in Co Kildare. He is reckoned to have made £250m over the years from playing the foreign exchange markets. In all he is now easily worth £586m.
Lloyd Dorfman – £550m
Property and flexible office group Esselco had a good 2014 with five new buildings coming on stream at stations round the UK – four at mainline London stations. Its revenues grew 55% to £23m, while a sharp growth in its investment portfolio pushed up profits to £36m.
Lloyd Dorfman, founder of the Travelex foreign exchange operation, built up Esselco, and in 2010 funded the £43.3m buy-out of the rival Office Group which merged with Esselco. Dorfman started Travelex in 1976, armed with a £25,000 loan from a friend and a central London office. In 2006 Travelex was partially taken over by a venture capital group in a £1.06bn deal and Dorfman netted £240m for selling part of his stake. He had a 34.5% stake in Travelex when it was sold in May 2014 to an Indian tycoon for between £800m and £1bn. Dorfman sold much of his stake but kept 5%. He is now involved in new ventures. In June 2014 it was announced that Doddle, a £24m click-and-collect joint venture between Dorfman and Network Rail, plans to open 300 outlets in train stations over the next three years. In June he sold Cannon Hall in Hampstead, the childhood London home of celebrated English author Daphne du Maurier. It had been on the market for £32m but went for £28m. Dorfman also has around £5m of quoted share stakes. In all, even after hefty charitable donations, particularly to the National Theatre, Dorfman should be worth £550m after tax.
Tony Gallagher – £550m
Midlands developer Tony Gallagher built the prestigious Warwick Gates Business Park. A wide spread of activities including retail parks and around 35,000 housebuilding plots have helped Gallagher come through the recession in good shape. Six of his main companies, including Countywide Developments and JJ Gallagher, showed healthy net assets of £348m in 2013-14. Other assets take Gallagher to £550m.
Jack Petchey – £550m
Petchey Holdings has a existing commercial portfolio worth in excess of £500m which includes industrial, retail and mixed-use assets and a large central London residential portfolio predominantly within prime London locations around Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster. Founder Jack Petchey first earned money running errands before working after the war as a taxi driver. Using his £39 army gratuity, he built a fleet of taxis. He later expanded into used cars, property and timeshares. In 2006 and 2007, Essex-based Petchey sold around £225m of stakes in six companies. Further sales in 2013 netted Petchey over £50m. He plans to give the bulk of his fortune to charity through the Jack Petchey Foundation, which gives away £7m annually to supporting youth projects in London and the Home Counties. It has now given away £90m in all. Despite his giving, we value Petchey at £550m.
Lord Edmiston – £540m
Lord Edmiston’s IM Properties completed its largest acquisition in January, the purchase of Blythe Valley Park in Solihull for £125m. The park was attractive to IM as it is in essence a wholly owned business park with a mix of investment stock and also has significant development potential. The investor/developer plans to secure new occupiers through design-and-build development opportunities and by capitalising on the recent resurgence of the M42 corridor office market. Profits more than doubled in 2014 at IM Properties to £33.2m while net assets increased to £379m from £324m, driven by a significant development pipeline. At its year end, the total value of IM’s investment portfolio stood at £577m, a boost of £120m from the beginning of 2014. The group now has £122m worth of property under construction, with further growth expected in the remainder of 2015. IM Properties is of course part of the IM Group Edmiston has built up over the years. He once worked as an accountant at the defunct Jensen sports car operation and, when it went bankrupt in 1976, used his £6,000 redundancy cheque to start Birmingham-based IM Group, now one of Britain’s biggest importers of Far Eastern cars. In 2014, IM Group made £39m profit on £472m sales. It should be worth its £527m net asset figures. Since 1998 Edmiston has had £79m in salaries from IM Group, but he has given more than £120m to charity. He was made a Life Peer in 2010. We value him at £540m.
Ray Kelvin – £530m
Ray Kelvin, now one of Britain’s top fashion retailers, has diversified his wealth into property through his THAT Group, run by former Heron International finance director, Steven Brown. Kelvin is working on three developments along the south coast including in Bournemouth and Torquay. A Middlesex Polytechnic drop-out who failed his maths O-level, Kelvin later became a market trader after helping out in his uncle’s Enfield menswear shop at the age of 11. He opened his first Ted Baker store in Glasgow back in 1987 having come up with the idea while fishing. Today he oversees 400 stores with sales close to £400m a year. He later floated the London-based business on the stock market in 1997. Kelvin’s stake is now worth £476m. We add £54m for share sales and other assets.
Sten Mortstedt & family – £530m
London property group CLS Holdings recently bought the Reflex office building on Cain Road in Bracknell for £21.7m – an 8% yield. The building comprises 103,400 sq ft of grade-A office space that is fully let to four tenants paying a combined £1.8m pa in rent. It is arranged over three floors and includes an on-site gym and café. Honda Motors is the largest tenant. Mortstedt, a low-key Swede, and his family and trusts, have a £442m stake in the quoted operation, which floated on the London stock market in 1994. Share sales of more than £97m and other assets take the family to perhaps £530m after tax.
Sir Tom Hunter – £529m
West Coast Capital
Sir Tom Hunter (pictured left) pledged just before the credit crunch broke in 2007 to give away £1bn in his lifetime to charity. But many of his investments in retail and housebuilding went badly wrong as the crisis deepened and he lost at least £250m. His original fortune came from building the Sports Division chain selling trainers. While his schoolmates went down the pit in Ayrshire, Hunter built up the chain and 14 years later, in 1998, sold it for £290m to Dave Whelan, then owner of the rival JJB chain. This provided the seed-corn for his later property and retail investments. Since the crisis, Hunter has become an astute property investor, working with Nick Leslau in a newly floated company, Secure Income REIT. Hunter’s West Coast Capital business has a £129m stake. In addition, West Coast Capital was part of a consortium which sold Travelodge hotels and pubs in the summer for around £600m. He has also ploughed £100m thus far into the huge £1bn Winchburgh development project outside Edinburgh and has large land holdings in India totalling around 3m sq ft. Continuing to tidy up his retail portfolio with stake sales and investments in high-tech ventures that could lead to huge gains in the future, Hunter should now be worth around £529m, which is good news for both the rich list and charitable causes he supports through his charitable vehicle, the Hunter Foundation.
Alisa Moussaieff & family – £520m
Its Park Lane and Bond street boutiques make Moussaieff one of the most exclusive jewellers in the world. Its profits are pretty exclusive too, coming in at a record £46.8m on £106.7m sales in 2013-14. The family, descended from Genghis Khan’s goldsmith, is led by Alisa, and she owns the £470m operation. In 2005, the Moussaieff family sold Camden Stables Market, NW1, to Richard Caring for £40m and in 1999 was reckoned to have made a £25m profit on investments in Canary Wharf. With the other family property assets added, the Moussaieffs should easily be worth £520m after tax.
David Wilson & family – £515m
David Wilson’s Davidsons Developments, has a number of upmarket Leicestershire developments at Anstey, Ibstock, Whetstone and Scraptoft Hall. The company made £5.3m profit in 2013. It is worth its near £83m net assets. Wilson’s first fortune from housebuilding came from Leicestershire-based Wilson Bowden, which was sold in 2007 to Barratt Developments in a £2.2bn deal, netting £727m for the Wilson family in a mix of £304m in cash and the rest in Barratt shares. His remaining Barratt stake is now worth £95m. Past proceeds, dividends and the Davidsons stake take the Wilson family to £515m after tax.
The Clarke family – £500m
C Le Masurier
Le Masurier, Jersey’s largest privately owned developer, owns large tracts of St Helier, retail outlets and pub sites across Jersey. It also owns property in the UK, Luxembourg, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. It is developing J1 as Jersey’s premier commercial office development, which will provide 280,000 sq ft net of high-quality sustainable grade-A space. The death in 2001 of patriarch Fred Clarke led to the switch from wines and spirits to property. We keep the Clarke family fortune at £500m.
Leo Noe & family – £500m
Leo Noe, one of the shrewdest property men in Britain, runs a property business which was partially taken over in early 2014 by the Bank of Montreal in a £708m deal. In July that business, F&C REIT, was renamed and re-branded as BMO Real Estate Partners, where Noe is still chairman. The management had a 30% stake in the business. Past property deals have boosted the Noe wealth: two sales of shopping centres and retail parks in 2004 and 2005 resulted in a £137m profit for Noe companies. We keep Noe at £500m for now.
Ching Chiat Kwong – £490m
Singapore developer Oxley bought the 40-acre mixed-use site at Royal Wharf in London’s Docklands area for £200m in November 2013. The development will include 3,385 homes, with a school, retail outlets, offices, leisure facilities and restaurants. Oxley recently sold the rights to ground rents for the units in phases one and two at the site for £34.5m. A Bloomsbury-style neighbourhood on the banks of the Thames is the ambitious goal of architects Glenn Howells. Oxley was founded and is run by a former policeman Ching Chiat Kwong. Once known for its shoebox apartments, Oxley got a boost from recently completed industrial parks and its London expansion. Ching’s other interests include a stake in NewSat, an Australian satellite communications firm. Oxley floated on the Singapore stock market in 2010. Kwong’s stake and other wealth take him to £490m.
Fawn & India Rose James – £482m
The Raymond Revuebar, a key part of the late Paul Raymond’s Soho empire, has recently re-opened after a restoration. It is part of the £45m redevelopment of Walkers Court in the heart of Soho planned by Soho Estates. The company recently restored Grade II listed 76 Dean Street, W1, known as Soho House, and is set to start regenerating the old Foyles bookshop buildings, having recently bought the site, and Kettner’s restaurant. Raymond’s granddaughters, sisters Fawn and India Rose James, now control the central London estate which is moving on rapidly from its seedy red-light district days. Fawn does not want to sanitise Soho but recently told the Evening Standard: “There’s no point keeping somewhere the same just because that’s the romantic idea of how it should be.” Soho’s reputation as a foodie destination and as a resource for the British film industry is as big a part of its present as sex. Soho Estates recently added to the 67 of the district’s 80 acres it already owned. The parent company, Soho Estate Holdings, where Fawn is a director, looks in fine fettle with an £18.9m profit on a £27.2m turnover in 2014-15, while net assets hit a record £482m. We value the pair on the net assets.
Roy Richardson & family – £480m
The Richardson family is now headed by Roy following the death of his twin brother, Don, in 2007. The twins will be best remembered for the Merry Hill Shopping Centre in the Midlands, which they sold in 1992 for a £50m profit. In 2004 they sold their flagship office development, 1 Colmore Square in Birmingham, to overseas investors for £90m. The Richardson’s main company, Dukehill, showed £119m net assets in 2013, when it made a £10m loss. There are £10m net assets in smaller Richardson companies. Other deals in Europe and the UK, plus £54m of salaries in recent years, take the family to at least £480m.
Peter Jones – £475m
TV Dragon Jones wont break the bank, paying his children £25 a month pocket money – provided they do some chores. He now has a portfolio of more than 30 businesses where he has investments worth £180m in total. In recent years he has made £87m from company sales, showing that TV stardom has not side-tracked Jones from business. His business career started with a tennis coaching enterprise. In 1998, he set up his Phones International telecoms operation. Today his telecoms and technology operations globally made over £10m profit on £300m turnover in 2014. Jones also has properties in Barbados, Switzerland and Portugal, plus British assets worth in total as much as £160m. He acquired several telecoms interests in 2014 and merged them into one £250m group called Brandpath. Jones is still worth £475m.
Sir Ronald Hobson – £464m
Sir Ronald Hobson teamed up with Sir Donald Gosling after the second world war to build car parks on old bomb sites in London and the rest of Britain. They sold the parent company, National Parking Corporation, in 1998, collecting around £290m each plus hefty dividends up until the sale. In 2004-05, they divested themselves of further property companies for a total of £189m. The low-key Hobson should have made around £97m from those two deals. He still has £12m of stakes in smaller property companies. Knighted in 2006 for services to charity, his Hobson Charity raised its net assets by £16m to £48m in 2013-14. We clip Hobson back to £464m as a result.
Abdul Bhatti & family – £460m
Profits at the West London-based Bestway cash-and-carry to pharmacy group hit a record £250.3m on £1.98bn sales in 2013-14, while the separate Bestway Northern added £17m profit and £573m sales. Bestway has a £500m property portfolio. It comprises owner-occupied warehouses, their maintenance, investment properties and the development of existing and new investment and commercial properties. In recent years the group has developed nearly 1m sq ft of commercial space. The Bestway businesses are together worth £4.7bn and the stake held by Bhatti, a
long-time director, and his family is valued at £446m. We add £14m for other assets.
Adalat & Arshad Chaudhary – £460m
The Chaudhary father and son team, Adalat and Arshad, are directors of the West London-based Bestway cash-and-carry business, which also has a £500m property portfolio. Profits hit a record £250.3m on £1.98bn sales in 2013-14, while the separate Bestway Northern added £17m profit and £573m sales. The two are together worth £4.7bn and valuing the Chaudhary family stake at £446m. We add £14m for other assets.
Robert Rayne & family – £460m
Derwent London signed a new 150-year lease agreement with Crossrail in July on a £400m office and shopping development above Tottenham Court Road station. The developer is effectively buying back the site at 1 Oxford Street, W1, after having to surrender it in 2009 to Crossrail. Derwent will receive £55m on completion of the scheme in around 2020. Crossrail will also receive 5% of the rent on the commercial space and 16% of any development profit.The 275,000 sq ft scheme near Centre Point comprises two buildings with offices, shops and a 350-seat West End theatre. Work is due to start in 2018. Also in July, Derwent London snapped up an office block at the heart of the capital’s financial technology district in Aldgate from the Royal Bank of Scotland for £132m – significantly above the initial guide price of £85m thanks to a heated bidding contest. Separately, Derwent has signed up its first two tenants at the White Collar Factory, EC1, an office development at Old Street roundabout. All this activity in central London is part of a careful strategy by Derwent London, which has pushed its share price hit record highs, valuing the business at £4.05bn. It is chaired by Robert Rayne, the son of legendary property tycoon Lord Rayne, who died in 2003 leaving nearly £120m in his will. The Rayne family and trusts have a near £450m stake in Derwent London. The family also has a £2m stake in investment company LMS Capital. After hefty charitable donations we value the Raynes at £460m.
Younus Sheikh & family – £460m
Younus Sheikh, a science graduate with a diploma in manufacturing, is a director of West London-based Bestway, the giant food wholesaler and pharmacy operator. Bestway has a £500m property portfolio and In recent years the Group has developed nearly 1m sq ft of commercial space. Profits at Bestway hit a record £250.3m on £1.98bn sales in 2013-14, while the separate Bestway Northern added £17m profit and £573m sales. The two are together worth £4.7bn and the Sheikh family stake is worth £446m. We add £14m for other assets.
Anthony Lyons – £450m
St James Capital
Top City group Schroders recently completed the £153m purchase of a portfolio of mixed-use assets in Hammersmith, W6, from the Matterhorn Palos Partnership. The acquisition by the Schroder UK Real Estate Fund comprises the 340,000 sq ft Kings Mall Shopping Centre, the 1,000 space Kings Mall car park and One Lyric Square, an adjoining self-contained office building. Matterhorn Palos had bought Kings Mall in 2011 for around £115m. Matterhorn Capital, part of the purchasing consortium, is a property investment vehicle run by top property dealmakers and investors, Anthony Lyons and Simon Conway. Matterhorn, with a predecessor company, has invested over £1.5bn in a variety of real estate, hospitality and other projects. In 2007, just a month before the credit crunch, Lyons and his partners sold half of Earls Court & Olympia in a deal that valued it at £380m and later sold the rest. Three recent deals have made Anthony Lyons a lot richer. He sold his Hampstead home in 2010 for £43m to a private Russian investor. In another deal with Brett Palos (Sir Philip Green’s stepson), Lyons had bought the O2 retail and leisure centre in North London for £92.5m in early 2009. A year later they sold it for £120m. Lyons has since invested heavily in data centres and completed two purchases in 2011 for £250m, which have an estimated end value of £400m. He should be worth £450m.
Caspar MacDonald-Hall – £440m
London & Cambridge Properties
A new managing director has been appointed to London & Cambridge Properties, who plans to invest more in future. “As the economy has now climbed out of the recession, LCP is
looking to seek new opportunities across the commercial property sector and we will be investing in more property across the country,” Nick Burgess told the Birmingham Post.
The company manages a portfolio of more than 16m sq ft of commercial property across the UK, which is held for long-term investment purposes. The company was formed in 1987. Its main shareholder is property investor, Caspar Macdonald-Hall. The Midlands-based company’s net assets hit £530m in 2013-14. MacDonald-Hall has a 40% stake. There are £196m of net assets attributable to Macdonald-Hall and his family in five other companies. Other assets take him to £440m.
Sir Donald Gosling – £427m
Consolidated Property Investments
Sir Donald Gosling started the National Parking Corporation in 1948 with partner Sir Ronald Hobson. Fifty years later they sold it, netting around £290m each. They had hefty dividends over the years. Other property company sales over the years netted Gosling a further £97m. The navy and the sea are consuming passions for Gosling. He is president of the White Ensign Association, the naval charity. His yacht, the 245-ft Leander was named after HMS Leander, on which Gosling served as a signalman after the war. It was used by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall on their 2008 Caribbean royal tour. Gosling and Hobson still have two small but fast-growing property companies with £24m net assets between them in 2013-14. Gosling makes his hefty charitable donations (including £25m in 2012 for the HMS Victory Preservation Trust) through the Gosling Foundation, which saw its net assets rise by £13m to £97m in 2013-14. We clip Gosling back by £13m to £427m as a result.
Terry Bramall & family – £425m
In 1968 Terry Bramall joined the Doncaster-based Keepmoat construction group, co-founded by his father. It was sold in 2007 for £783m. The Bramall family had a 72% stake. Bramall is also financing developer 4urban and is the largest shareholder in League One football club Doncaster Rovers. He was awarded a CBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List for his charitable work. In 2008 he put £96m into his charitable foundation. After tax and his charitable work, Bramall should be worth £425m.
Charlotte Townshend – £420m
Charlotte Townshend has 20 choice acres round London’s exclusive Holland Park, and 15,000 acres in Dorset, where she has her main home. She also had 3,000 acres in Nottinghamshire, which were sold for £9m. We can see nine farming and estate companies including Cygnet and Addison Developments, with around £75.4m of net assets in 2013-14 (up £2m). With exclusive London prices still strong, we value Townshend at £420m.
Alastair & Michael Powell – £412m
Cable Properties and Investments
Teeside-based Cable Properties has a property portfolio of more than 130 properties in both the commercial and residential spheres across the North East and North Yorkshire. The business is run and owned by the Powell brothers, Alastair and Michael, who made their original fortune at Middlesborough-based Cleveland Cable, Britain’s biggest cable distributor. In all, the four separate companies we can see in the Powell empire made a total of £25.2m profit and showed £271.8m net assets in 2013-14. They should be worth at least £400m. We add another £12m for other assets to the Powells.
Michael Oglesby & family – £410m
Manchester-based developer Bruntwood is working on a huge £750m mixed-use scheme on a former BBC site in Manchester. It was approved by the city council in April and will comprise 1.2m sq ft of offices that Bruntwood will deliver alongside its science and technology arm, Manchester Science Partnerships. There will also be four residential blocks. Bruntwood founder Michael Oglesby is one of the North’s most high-profile developers, having started as an apprentice plumber to his father before going to college to do a degree in building. In 1970 Oglesby moved from Scunthorpe to Manchester, forming Bruntwood five years later. Altogether, Bruntwood owns over 142 office buildings in Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. The company is keen to foster links with local communities and donates 10% of profits to charity and local communities. Bruntwood made a £19.3m profit in 2014 when its net assets rose to £344m. Other assets and stakes take the Oglesby family to £410m.
Guy & Alex Dellal & family – £400m
Allied Commercial Holdings
Alex Dellal is showing all the eye for a deal of his late grandfather, legendary property man Jack Dellal (who died in 2012 at 89). The young Dellal bought the London headquarters of Sir Philip Green’s former business, BHS, for £31m in March. Two months later the Dellal family company Allied Commercial sold it for £38.3m – a 25% rise. Jack Dellal made his mark in the early 1970s, selling his Dalton Barton bank for £58m, and was part of a consortium that sold Shell Mex House, WC2, for £490m in 2007. His main company, Allied Commercial Holdings, saw its net assets rise to £57.5m in 2013-14. The Dellal family is represented here by Guy, his son from his first marriage and Alex, who are the biggest shareholders in Allied Commercial. The wider Dellal family, including his widow Ruanne, should still be worth at least £400m after any inheritance tax issues.
Andreas Panayiotou – £400m
East End-born property entrepreneur Andreas Panayiotou learned all about timing in the boxing ring. Later eschewing the ring on his mother’s advice, he worked in his Greek Cypriot-born father’s dry cleaning business before branching out on his own with his Ability property group in 1996. Working in what were then unfashionable parts of Hackney, Shoreditch and the like, Ability rented out property to young City professionals. But showing immaculate timing before the 2007 crash, Ability sold the majority of its residential stock, with a value of over £1bn. Panayiotou then moved into hotels and now owns 14, including the 2,100-bedroom Club Med in Kamarina, Sicily. By 2020, with its hotel portfolio, developments and commercial assets, Ability aims to reach a net worth of £2bn. Cautiously for now we put Panayiotou at what he will consider an excessively conservative £400m for two reasons. Firstly, Heath Hall, a Grade II listed house in the exclusive Bishop’s Avenue, London, was bought by Panayiotou in 2006 for around £5m, with another £40m reportedly spent on refurbishment. But press reports claim it was recently sold for £25m, so he may have taken a hit there. Secondly, his largest British company registered at Companies House, Ability Developments, has seen its net assets fall by £75m from nearly £190m in 2005 to £114.5m in 2013. It is owned by a Cypriot parent. There are another £45.5m net assets in other hotel and yacht chartering operations also owned by the Cypriot parent.
Geoffrey Warren – £400m
A £5bn new town on the banks of the Grand Union Canal is being planned for the vast Cargiant supermarket site at Old Oak Common. The world’s biggest motor dealership wants to build around 9,500 homes and a new high street on the sprawling 45-acre site in west London it has occupied for 34 years. It hopes to open up a neglected stretch of the Grand Union in the same way that the regeneration of the Regent’s Canal and City Road Basin have transformed parts of Islington. The scheme, which will be submitted for planning permission next year, puts the car supermarket on a collision course with Queens Park Rangers, the football club it once sponsored. QPR has launched its own consultation on proposals for a new 40,000-seater stadium on the land owned by Cargiant, but the company says it has no plans to enter into a partnership with the club. Cargiant, owned by Geoffrey Warren, saw its profits rise 69% to £30.3m in 2013 on sales up 31% at £396m sales. It is easily worth £300m. Property developments and other assets take Warren to £400m.
Chun Hong Wong – £400m
In July 2014 Kevin McCabe’s Scarborough Group entered into a joint venture with companies in China and Singapore to develop two huge property schemes in Greater Manchester, which are worth more than £600m and could provide more than 2,000 properties. The joint venture with Top Spring International Holdings, a Hong Kong-listed real estate developer, and Singapore group Metro Holdings is to develop the second phase of Milliners Wharf in New Islington and Middlewood Locks. The £30m second phase of Milliners Wharf, known as the Hat Box, will provide 144 apartments in an eight-storey building on the Ashton Canal. The first phase was completed in 2010 and comprised 261 apartments. Middlewood Locks is a proposed new neighbourhood of up to 2,000 new properties as well as commercial space on a 23.6-acre site around the former Manchester Bolton & Bury Canal. This project has a development value of £575m. McCabe who is best known as chairman of Sheffield United football club, said: “I have known and worked with the directors and management teams of Top Spring and Metro for many years through Scarborough’s extensive activities in China, and have the utmost respect for them.” Chun Hong Wong, chairman and chief executive of Top Spring, said: “We have worked extensively with Scarborough in the People’s Republic of China, over the last 10 years, and are pleased to be continuing our partnership with them in the UK, along with Metro, to deliver two high-quality residential developments in an area of the UK where there is a shortage of good-quality housing supply”. Shenzhen-based Chun Hong Wong sits on the Scarborough board and is valued at around £400m.
David Lewis & family – £380m
David Lewis ran three quoted property firms from the 1970s to the 1990s. He sold one, Hampton Trust, which fetched £100m just before the 1987 crash. His property empire was valued at £100m in 2006. His main company today is Molyneux Securities, with £12.7m net assets in 2013-14. But Lewis’s real wealth comes from his huge 400-strong art collection, housed in museums and galleries, which could be worth up to £300m. We add £80m for other Lewis assets.
Nicholas & Peter Gould – £375m
The Gould brothers, Nicholas and Peter, run a substantial London property group which has diversified from residential property to property development. Their main company Regis Group (Holdings) made nearly £14m profit with £91.3m net assets in 2013-14. But they have substantial housing and property management operations in America. With personal assets added, the Goulds are worth £375m.
Charles Gallagher & family – £370m
The Dublin-based Abbey housebuilding group is now valued at £190m, with the Irish housing market showing signs of life again. The business is run and controlled by the Gallagher family, led by Charles Gallagher. The company, quoted on the London and Dublin stock markets, was built up by Gallagher’s late father, also Charles, who was one of seven brothers from County Sligo. Most of the brothers emigrated to the UK in the 1930s and 1940s and gradually worked their way up through the ranks of the UK building industry. Some of the Gallaghers returned to Ireland in the 1950s and set up their own housebuilding company, Abbey. The company was floated on the Irish Stock Exchange in 1974, at the tail end of the 1960s-and-early-1970s housing boom. Charles Gallagher senior was the company’s chief executive when it first went public, but he was soon forced out by other family members. He returned to the UK and spent most of the following decade quietly developing his own housebuilding company, Matthew Homes. But he returned to the helm of Abbey in 1983 and successfully fought off a takeover bid from a British company. Abbey then prospered on the back of the Tory housing boom in the 1980s. Charles Gallagher junior joined the board in 1986 and took over the chairmanship when his father died in 1993. Today the family stake is worth £139m. The family’s other main operation is Matthew Homes, based in St Albans, which made £12.1m profit on £59.1m sales in 2014. With £78m net assets, it is a £110m operation. The family’s property operation, Gallagher Holdings, also showed over £71.5m net assets with another £50m in a plant hire company. With some overlap of shareholdings, the Gallagher family should be worth £370m with other assets.
Roderick Evans & family – £350m
Evans Property Holdings
Leeds-based Evans Property Group has a development pipeline with an end value of more than £1bn and net assets of £350m. Between 2005 and 2007, it sold £600m of investments, including a £425m portfolio, to Leo Noe’s REIT Asset Management, leaving it with a £350m portfolio. The Evans family, led by Roderick Evans as managing director, floated the company on the stock market in 1971 but took it private in 1999 in a £164m deal. With other assets, we value the Evans family at £350m.
Bill Ives & family – £350m
Bill Ives started Rainham Steel in 1973 as a new and reusable steel supplier. The company diversified and started to target builders and builders’ merchants in the 1980s. Profits at Essex-based Rainham fell to £3.2m in 2013-14. But adding Ives’ salary to the bottom line pushes the profit to £9m and justifies a £170m valuation. Hefty investments and property assets take Ives to £350m.
The Duke of Northumberland – £350m
The Duke of Northumberland’s business venture was given the green light in July to build new homes in a picturesque county village – at the third time of asking. Northumberland Estates has been allowed to build eight homes at Lesbury, near Alnwick, with a government planning inspector having overruled Northumberland county council’s decision to reject the scheme. The approval comes on the back of the rejection and withdrawal of two earlier bids, dating back three years. The Percy Family have owned Alnwick Castle and the surrounding lands for over 700 years. Also in their ownership is Syon Park in London, the Albury Estate in Surrey, Hulne Park and Priory, Warkworth and Prudhoe Castles in Northumberland plus the Dryburgh estate in Scotland. The historical assets of the Northumberland Estates include an extensive collection of fine art, china and furniture. The company is driving development plans on the 120,000 acres it controls. All this activity stems from Northumberland’s pressing need to find cash for restoration and repair work at Alnwick, which he inherited from his late brother, the 11th Duke, in 1995. He raised £22m by selling a Raphael painting in 2004. He put £8.8m into the Alnwick Garden Trust, a charity redeveloping and managing the Alnwick Garden. In 2014 it was reported that art works and antiques were to be sold for around £15m to pay for £12m of repairs needed after severe flooding on part of his estate in 2012. Despite the continuing liquidity issue, the Northumberland assets are hugely valuable and we can see £35m of net assets (up £12m) in companies including Hotspur Forestry, taking Northumberland to £350m with rising land and art prices.
Gerald Ronson & family – £350m
Gerald Ronson has been considering the sale of the Heron Tower, EC2, for £750m. The property industry veteran’s 46-storey skyscraper, completed in 2011 and the tallest in the City had caught the attention of Chinese company Angbang Insurance. But a sale to that company is unlikely to happen and another buyer will be sought. Ronson – one of the country’s best-respected developers – will walk away from the asset that he is most associated with, but not away from business. Despite his age, 76, he continues to work six days a week as executive chairman of his private investment club Ronson Capital Partners, which is developing Riverwalk, SW1, and Chiltern Place, W1, and running his 210-asset petrol station business, Rontec. It was formed four years ago when Ronson joined forces with the South African bank Investec and the private equity firm Grovepoint to buy Total’s British service stations for £350m. They sold some on to Shell and kept the rest. Last year Ronson bought out Investec and Grovepoint from Rontec and in July merged it with his own fast-growing Snax 24 forecourts chain. The combined group will have annual sales of around £1.5bn. The net assets of Snax 24’s parent soared to £134m in 2014 when its profits came in at £15.5m. The Heron Property Corporation made a £1.7m loss but its net assets rose £7m to over £178m in 2013. Ronson recently revealed that over the last 25 years he has given away £35m to charities. With the impending Heron Tower sale at a top price and the petrol retailing moves, we push Ronson up to £350m.
Ian Suttie – £350m
Ian Suttie recently won planning permission to develop a derelict Aberdeen industrial site into 500 homes. An accountant, Suttie qualified in 1971 and later worked for a US company before moving back to Aberdeen in the early 1980s to join the oil industry. He led a management buyout of the Orwell oil company in 1986 and had a 72.5% stake when it was later taken over in a $250m (£159m) deal. He spent part of his proceeds buying First Oil, which made £52.1m profit in 2013-14. Suttie’s other oil-related company, Nautronix, was sold for £42m. With lower oil prices, we clip Suttie back to £350m with property and other assets.
The Queen – £340m
The Crown Estate produced another record-breaking performance in 2014-15. Profits hit £285m (up from £267m in the previous year) while the total value of the estate’s property assets rose 16% to nearly £11.5bn. It is also growing: in August 2014 it joined with the Norwegian sovereign wealth fund to buy a 64.2% stake in the Pollen estate in Mayfair for £381m. Its regional portfolio is valued at £2.2bn and includes 17 shopping and leisure parks and three shopping centres. A recent addition was the Fosse Shopping Park in Leicester, bought last year for £345.5m as part of a joint venture with Chinese developer Gingko Tree. This is all good news for Her Majesty. Under new financing rules, she get 15% of the Crown Estate profits via the Sovereign Grant, which replaces the old Civil List. The 2014-15 profit will mean a £42.8m payment in 2016-17. We do not count the Crown Estate assets as hers, as she does not have control over them. In her personal capacity, we reckon the Queen’s investment portfolio, consisting largely of blue chip British companies’ shares, should have grown in line with stock markets to £110m. With rising land and estate prices we add £10m to last year’s figure for personal property such as Sandringham, Balmoral and smaller houses along with the Royal Stud, taking this element to £140m. Adding the royal stamp collection, jewels, cars, horses and the Queen’ Mother’s legacy should take the Queen to £340m.
Eliasz Englander & family – £330m
A low-key London developer, Englander sold the 3.3-acre Holborn Links estate in June 2014 for £212.5m. His main company Citywise showed £136m net assets in 2013. The family also has several other separate companies with net assets totalling at least £370m. Allowing for sale proceeds and overlapping stakes, the Englander family is easily worth £330m.
John Kirkland & family – £325m
Bowmer & Kirkland
Derbyshire construction to property group Bowmer & Kirkland is building the £100m Friars Walk shopping centre in Newport. The development, which opens in November, follows on from Bowmer & Kirkland work on projects such as St David’s shopping centre in Cardiff and Drakes Circus in Plymouth. The company’s Peveril Securities subsidiary and another Midlands developer, Sladen Estates, have also recently bought the flagship site opposite Nottingham railway station, with the aim of driving forward its long-awaited development. Unity Square, which sits at the heart of the city’s burgeoning regeneration zone, has planning permission to provide up to 460,000 sq ft of grade-A offices and a new hotel with complementary retail and leisure uses surrounding a new public square. John Kirkland, the company chairman, joined the international construction company John Laing in the 1950s to gain wider experience of the contracting world. Later in 1967, he joined the family firm, co-founded by his grandfather, Robert Kirkland, and Alfred Bowmer in 1923. The connection with the Bowmer family ended in 1968. John Kirkland rapidly rose through the ranks, becoming chairman in 1976. Bowmer & Kirkland recently handed over the new £27.5m Derby Arena two months ahead of schedule. Its profits hit £27m on £733m sales in the year to August 2014. With £278m net assets, it is worth £300m. Other assets take the Kirkland family to £325m.
Laurence Kirschel – £320m
Britain’s Tin Pan Alley, Denmark Street, W1, next to the Centre Point tower, is where Jimi Hendrix, Elton John and the Rolling Stones made music during the 1960s and 1970s. But Laurence Kirschel is redeveloping the site as part of the ambitious upgrade of central London that is coming with the new Crossrail line. Kirschel, who set up his Consolidated Developments company in 1983 with just £5,000 capital, is also heavily involved in hotel and restaurant ventures in central London. We can see nearly £305m net assets in the 2013 accounts of Consolidated Developments’ and other smaller Consolidated operations, all owned by Kirschel or where he has a significant stake. In all he should easily be worth £320m.
Marquess of Salisbury – £320m
Gascoyne Cecil Estates
Leicester Square’s Vue Cinema was purchased in April 2014 by a UK pension fund for £23.46m. The nine-screen, 2,500-person cinema comprises a 22-year leasehold interest from Gascoyne Estates, the property company owned by the Marquess of Salisbury and his family. It owns, lets and manages up to 300 residential properties in Hatfield, London and Dorset. Salisbury’s Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, completed in 1612, is a treasure trove of paintings worth £150m. In addition, there is Cranborne Manor, the family estate in Dorset. Together they have 10,300 acres. His main farming company, Gascoyne Cecil Farms, and four others showed more than £12m net assets in 2013-14. The London estate, with valuable acreage around Leicester Square, and US assets take Salisbury to £320m.
Michael Shanly – £320m
Michael Shanly founded Buckinghamshire-based Shanly Group in 1969. It has completed more than 1,000 development sites in the South East of England. Shanly owns nine separate companies led by Sorbon Investments, which made collectively £44.7m profit on £175.8m sales in 2013. With £243.5m net assets they are worth £300m. Other assets add £20m.
Xu Weiping – £320m
Chinese developer ABP recently revealed the first companies that will move into it Royal Albert Dock development in East London. At least eight Chinese and British companies are set to move into the E16 development. The £1bn, 4.7m sq ft Farrells-designed scheme, which received planning consent in July 2014, will be London’s third financial district. The 32-acre site is currently filled with empty warehouses and unused docks and is connected to the rest of London by the Docklands Light Railway. Chairman of ABP Xu Weiping says that the complex is built to target a specific group of businesses. “We are building a new district. The costs are relatively low. The companies we are selling to are very different from the ones that rent from Canary Wharf. They are mostly established Chinese firms stepping their foot into the European market,” Xu reckons. He hopes to sell 60-70% of the space and rent out the rest.The site, to be known as Asian Business Port, is the largest investment by a Chinese company in the UK. Londor mayor Boris Johnson claims the development will be worth £6bn to the capital’s economy. XU Weiping’s wealth is relatively modest £320m. We can see some of it in his British company, ABP London (Investment) with more than £16m of assets in 2012-13.
Kathy & Bernard & Caroline Murphy & family – £318m
Manhattan’s largest hotel operator secured control of one of the most prominent sites on Shoreditch High Street, E1, as a foothold from which to build a 20-hotel London portfolio. Highgate Holdings is shortly to submit plans for a 300,000 sq ft mixed-use project at 1 Fairchild Street, including a tower of up to 30 storeys. The scheme is expected to have a gross development value of more than £300m. At the heart of the scheme will be a new 200-bedroom luxury hotel. The site, adjacent to Shoreditch High Street train station, is owned by family property company Folgate Estates. Highgate is expected to make a minimal up-front payment for its stake in the site, forming a profit-sharing joint venture with Folgate. The Murphy family own Folgate and should do well out of the deal. The family’s wealth comes from the late John Murphy, one of the great Irish builders in Britain right up to his death at 95 in 2009. His company, J Murphy, is still thriving and in 2013 its parent made £34.6m profit on £666m sales. It is worth its £220m net assets. The separate property operation, Folgate Holdings, is worth its £133m net assets. The family is now headed by Kathy, John Murphy’s second wife and Bernard, his son from his first marriage. Murphy’s daughter Caroline, a Unite union delegate, is committing her near 20% stake into a employee share scheme. We clip that off the construction operation and value the family stake there at £176m, adding £142m for the property company and other assets.
Harry Hyams – £312m
Walton Investment Co
The son of an East End bookie, Harry Hyams was one of London’s top developers in the 1960s and 1970s, and best known for Centre Point, W1. His real coup was to buy a stake in the Oldham Estates group in 1959 for £50,000. In two later deals he made £248m from its takeover. Hyams has stakes worth £7m in three small property companies in 2013-14 and should be worth £312m.
Aidan Brooks – £310m
In June Aidan Brooks’ Tribeca Holdings agreed a new five-year £98.8m financing with French banks BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole to develop its Brompton Cross Estate in Chelsea. Since 2011, Brooks has built a portfolio of more than 56,000 sq ft of mainly retail property around Sloane Avenue, Brompton Road, Draycott Avenue and Walton Street. A former Limerick aerial installer, Brooks has a portfolio of luxury brand shops in London, Paris, New York and elsewhere held via his Tribeca Holdings. Through refurbishment and rent rises he added £156m last year to the value of his Oxford Street retail investments opposite Selfridges. Tribeca broke Oxford Street’s record rent by signing up luxury brand Watches of Switzerland for a flagship store on Britain’s most famous shopping street in late 2014, paying £950/sq ft on a 20-year lease at the refurbished 439-451 Oxford Street, W1. Brooks has also purchased half the Old Spitalfields market bringing his London properties to £1bn before borrowings. Overall he is worth more than £310m.
Christopher Moran – £310m
Christopher Moran has hosted everyone from the Queen to David Cameron at Crosby Hall, his Grade II listed, 85-room riverside home in Chelsea. Moran, who bought the historic property for £100,000 in 1988, has spent the past two decades restoring and rebuilding the house, spending at least £50m. He also owns the 40,000-acre Glenfiddich estate in the Highlands, where he was granted permission in early 2012 to build 59 wind turbines despite strong opposition from local residents and organisations. Moran can expect an estimated £1.5m a year in rent from the Dutch-owned developer of the £250m Dorenell Wind Farm, which will generate 177mw of electricity. Moran is also active in Tory politics and brokered a deal in February 2007 which made the Conservatives more than £30m from the sale of their old Smith Square headquarters, SW1. Moran, who made his fortune in Lloyds and on the stock market in the 1980s and 1990s, has made even more in property since then. By his own admission he is ‘astronomically wealthy’. Crosby Hall is now reckoned to be worth £100m. Chesterlodge, Moran’s main holding company, is involved in serviced apartments, property development, insurance and renewable energy. It showed a £4.6m profit and £266m net assets in 2013-14. We add £44m to the insurance tycoon for his Crosby Hall mansion (after restoration costs are deducted).
Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia – £300m
London-based asset management firm Dominvs Group was started in 2011 by Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, founder of the Euro Car Parts operation. A Ugandan Asian refugee, Ahluwalia started out in a high street shop in Willesden and began to trade under the name of Highway Autos. The shop was purchased with cash given by his family and a small loan from Barclays, totalling £5,000. Within a year of trading, Highway Autos was turning over 10 times as much as it had previously achieved despite the fact that Ahluwalia had no previous knowledge of the motor industry. He spotted a gap in the market, supplying parts for prestige German car brands such as BMW and Mercedes. The business was renamed Euro Car Parts. In 2011 he sold up to a US group for £285m and left the business to concentrate on his growing Dominvs property operation and charity work. Dominvs Group now has a £330m portfolio across the commercial, hospitality and residential sectors. It has 13 commercial sites ranging from offices to industrial estates, while it has built up a portfolio of seven hotels, including two recent additions in Aberdeen. The residential portfolio spans 16 sites valued in total at more than £150m throughout prime central London locations, with a further 12 sites being targeted in 2015 in the capital and other premium UK markets. In all Ahluwalia and his family should now easily be worth £300m.
Sir John & Peter Beckwith – £300m
Pacific Investment/PMB Holdings
The Beckwith brothers, Sir John and Peter, sold their London and Edinburgh Trust property group to a Swedish group in 1990 netting £80m. Since then Peter has become a leading shareholder in the Ambassador’s Theatre Group, which was sold in 2013 for around £250m to a private equity group. He has also invested in property, though his PMB Holdingss showed negative net assets of £13m in 2014, when it made a near £5m loss. Sir John has been investing in hedge funds, making £33m from the 2010 sale of the Thames River Capital,
into which he had put £3m. His main company, Pacific Investments, made a £5.8m profit and showed £34.6m net assets in 2014. The brothers have also invested in sports-related businesses and sold them on at a profit of at least £50m. But with the losses at PMB, we clip the Beckwiths back to £300m.
David Gabbay & family – £300m
London property group O&H made a near £21m profit and showed £548m net assets in 2013-14. Established in 1982, it has property interests throughout the UK and 10,000 acres in its land bank. Its assets are valued at around £1bn. David Gabbay, a canny property man and co-founder, and his family trusts, have around half the company. With other assets, the Gabbay family should easily be worth £300m.
Eli Shahmoon & family – £300m
London property group O&H, founded in 1982, showed £548m net assets in 2013-14. Shahmoon and his family trusts, have around half the company. With other assets, the Shahmoon family should easily be worth £300m.
Bill Ainscough & family – £290m
Commercial property development, investment and management
company Langtree Group is rebranding as Network Space. At present, the Network Space name is limited to the groups’ investment and management operation, which has invested more than £30m in new property in the last three years. Langtree was started by Bill Ainscough, who started out as a builder in 1973. His first business Wain Homes, based in Chester, was sold 28 years later netting him £120m. He kept part of the business and today there are four family separate companies, Wain Group, Langtree, Langtree Carrington and Himor, which made £32.6m profit on £270.6m sales in 2013-14, when their total net assets came in at nearly £195m. The Ainscough family stakes in all four total around £184m net assets. With other assets the Ainscough family is worth at least £290m. The Langtree public sector development partnership was recently bought out by its management, though Ainscough will keep a small stake there.
David Pearl – £285m
Property entrepreneur David Pearl’s Structadene bought a portfolio of banks across the UK from Threadneedle in April for around £7m. The 28 banks are let to RBS or NatWest, although some of them are currently vacant. London-based Structadene, which was set up by Pearl in 1978 to encompass estate agency and management business Pearl & Coutts, looks to improve the quality of its portfolio to minimise voids. It mainly focuses on London’s West End, although it has recently also bought in Scotland and Wales, as well as City and Midtown locations in London. In 2014 Structadene made a £30.9m loss mainly because of the £47.8m cost of breaking a loan/swap deal but its net assets rose sharply to £281m. We add £4m to Pearl for other assets.
Nick Leslau – £280m
Secure Income REIT
Nick Leslau’s Secure Income REIT exchanged contracts with Fubon Life Insurance Company in May 2015 on the sale of the home of Madame Tussauds on Marylebone Road, NW1. The Taiwanese firm spent £332.5m on the building –
a 4.7% yield. Leslau sold the Max Property operation in July 2014 for £650m. He followed this, as part of a consortium, with the £500m sale of hotel assets and later pubs. Leslau also found time to float Secure Income Real Estate Investment Trust in June 2014. Leslau, who trainedas a chartered surveyor, teamed up with financier Nigel Wray in the property market. Their Prestbury operation showed £61m net assets in 2013. Leslau should be worth £280m.
Bert & Maurice Allen – £278m
Bert Allen and his brother Maurice are prominent Wexford tycoons. Ownership of their Slaney meats operation was transferred in 2010 to a British Virgin Isles company called Lotan Holdings. The last accounts in 2008 showed over £71m net assets. From its profits the Allen brothers built a property portfolio worth £248m, through which they netted around £190m when they sold their Bewley hotel chain in 2007. The Allens reinvested some of this in German property. Other assets include hotels, 18.7% of Gael Electric, an energy company, and a £10m commercial building in Dusseldorf. They also own land around the seaside resort of Courtown, Ireland, and are moving into bioenergy. They should now easily be worth £278m.
Brian Kennedy – £275m
Brian Kennedy started Patrick Properties in 2002. It now boasts a £100m portfolio consisting of industrial, office and retail assets. The majority of the portfolio is tenanted by multinational household names which include Royal Mail, Sainsbury’s, Advanced Medical Solutions, Bentley and Café Nero. Kennedy, a leading North West industrialist and entrepreneur floated two businesses on the stock market in 2014 – Entu, a Manchester-based green energy outfit and Epwin, a plastics operation – where he retains stakes worth £43m in total. The son of an Edinburgh window cleaner, he made his first fortune in kitchens and later moved into home improvements, buying the Everest brand in 1999 for £47m, before selling off parts. He also sold a mobile phones business in 2002 for £31m. His total empire has a turnover of around £600m. His other assets including Patrick Properties, a US operation, a wind farm and the Sale Sharks rugby club take Kennedy to £275m.
Alan Lewis – £270m
Hartley Investment Trust
Born in Old Trafford in Manchester, Alan Lewis left school at 15 and did typography at Manchester University. He started out selling repossessed cars and then developing old garage sites. His fortune has been made mainly from restructuring property and finances. In the late 1970s he put his money into depressed UK and Spanish property. In 1982 he won a prolonged takeover battle for Illingworth Morris, a textile company owned by the wife of actor James Mason. Since then Lewis has diversified into other areas such as property, forestry and natural resources. His two main British companies showed £51m net assets in 2013-14. His British property portfolio, principally old industrial sites in Yorkshire, is worth at least £100m. In addition he has 4,000 acres of prime development land in Florida, United States, and large tracts of forestry in Russia. Other assets take Lewis to £270m.
Stephen Vernon – £265m
Green Property recently celebrated its 50th birthday. At the same time, the Dublin-based operation’s crown jewel, the Blanchardstown shopping centre in West Dublin, is now valued at more than €900m (£665m) following a refinancing of the development’s borrowings by Morgan Stanley, an American investment bank. Blanchardstown is now the largest remaining asset in Green Property, which was once a stock market quoted company. Its stake in Blanchardstown is valued at €150m by the refinancing. Green is run by English property man, Stephen Vernon, whose parents were Irish. He grew up in Bristol and went to university in London. His first job was in the public sector, with the Greater London Council. He then moved to St Quintin, a long-established firm of chartered surveyors. He joined Green in 1993. Nine years later, Green was taken private via a £700m deal backed financially by Merrill Lynch and HBOS. Vernon set about selling £1bn of assets to pay down debt and give his backers a return on their money. Merrill Lynch cashed in its chips in 2005 as part of a refinancing of the company. “This is my business now,” said Vernon. “I’m very glad we did the buyout. The writing was on the wall for us (as a public company) and I think predators would have emerged.” Green’s other assets include a factory outlet centre in Killarney; offices let to eBay in Leopardstown; an industrial site in west Dublin occupied by Irish Express Cargo; and a growing asset base in the UK. Green Property showed £404m net assets in 2013-14. Vernon’s £250m Green Property stake is supplemented by an £11m stake in Green Reit, a quoted property investor. Other assets should take him to £265m.
Mike Clare & family – £260m
Clare, the founder of beds retailer Dreams, sold the company in 2008 for £222m. He invested £20m in the business under the new management but that was lost when the business went into administration, though it has since been rescued. Clare’s other investments are doing well and he has eight hotels, commercial and residential property worth £95m in total. His AmaZing Venues operation consists of iconic properties rented out for wedding and parties. He nearly made up his losses at Dreams from an astute investment in Sunseeker, the luxury yacht maker sold to a Chinese billionaire in 2013 for £320m. After tax and his charitable work the Clare family should be worth £260m.
John Guthrie & family – £260m
A chartered surveyor by training, John Guthrie chairs Broadland Properties, the Scarborough property operation. The business, which was started in 1950, is worth its £240m net asset figure for 2014 when it made a £5.3m profit on £38.6m turnover. Among its assets are Hever Castle in Kent (bought from the Astor family in 1983), and substantial farming and trading interests in Poland, leisure interests in the UK and hydroelectric schemes in Scotland. Guthrie also owns White Rose Finance (£6m net assets) and made a £22.3m profit from the 2005 sale of a stake in Merchant Retail, which should take the Guthrie family to perhaps £260m after tax.
Lord Iliffe & family – £260m
Yattendon Investment Trust
Yattendon Group, the Reading-based property, marina, media and agriculture operation, had a good 2014-15 with profits coming in at £22.6m on a £61.4m turnover. It is owned by the Iliffe family and should be worth its £246.4m net assets. It has two main property operations, the Yattendon Estate with 9,000 acres, mainly agricultural but with properties to rent, and Westminster Management which has been active in the Vancouver property market since the 1920s. Iliffe inherited the title from his late uncle in 1996. Sales of its newspapers in 1987 and 2012 raised £78m. Other assets take the family to £260m.
Tony Pidgley – £260m
Developer Berkeley Group saw its shares soar in June after it reported a 42% rise in annual profits to £539.7m for 2014-15. The share price had risen 40% since the Tories’ election victory in May. Though the shares have come back since then, founder Tony Pidgley is on a roll. The former Barnardo’s boy, who spent his early years living in a disused railway carriage, set up Berkeley in 1976 and with his wife still owns 6.37m shares worth £210m. A bonus scheme, past share sales and hefty dividends take him to £260m.
Eric Watson – £259m
A London-based Kiwi entrepreneur, Watson has assets in finance, property and retail including a New Zealand lingerie company doing well with its Elle Macpherson Intimates range and NZ Warriors, the Auckland rugby league team, worth in total £169m. He is also heavily involved in the UK residential and social housing sector. In all his assets add up to £259m.
Steve & Clive Boultbee Brooks – £250m
Three Manchester city centre buildings were sold in a deal worth £16m in July. They were snapped up by London-based real estate investor and developer Boultbee Brooks Real Estate. The deal takes the total investment this year by Boultbee into the Manchester city office market to £28m. Its development and investment portfolio is valued at around £350m. Boultbee is a major landlord in the Shoreditch and Clerkenwell areas of London where many of its tenants are fast-growing digital and creative firms. Boultbee’s aim is to replicate its London model and become one of the city’s most successful providers of quality workspace. The Boultbee Brooks brothers – Steve a mechanical engineer and polar explorer, and Clive, a chartered surveyor – grew up on a farm in Staffordshire though their father was a stockbroker. They sold their cars in 1987 for £5,000 to take on the property world. Their main companies, including Boultbee Finance and SB Squared Holding, showed around £150m net assets in 2013. Other company assets and profits on sales of assets should add £100m.
Damien Hirst – £250m
Damien Hirst bought an 18-bedroom Palladian house overlooking London’s Regent’s Park for £39.5m last autumn, and must “decontaminate the property” before he can apply to refurbish the stucco-fronted mansion and build an extension below the garden to accommodate his hoard of artworks. The artist owns at least 18 properties in Britain and two abroad. A recent newspaper analysis of the properties concluded that they were worth £150m. He has a 2,000-strong art collection, including pieces by Francis Bacon and Banksy and is also active in the Devon resort of Ilfracombe, where he has opened an art gallery. Called Other Criteria, it is next to his restaurant 11 The Quay and features works by the artist selling for up to £11,500. The gallery is Hirst’s latest foray in the seaside town, his most famous being the 60ft bronze statue Verity on the pier. Hirst owns four adjoining properties on the Quay and also has a studio at nearby Mullacott Cross where some of his artworks are created. He is also turning his hand to property development and has designed an estate of 500 eco homes for Ilfracombe which have hidden wind turbines in the roofs, photovoltaic solar panels and advanced insulation. Hirst insists that the development will be a proper community complete with a school, shops and business premises. In London, meanwhile he is selling the lease on his Other Criteria outpost in Bond Street and move to bigger premises as he expands his retail and publishing empire. As Britain’s richest artist, Hirst has had better news too on the art front. London’s recent contemporary art sales saw the sale of an early Hirst “Away From the Flock (Divided),” a 1995 installation involving a sheep that has been dissected and its sliced halves placed, floating, in a tank of formaldehyde. It sold at Christie’s for $3m, which was above the $2.8m lowest estimate, leading experts to conclude that the market for Hirst works is stabilising. He made his money before the crash with sale proceeds of £263.4m from 2003 to 2008. Hirst took a 70 % cut of all he sold in the boom years, rather than the long established 50-50 split. We can see around £190m of assets in the 2013 accounts of Murderme, Hirst’s main company, and three other smaller ones. His manager went on record saying he was a billionaire. We think that is a slight exaggeration. With his property assets and other sale proceeds added, we value Hirst at around £250m.
John Apthorp & family – £240m
Majestic Wine Warehouses
John Apthorp, whose family made around £70m from the sale of the Bejam frozen food operation in 1989, went on to build up Majestic Wine as a “super retirement job”. The Apthorp family and trusts still have an stake. Share sales came in at £38m in 2003 and 2005. The Apthorp family should be worth £240m after tax and other assets including 100 acres in Radlett.
Sir Stanley Thomas & Peter Thomas – £235m
TBI/Atlantic Property Developments
The Thomas brothers, Sir Stanley and Peter, built up South Wales-based Peter’s Savoury Products, which was sold in 1988 for £75m. The family
then built the TBI property to airports group, netting around £106m when it was sold in 2004. A Spanish development, in which Peter had a 40% stake, was sold in 2005 for £75m. Peter is still involved in property and there are nearly £36m net assets in his companies including Atlantic Property. Both have been honoured for their charity work in Wales. We value the Thomas family at £235m.
Neil Taylor & family – £230m
Neil Taylor floated his computer games operation – Game – on the stock market in 1998. The Taylor family made around £50m from the float and later sale. Since then, Dublin-based Taylor and his two brothers have built a German property portfolio and a range of investments. Last year the family stake in Pure Gym was sold at a profit. With surging house prices in Germany, we push the Taylors to £230m.
Nick Capstick-Dale – £225m
UK Real Estate
Nick Capstick-Dale, the property developer behind Metropolitan Wharf, bought Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, E1, for around £3m and plans to redevelop it as a boutique hotel. The power station is a Victorian building, one of the industrial edifices mothballed when the London Docks,
built at Wapping in 1815, closed down in the late 1960s. Capstick-Dale started trading in property in 1986. Three months before the property crash in
1989, he sold all his properties. A year later he was buying back some of his assets at a 40% discount. Since then, skilfully riding the property market he has built a long-term London portfolio including Metropolitan Wharf and the old Lighthouse building at King’s Cross, N1. His main company, UK Real Estate, showed £86m net assets in 2013-14, but other assets take him to £225m.
David Clowes – £222m
Derbyshire property developer Charles Clowes died in February. He chaired the CWC group – the parent company of Clowes Developments operations – which he founded in 1964. He built it into a major property and development portfolio including industrial, office, retail and housing over more than 120 sites. Clowes put together a consortium bid for Derby County football club in 2004, but withdrew. He recently made a major play in London with a purchase of a 2.7-acre site in Battersea, and also bought the 116-acre site of the former Didcot A power station in Oxfordshire. Clowes Developments made £14.2m profit on £40m sales and had £108.2m net assets in 2013-14. In the 2007 boom Clowes was said to have a £300m price tag. Clowes’ son David took over as chairman of the £220m operation. Other assets add £2m.
Irvine & James Sellar – £220m
Fresh from the success of developing the new London Bridge Quarter, SE1, with the iconic Shard tower, Irvine and James Sellar are now looking at a new wave of development in London. In addition to creating a third building at LBQ, where demolition starts in October, the family have two major schemes in the pipeline. At Canada Water work is now under way to create a £500m, 1.5m sq ft mainly residential scheme only a mile or so from Tower Bridge. While at Paddington, Sellar is preparing plans for a major regeneration project on the old Post Office site adjacent to the station. The Shard is now a major London landmark. There has been a surge in lettings at the 1016ft tower over the past year. It is already home to 23 tenants within the office element, reinforcing the vertical town concept and, following News Corp’s leasing of The Place, it is expected LBQ will be fully let by the end of the year. Together with the adjacent 26-storey residential building, these are key factors in improving the Sellar family’s fortunes. They are further enhanced by Canada Water and Paddington, forming part of their £1.9bn development programme. Together with rising property values, we conservatively value the Sellars at £220m.
Stephen Conway & family – £220m
A Singaporean investor, Oxley Holdings, is taking a 20% stake in Galliard Holdings, which has 6,000 residential units under construction and sites in planning with a completed value of around £2bn. Galliard is run and owned by Stephen Conway. An eastender by birth, he left school in 1964 aged 16, and developed his early entrepreneurial spirit through trading, working in a bank and running a market stall at weekends. “After I left school with five O-levels, my mum wanted me to get a ‘proper job’ paying £6 a week in a bank. But the attraction of getting £40 a week from the market was too great to resist,” he recalled. In 1969, he began his career in industrial finance, working for the First National Finance Corporation before being poached to run a small property-lending bank until1974. Then followed the worst property and banking crash of the century. Conway saw it first hand before going to work for a property company until he co-founded Galliard Group in 1991. Loughton-based Galliard made £14.2m profit on £127.74m sales in 2013-14. Oxley’s 20% stake will value Galliard at £250m. Oxley chairman, Ching Chiat Kwong, joins the Galliard board. He knows the London market as Oxley is developing the Royal Wharf site in east London. With other assets, Conway should be worth £220m.
Charles Kenny & family – £218m
Early in 2015 Irish telecom group Eircom sold one of its main Dublin telephone exchange sites, on Adelaide Road, to Charles Kenny’s Clancourt Group in a deal worth in excess of €10m (£7m). Clancourt is understood to be planning a major commercial development incorporating the site and a number of adjacent plots. Clancourt was set up by Kenny, who began his career in insurance broking before moving into property development, and he and his family have been long-standing developers in the centre of Dublin since the 1960s. The company shrewdly stayed out of the overheated Irish property market during the boom years, aside from developing the former Dunlop Centre on Hatch Street into an office block that secured Aviva and Barclays as tenants. Other Clancourt assets include Crescent shopping centre in Limerick and the Harcourt Centre office blocks in Dublin. It sold Parkway shopping centre in Limerick for more than €56m in 2006 and developed the Atlantic Coast hotel in Mayo. Along with other assets, we value the Kenny family at £218m.
Anthony Brotherton-Ratcliffe, Diana Jones & family – £215m
Maybrook Properties was an ailing property investment operation when it was taken over in 1974 by the late Jack Brotherton-Ratcliffe, who turned it into a prosperous part of his Croudace empire in the late 1980s. He died in 2010, but by then Maybrook had been taken over by his daughter Diana Jones and her family. London-based Maybrook made a record £2.5m profit and had nearly £42m in net assets in 2014. Jones’ brother Anthony runs the main family operation Croudace, which is a leading housebuilder and developer based in Surrey. In 2014 it pushed up profits sharply to nearly £16m and had £108m in net assets. Other family assets include Croudace Properties Group and Paxton Access, with £54m net assets between them in 2014. In all we value the wider family at £215m.
David Mabey & family – £214m
Reading-based Mabey Property was started in 1986 as a commercial property investment and development company and is part of the family-owned industrial to property group Mabey Holdings, which dates back to 1923. Its existing portfolio includes offices, industrial and retail investment property with tenants such as Boots, Barclays Bank, Allianz Insurance and Medway council. Mabey Property is also involved in the development of commercial property and has carried out retail warehouse developments, office refurbishments and a number of high street retail developments. Current projects include 45 acres of residential development land in South Wales and a care home development in Reading. It made a £4.2m profit in 2014 and showed nearly £154m in net assets. Dividends, which have totalled over £80m since 1996, and a separate property operation with net assets of £26m, take David Mabey and family to £214m after tax.
Eric Gadsden – £212m
Chesham-based property group WE Black made £16.7m profit in 2013 and had £143m in net assets. There are another £41m of net assets in Three Rivers Property Investments and owner Eric Gadsden has a £21m stake in the quoted Michelmersh Brick business. With his racing interests added, Gadsden should be worth at least £212m.
Joseph Brennan & family – £209m
Joseph Brennan Bakeries
Joseph Brennan Bakeries, the producer of Brennans Bread, is controlled by the multi-millionaire Brennan family. The £64m operation is Dublin’s biggest bakery. The family retains substantial property assets worth £130m and have had investments in the Versace shop in London’s New Bond Street, and the Hamleys Building in Regent Street, both W1. Other assets take the family, led by Joseph Brennan, to £209m.
Tony Bramall & family – £208m
After qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1960, Tony Bramall worked in a Sheffield finance company. In 1963 he joined his father’s Sheffield-based car dealership and today he is running his third car dealership, after selling the first two and collecting around £120m for his family’s stakes. Bramall then spent £56m in 2006 acquiring a stake in the quoted Lookers dealership. That stake is now worth £96m following a £15.5m share sale in March this year. There are also two family companies, Bramall Properties and Winterquay, with £47m in net assets as of 2013. The Bramall family should be worth £208m after tax.
The Duke of Buccleuch & family – £207m
Buccleuch Property sold a 32,000 sq ft office block in Doncaster for £4.4m in May 2015, reflecting a 9% yield. In December 2014 it snapped up a £6.4m Cambridge office development and entered into a partnership with local developer Wrenbridge. The deals reflect the growing appetite for property of the 10th Duke of Buccleuch, who inherited his title and assets from his father in 2007. The popular ninth Duke, Europe’s largest landowner, left £320m in his will. The art treasures and antique furniture were valued in the will at £224m, but we cut that back to £150m, taking account of a likely tax bill. Parent company Buccleuch Estates showed £122.5m in net assets in 2014, up £9m on the previous year, which takes Buccleuch up to £207m.
Martin Ainscough & family – £206m
Martin Ainscough recently opened the Surf Snowdonia development in North Wales’s picturesque Conwy Valley – a £12m attraction aimed at everyone from experienced surfers to families breathing new life into a brownfield site that was previously an aluminium rolling and casting works. The family money comes from Ainscough Crane Hire, founded in 1976. Ainscough and his brothers took over the running of the Wigan-based business in 1984 and sold it for £255m in 2007. The family is also heavily involved in charity work helping the long-term unemployed locally. Today, Ainscough is heavily involved in property through Ainscough Strategic Land, which looks for sites to hold and develop on a long-term basis. There are around £14m in net assets in various Ainscough companies (down £4m on the previous year) including Ainscough Investments. After tax, we estimate their worth at £206m.
Paul & Johnny Caddick – £200m
Caddick Group and Generate Land recently formed a joint venture called Moda, which teamed up with another private equity group to build and operate a private rented sector (PRS) portfolio of properties at prime sites in UK cities. The jv has a pipeline of 5,000 units and a gross development value of £1bn, including the City One and Quarry Hill mixed-use sites in Leeds. Yorkshire-based Caddick group is also busy with retail developments throughout the North but has also expanded into London where it has £400m worth of development work. The business, run by father and son Paul and Johnny, made a £15.5m profit in 2013-14. With other assets, the Caddicks are worth £200m.
Terence Cole – £200m
London-based Marcol and a partner sold a German business providing patient care for around £630m last year. Marcol is now planning to invest £100m in the UK in a similar venture providing care for patients recovering from operations. It wants to establish a network of five rehabilitation clinics over the next three years and is looking for land to build on. Marcol, founded in 1976, owns about £100m of real estate in London – including the Royal Exchange building, EC3 – and £2bn of assets in Europe. Its portfolio covers care homes, hotels and other property – there is more than £222m in net assets in the three biggest, including London’s exclusive Chelsea Harbour. Joint founder Cole is worth a conservative £200m.
Heinrich Feldman & family – £200m
Prince Charles likened One Poultry, EC2, to a “1930s wireless set”. The candy-striped block above Bank station was sold by its little-known owner, Heinrich Feldman, in early 2014 to a private equity group for around £110m. The building generated rent of £6.3m a year for Feldman. Feldman’s main holding company, Inremco 26, made £25.4m profit and showed £129.1m in net assets in 2013-14. The One Poultry sale should take the Feldman family’s worth to £200m easily after tax.
Mark Steinberg – £200m
Co-founder of London property company Marcol with partner Terence Cole in 1976. Its portfolio is worth nearly £2.2bn. Steinberg, regarded as a top property deal maker, should be worth £200m.
Dave Whelan & family – £200m
Dave Whelan is now busy in the property sphere. The owner of Wigan Athletic has a Jersey-based operation, Huron Properties, which has entered the high-end private rented sector in Manchester. In late 2013, Huron bought a vacant Grade II listed building on the corner of Deansgate from Royal London Asset Management for an undisclosed sum. The upper floors have been converted into 21 high-spec flats for rent. The block is in the heart of Manchester’s retail district, and the ground floor shop units are let to 11 tenants including Jaeger, L’Occitane and Goldman Sterling. Whelan, a former footballer, turned himself into a successful entrepreneur following a career-ending injury. After running market stalls and a small supermarket chain, he bought the JJB sports retailer in 1979, building it into a major sports retailer and floating it on the stock market in 1994. Whelan sold the family stake in JJB for £190m to an Icelandic-backed consortium in 2007 and left the company, having previously sold more than £50m worth of shares in 2007 and nearly £17m in earlier sales. He has around £17m of net assets in other family companies, but spent £83.4m of his sale proceeds buying JJB’s Fitness Club operation. Among his other interests are a new firm, Viz Reflections, making motorway signs and luminous jackets. Whelan bought Wigan Athletic Football Club in 1995 and spent £25m building the DW Stadium, which the team shares with the Wigan Warriors rugby league team. He recently resigned as chairman of the football club – naming his 23-year-old grandson, David Sharpe, as his successor – but retains his stake. Wigan Athletic made a £23.7m loss and showed £49m net assets in 2013-14, and was recently relegated for the second time in three years. The Dave Whelan Sports fitness chain is worth £70m on the back of £4m profit and £66m net assets in 2013-14. After tax and a hefty investment in the town’s football club, Whelan is worth £200m.
Sir Peter Harrison & family – £198m
Sir Peter Harrison qualified as a chartered accountant in 1959 and joined the Crest Nicholson Group in 1971. Eight years later he bought Chernikeeff, a marine computer network integration company, for the princely sum of £133,000. Twenty years later, Harrison sold 49.9% for around £100m, and the rest for £200m in 2000. He is a generous supporter of charities through his Peter Harrison Foundation, which has assets of £45m. His Surrey-based PHF Investments property operation has benefited from rising commercial property prices, pushing Harrison’s worth up to £198m.
Duncan Sinclair & family – £194m
Low-key London property operation Mountview Estates pushed up its profit by 13% to £40m in 2014-15, while its dividend rose by 37.5%. The shares responded well and the company is valued at £465m on the stock market. Mountview is run by accountant Duncan Sinclair and the wider Sinclair family’s stake is now worth around £184m. Other assets add £10m.
Bob Rose – £192m
Australian property tycoon Bob Rose and his wife recently moved to London, leaving his Rose Group property business in the hands of their twin sons Bryan and Stuart. The group has a major development, Catherine Hill Bay on the NSW central coast, as well as the Breakfast Point project on Sydney Harbour. Rose started Rose Corp in 1976 after emerging from bankruptcy, going on to develop a string of projects in Sydney. His fortune is put at around £192m.
Alan Murphy – £190m
Property group Nikal was formed in 2003 with a focus on developing brownfield sites. Murphy is one of the principle backers of the Manchester-based operation. His wealth came first from the sale of a supermarket and then in 1982 he started AM Paper, which made toilet rolls. In 1997, Murphy sold part of his stake for £100m, and the rest for £50m two years later. Other assets keep Murphy at £190m.
Steve Parkin – £188m
The new Central Square development in Leeds has provided a handy profit for logistics king Steve Parkin. He was part of a consortium that paid £5.2m for the site in 2013. This year the site, plus the building under construction, was sold for at least five times the purchase price. Parkin, an ex-miner, founded Clipper Logistics as a haulage business in 1992. Today it provides logistics services for blue-chip companies. Leeds-based Clipper floated on the stock market in 2014 valued at £100m. It is now worth £265m and Parkin has a £92m holding. His personal company, Knaresborough Investment, showed £93.7m net assets in 2013-14. A £30m share sale at the float, his property profits and other assets take Parkin to £188m.
Tom Martin & family – £185m
Radnor Walk Investments
A chartered surveyor, Tom Martin runs a family-owned property empire in London. Set up in 1946, Martin’s Properties is one of London’s most respected property operations. Based in Chelsea, it has developed some landmark buildings in the area such as Whitelands House, SW3, and the award-winning development of 199-209 King’s Road, SW3. The Martins went into property almost by accident, moving their electrical business from Guildford to Chelsea. The family bought a house in Sydney Street, where they let out rooms. In 1956, a second shop was opened at 33F King’s Road while the family looked for opportunities to reinvest their business profits. Today we see two asset rich property companies – Radnor Walk Investments and Martin’s Properties (Chelsea) – showing £8.5m profits and net assets up sharply at over £185m in 2014-15. We value the Martin family at that level.
Sir John Ritblat & family – £180m
The notorious Elephant and Castle shopping centre, SE1, will become home to thousands of students and residents as part of ambitious regeneration plans unveiled in July this year, nearly two years after the building was snapped up for £80m. The area itself is undergoing a wider £3bn regeneration. Subject to planning permission from Southwark council, construction on the latest proposals could begin in early 2017. Developer Delancey is behind the scheme in partnership with AVG. Delancey has been built up by Sir John Ritblat and his son Jamie. Ritblat senior started his career aged just 16 under the tutelage of the property agent Edward Erdman. He was later chairman of British Land from 1970 to 2006 and built the group into one of the largest and most respected quoted property companies. Ritblat sold most of his stake in British Land for nearly £57m. His retirement lasted just two weeks and he resurfaced in January 2007 when he joined forces with Jamie to spearhead a £2.6bn property investment fund. Today, Delancey owns the Athletes’ Village rental portfolio in the Olympic Park, E20, in a joint venture with Qatari Diar. Delancey also made a killing from taking over Minerva, a listed property company, in 2011 and selling off its assets. It is close to sealing the £580m sale of Minerva’s Walbrook office block, EC4, to the insurer Cathay Life. There is little asset wealth in Delancey Real Estate Partners, which showed just £1.8m profit on £19m turnover in 2013-14 with net assets of £11.4m. We raise the Ritblats to £180m on the back of recent and prospective deals.
Keith Bradshaw & family – £180m
Accountant Keith Bradshaw co-founded the Takare nursing home operation in 1979. Ten years later, Takare floated on the stock market. After a merger, it became part of the Care First group, which in turn was taken over by Bupa in 1997 in a £273m deal. That valued Bradshaw’s stake at £21m. His family owns half of Listers of Coventry, the £200m upmarket car dealer which made £15.3m profit in 2013-14. Aside from his motor interests, Bradshaw has a flourishing musical instrument distributor, and a large property portfolio held by his property
company Nurton Developments. There are also £30m net assets in various Bradshaw operations and property outside Listers, taking the family to £180m.
Simon Clarke & family – £180m
Listed property and regeneration group St Modwen enjoyed a bumper rise in profit to £177.6m for the six months to May 2015 on the back of growth in the UK sector and the firm’s “continued belief in the regional marketplace”. The Birmingham-based company is behind the regeneration of the former car factory site at Longbridge and is also involved in key schemes in Burton, Stoke-on-Trent and Hednesford, Staffordshire. In June 2015, it handed over the keys to Marks & Spencer to begin fitting out its 150,000 sq ft store in the new-look Longbridge town centre, which will be the largest in the Midlands when it opens later this year. St Modwen was co-founded by Sir Stan Clarke who died in 2004, leaving £138.9m in his will. An ex-plumber, Clarke started the Clarke Securities construction operation, selling it for £51m in 1987. He kept the property side, which became St Modwen. Son Simon sits on the St Modwen board looking after the £104m family stake. Other assets and a share sale in April 2014 take the family to £180m after tax.
Bakir Cola & family – £180m
Iraqi-born Cola runs and owns luxury hotels in London including the Kensington Close, W8, and the Westbury, W1. Cola’s company sold its 170-bedroom Kingsway Hall hotel, WC2, in October 2014 for around £100m. His company, Cola Holdings, made £11.2m profit on £52m sales in 2014. Cola took a £110m dividend. Past dividends and other assets take the Cola family fortune to £180m.
Roy MacGregor & family – £180m
After selling two businesses, MacGregor began again in 2005 with Inverness-based Global Energy (Holdings) making, inspecting and repairing oil rigs. Profits hit £28.5m on £472m sales in 2013-14. It has £112m net assets but, with the oil price collapse, we clip its value back to £180m. The MacGregor family has a 75% stake. Other assets such as MacGregor Properties, with £17.9m of net assets in 2013-14, and Scottish football club Ross County, add £30m.
Gary Widdowson – £180m
Gary Widdowson runs Kenninghall Holdings, a north London-based property group with nearly £24m of net assets in 2013. The business was established in 1998 and specialises in large industrial sites with long leases. Among its assets are six recycling sites and riverside wharf property in Kent. Widdowson also has a private dock on the Thames. He also sold his London-based metal recycling operation in 2006 for around £120m, keeping a 22% stake. In all we can see £101.5m of net assets in eight Widdowson companies. He bought a 2,000-acre Norfolk estate for £25m in 2008, but Essex-based Widdowson, an international showjumper in his youth, has had hefty salaries and dividends (including £3.3m in 2005) and he should easily be worth £180m with other assets.
Sir Euan Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe & family – £175m
Sir Euan Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe’s Calthorpe Estates plans to give Birmingham’s leafy Edgbaston districts a makeover. The company has unveiled plans to redevelop parts of a triangle of land bordered by Calthorpe Road, Highfield Road and Harborne Road. It is hoped this will become the “village centre” with a focus on fine dining, specialist retail and healthcare. The plans are being drawn up jointly by Calthorpe Estates and Birmingham city council and aim to create a high-quality urban village within a mile of the city centre. The village is an ambitious blueprint to create a retail and leisure destination. One of Calthorpe Estates’ major projects currently under way is the £200m redevelopment of Pebble Mill, based around the site of the old BBC studios. The scheme is already more than three-quarters let and Calthorpe Estates has been given planning permission for a 53,800 sq ft healthcare facility. The former BBC building will be transformed into a medical and life sciences hub employing more than 1,000 people. Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe inherited the Calthorpe estate back in 1985. It is in the middle of a £350m development programme. Parent company Calthorpe Property Company showed £6.1m of net assets in 2013-14. His trusts made around £40m profit in 1999 by selling off 300 acres in Hampshire, leaving the family with 4,000 acres there. Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe also has £10m of other company assets plus interests in America, the Gulf and Europe. Rising land prices push him to £175m.
John Berkley & family – £175m
John Berkley chairs Berkeley Leisure, a Somerset-based mobile home operator and property developer. It made £7.4m profit on nearly £25m sales in 2014. Its net assets came in at £90.2m. The company states in its 2014 annual report that its freehold properties are worth around £100m more than the book value. The shares are largely owned by the Berkley and his family. They take little out of the business and we value the family at £175m with other assets.
Sir John Mactaggart & family – £175m
Mactaggart Heritable Holdings
Mactaggart Heritable, the Glasgow-based property group, owns a string of high-priced commercial properties mostly in London and Manhattan. It made £6.9m profit in 2014 when its net assets hit nearly £164.3m. The company, which trades as the Western Heritable Investment Company, traces its roots back to Sir John Mactaggart’s great-grandfather, also Sir John, who started building tenements in Springburn, Glasgow, in 1898. Over the next few years he built more than 2,000 homes in the south and west of the city. The first Sir John was an active Labour man and was treasurer of the first branch of the Labour party under Kier Hardy. We add £11m for past dividends to owner MacTaggart and his family taking them to £175m.
Stuart Monk & family – £175m
Stockton-based Jomast reckons to be of the UK’s leading property development, investment and regeneration specialists with commercial and residential real estate assets in excess of £250m. It was founded in 1971 by Stuart Monk and produced a record £13.5m profit on a £28.8m turnover in 2013-14. Jomast is worth its £171m net assets and is owned by Monk and his family. We add £4m for other assets.
David Coffer – £170m
St James Capital
An ace property dealmaker for more than 40 years, David Coffer sold the first 50% of the Earls Court and Olympia exhibition centres with Anthony Lyons in a £280m deal back in 2007. The remaining 50% stake was sold in 2010. In his early days as a property agent and investor, Coffer specialised in restaurants and had a near 10% stake in Trevian Holdings, a quoted restaurant group taken over in 1992 for around £5m. He also has other business assets, including private equity and leisure interests. His personal assets were valued at £80m at the market peak. We can see 12 companies with £38m of net assets in total where he has stakes, meaning he should be worth £170m.
Dr Nick Dhandsa & family – £170m
Nick Dhandsa put together his first nursing home deal in 1982. He went on to build Associated Nursing Services, which was taken over in 2005 for £330m, netting his family £100m. Dhandsa has been actively investing in property and made a 300% return on investments in Dubai over three years. Other investments, including three companies with £14m net assets, take the family to £170m.
John Griffin & family – £170m
Royal Mint Gardens
John Griffin left school at 16 without any qualifications as he had TB and couldn’t sit any exams, but bluffed his way to being taken on by a firm of accountants as an articled clerk. Forced to take a job as a minicab driver while helping to rescue his father’s ailing road and sewer building business, he set up on his own in 1975. Stuck for a name, he chose Addison because one of his controllers. Now retired from London taxi firm Addison Lee after its £300m sale to an American private equity company in early 2013, Griffin has been heavily involved in charity work. He took a £2m stake in the Royal Mint Gardens development, E1, which he reckons is now worth at least £30m. He is also planning to spend $11m (£7m) on a new Irish TV channel. The Griffin family should be worth £170m.
Tom Cross – £165m
Tom Cross was the chief executive at Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum in a career that has seen him move from Conoco, to Thompson North Sea and Louisiana Land and Exploration, before joining UK’s Petroleum Science and Technology Institute in 1990 as director of engineering. He joined Dana’s board and in 1995 was promoted to chief executive officer. In 2010, Korea National Oil Corporation took over the company in a hostile £1.9bn takeover which valued Cross’s stake and options at over £57m. He also made over £12m from exercising share options in 2005 and early 2006. London-born Cross trained as an engineer at Exeter University and now lives and works in Aberdeen. His new job is as chairman of Parkmead Group, the £97m AIM-listed oil group, where he has an £18m stake. Allowing for reinvestment of his Dana proceeds and major land and property interests, Cross is worth £165m.
Bill, Tim & Pollyanna Gredley – £164m
Leading East Anglian property developer and racehorse owner Bill Gredley aims to convert the listed former stables at Queensbury Lodge in Newmarket into a residential care home. Gredley, through his property arm the Unex Group, had been seeking planning permission for various schemes for the property for more than 25 years. Gredley is best known in racing circles as the owner of the star racehorse User Friendly, which won both the Oaks and St Leger in 1992. His property operation Unex is now largely owned by his children, international showjumper Tim and his sister Pollyanna. It made £2.9m profit in 2013-14 and is worth £154.3m in net assets. We add nearly £10m for other assets.
Michael & Robert Slowe & family – £162m
J, Leon & Co
The Slowe cousins, Michael and Robert, are directors of J Leon, a London-based property operation. Investment-grade property accounts for more than a third of J Leon’s balance sheet and high street shops in prime locations make up three quarters of the group’s property portfolio. J Leon also has a portfolio of central London residential properties and farmland in Hampshire. In 2013-14, it made a £12.1m profit and we value the business and the wider Slowe family on the £162m net asset figure.
Rodger Dudding – £162m
Rodger Dudding’s latest venture is classic car storage. A 35,000 sq ft warehouse north of London is where he keeps the majority of the 200-plus classic cars and motorcycles that make up the UK’s largest privately owned collection. The son of a naval officer, Dudding took a craft apprenticeship in naval engineering from 1954 to 1959 at Chatham ‘s naval dockyard. After his naval career was cut short by injury, Dudding went into business. After working for an American company, in 1970 he launched Lonsto (International) which makes and installs ticket and queue management systems in banks and supermarkets. Dudding is also Britain’s king of lock-up garages (Lugs). He has more than 14,000 of them and they have recently been valued at over £120m. In addition, Dudding owns several hundred retail units, more than 700 flats and a range of commercial mews properties, all contributing to a property portfolio which makes up 70% of his fortune. “My strategy is to buy for long-term investment or rental income,” he says. “Then look at that block of garages for development opportunities down the line, whether it’s a pair of semi-detached houses, a small block of flats or a mews-style development.” The rest comes from his classic car collection of around 200 cars, which have shot up in value in recent years, taking Dudding to £162m.
Simon Karimzadeh & family – £160m
More than 40 years ago, Karimzadeh’s late father started Eskar International, a London-based property trading-to-processing group. It activities spanned leather tanneries in the Middle and Far East, dried fruit and nut processing plants as well as trade in iron and steel in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then it has focused on property. In 2006, Simon Karimzadeh snapped up a £1.1bn European property portfolio sold by a Swiss hedge fund. The Karimzadeh family owns all of Eskar, which showed £286m net assets in its 2014 accounts, but we cautiously value it at £150m, adding
£10m for other assets to the Karimzadeh family.
Sir Martin Laing & family – £160m
Sir Martin Laing was the last family chairman of the John Laing construction business, taken over in 2006 for £1bn. Laing family trusts own the separate Eskmuir Properties. It has 1.7m sq ft of accommodation in more than 150 tenancies, divided 42% retail, 42% industrial and 16% office. Founded in 1990, it floated on the stock market in 1998 but was taken private again in 2000. In March it launched a £200m property fund aimed at charities. Its net assets rose from £102m to £126m in 2014 when its profits rose sharply to nearly £17m. Some £17.5m of share sales from John Laing, past dividends and other assets take the wider Laing family to £160m after tax.
Rupert Mucklow & family – £160m
A & J Mucklow
A & J Mucklow, the Birmingham-based real estate investment trust, saw its occupancy rate increase to 93.8%, with a further 1% of vacant space currently in legal hands, in the first four months of 2014-15, according to chairman Rupert Mucklow. A&J Mucklow started in 1933 as a housebuilding operation, and floated on the stock market in 1962. It ceased housebuilding in the 1990s to concentrate on property. The shares have had a good run and the business is valued by the stock market at £313m. The Mucklow family, led by Rupert, has a £150m stake. Other assets add £10m.
Brian Scowcroft & Janet Lefton – £160m
Kingmoor Park Properties
Kingmoor Park, Cumbria’s premier business park, has more than 2m sq ft of industrial, office and warehouse buildings. It is set in more than 400 acres of landscaped grounds and was started in 1999 as a joint venture on what was then an old RAF maintenance facility. Entrepreneur Brian Scowcroft originally invested £7.2m in a joint venture to develop Kingmoor. Scowcroft, a qualified chartered accountant, made his name at Swinton Insurance, the car insurer founded by his father in 1957. The family exited the Manchester-based operation in the early 1990s, making around £150m. Scowcroft went into property and his company Alard Properties has a £100m portfolio. Kingmoor Park Properties, though, saw its net assets fall in 2013-14 to £19m. The family, including his sister Janet, are worth £160m after-tax.
Sir Richard Sutton & family – £160m
Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates
Profits at Sir Richard Sutton’s Settled Estates fell to £5.7m on a £15.6m turnover in 2013-14. Sutton inherited the title from his father in 1981 and runs the property-to-farming group. The London estates are located in Mayfair and Soho covering hotel, office, retail, restaurant as well as educational and residential uses. The principal country estates are the Benham Estate in West Berkshire and Stainton Estate in Lincolnshire, and the company has landholdings in Aberdeenshire, Dorset and Illinois in the United States. Overall, the estate’s net assets rose to £148.6m. Other assets take the Dorset-based Sutton family to £160m.
Dr Walter Scott – £155m
Walter Scott & Partners
Nuclear physicist Walter Scott started his new investment firm Scott Investment Partners in late 2013 after making £150m from the sale of his Walter Scott & Partners investment operation in 2007. Scott also owns at least seven houses in exclusive Charlotte Square, Edinburgh, worth around £35m. He had £50m in salaries and dividends in the last 10 years at his first company. He has a £6m stake in Edinburgh jeweller Hamilton & Inches and another £1.5m in Millburn World Travel. A generous donor to worthy causes, Scott should be worth £155m after tax.
Robert Carter & family – £150m
RG Carter Holdings
Norwich-based construction group RG Carter was awarded a contract in September to build a new care village on the Bowthorpe Three Score housing development site to the west of Norwich, Norfolk. The project, due for completion in March 2016, comprises 80 dementia care apartments and 92 housing-with-care flats. RG Carter made £5.1m profit on £261.4m sales in 2014. Robert Carter, as chairman, joined the family-owned business in 1972. It is worth its £105m net assets, and we add £45m for the net assets in the separate Bullen Investments property business.
Michael Hunt & family – £150m
Michael Hunt made his fortune building Nissan UK into one of Britain’s most successful car dealers by the late 1980s. Hunt had a 13% stake before the whole operation unravelled. His family has a large property portfolio. There are five companies with £30m net assets and the Hunt family should be worth £150m.
Sir Robert Ogden – £150m
Yorkshire property tycoon Sir Robert Ogden has two passions: horse racing and charitable work, for which he was knighted in 2001. Ogden also gives university scholarships to disadvantaged youngsters from Yorkshire’s pit villages. Ogden himself knows all about lack of advantage. The son of a builder, he was the eldest of six children and was sent to work on a farm at 15. After national service, he used his army gratuity to set up a company supplying quarrying material for laying roads to isolated farmsteads. Ogden later went into the site clearance and demolition business before branching out into property. An early investor in the then-unfashionable London Docklands, he made his fortune when prices shot up. He also saw the potential in slag heaps, extracting coal and redeveloping the land for recreational use. Ogden now runs a number of companies from his Yorkshire base, including Condor Aviation, Ogden Properties and Nevison Properties – with more than £43m in net assets between them in 2013-14. His other interests take him to £150m.
Touker Suleyman – £150m
Low Profile Properties
A Cypriot-born but London-based entrepreneur, Touker Suleyman is the new Dragon on the popular business programme Dragon’s Den. He owns the Hawes & Curtis upmarket shirt business and the Ghost fashion brand, as well as numerous smaller investments. We can see around £5m profit and £43m of net assets in his three main companies in 2013. These should be worth £75m at least. Suleyman has a large property portfolio in central London which should easily take him to £150m.
Peter & Elizabeth Prowting – £147m
In 1948 Peter Prowting became a director of his family’s construction company, Prowting, started by his father in 1912. He became chairman in 1955 and the Uxbridge-based business floated in 1988. Now retired, his family and trusts sold up in 2002 to Westbury, netting £88.5m. Prowting also made another £24m in June 2004, when the quoted Estates & General property group was sold to property tycoon Leo Noe. The family pulled off a third lucrative sale in 2014 by selling Banner Homes in a £200m deal that swelled the family trust by over £60m. The family still has Prowting Investments, a property operation with £14.9m net assets in 2013-14. The Prowting family is worth £147m after tax.
The Seddon Family – £147m
Cheshire-based Seddon Group was founded in 1897 by two Lancashire bricklayers. The modern Seddon Group was created in 1957 and is now run by the third and fourth generations of the family. It showed £93m net assets in 2012. The separate Seddon Solutions is worth its near £54m net assets shown in 2013. The Seddon family recently split the businesses, but for our purposes we value the wider family at £147m.
Sir Peter Michael – £145m
Sir Peter Michael founded the Highcross property fund management group in 1982. It had more than 7m sq ft of UK property when it was sold last December to the US fund manager Northwood Investors. An electronics engineer, Michael sold his Quantel special effects operation in 1988, netting £60m. He later made more than £20m from building Classic FM and established the highly regarded Peter Michael Winery in California. Michael’s parent company, Stockford, showed nearly £28m net assets in 2013. He has been busy recently investing in internet and software ventures. In all he is worth £145m.
Liew Kee Sin – £145m
Eco World Ballymore
A banker-turned property entrepreneur in his native Malaysia, Liew Kee Sin set up his own property company in 1990 and six years later it was taken over by a larger local property group, SP Sethia. He became managing director of the enlarged group and has transformed it from a local township developer into an international property operation. His most spectacular coup came in 2012 when, as part of a Malaysian consortium (with a 40% stake), SP Sethia won the bidding war against Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for the Battersea Power Station site, SW8, paying around £400m. The redevelopment of the site had been on and off for the best part of 30 years, but under Liew it is full steam ahead with the building of 3,500 homes, as well as offices, commercial centres, parks and even a theatre. There will be a total of 15 blocks built over eight phases ending in 2024. The total development is worth £8bn and the first phase sold in four days. Liew will remain focused on the redevelopment, despite starting three new projects in London via his private vehicle Eco World Ballymore Holdings. It owns the three projects with a gross development value of £2.3bn. Eco World Ballymore plans to launch up to £1.2bn of London properties between May and December this year, and the rest from next year. The company is 75% controlled by Eco World Investment Co Ltd (EWI), a private vehicle owned by Liew and his right-hand man Datuk Voon Tin Yow, and 25% by UK-based Ballymore Group. Liew will be stepping down this September as chairman of the Battersea project to focus on his private ventures and also on Eco World, where he was recently appointed chairman. He has a £145m fortune.
Robert & Pauline Tan – £141m
Malaysian property tycoon Robert Tan is working on new plans for a £500m development on a long dormant London South Bank site at 20 Blackfriars Road, SE1. In June 2014 a joint venture called Black Pearl, where Tan’s IGB Corporation is a 50% shareholder, bought the site from an Israeli investor. Under the terms of the complex deal, Black Pearl bought out the share capital in Blackfriars – the Guernsey-registered vehicle controlled by the Israeli investor – for £1. Black Pearl also paid off a £65m loan owed to Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency and has assumed a £49m loan from Panthermane. There is an existing consent for a Wilkinson Eyre-designed 42-storey, 243-flat tower and a 277,400 sq ft, 23-storey office tower on the site. Tan built IGB Corp from the small property developer he inherited into one of Malaysia’s largest landlords. Its portfolio includes Malaysia’s largest mall. It has also expanded overseas and has hotel interests. Tan shares the family fortune of £141m with his sister, Pauline.
Anton Bilton & family – £140m
Raven Russia was founded in 2005 by Anton Bilton to invest in warehouse complexes in Russia and lease them to Russian and international tenants. It has a £372m market capitalisation on the London stock market. It has completed a portfolio of circa 16m sq ft of grade-A warehouses in Moscow, St Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Novosibirsk. Bilton’s stake is now worth £64m. Property is in Bilton’s blood. He is the grandson of the late Percy Bilton, the West London property developer who died in 1983, who built his own quoted property group which was taken over by rival Slough Estates after a bitter battle in November 1998 for £270m. The Bilton family’s 29.4% stake was held via Glenhazel Investment Trust and was worth £79.4m. With the wider family wealth, added to Anton Bilton’s own assets, should be £140m.
Peter Horton & family – £140m
Hortons’ Estates is investing £10m in the restoration of Birmingham’s historic Grand Hotel. Painstaking work is being done to restore the listed façade while a new roof replaces the wooden structure that dates back to when the original building was built in 1875. A luxury hotel with 164 rooms and eight new suites will emerge within the city centre landmark. Hortons’ Estate has invested more than £1.5m creating 10,000 sq ft of grade-A offices on the first and second floors of the development, overlooking Birmingham Cathedral. The family-owned firm was founded by Isaac Horton, a farmer and butcher, in 1892. The Birmingham-based property company made £73m profit on £16.8m sales in the year to September 2014, when its showed nearly £115.5m in net assets. It manages a portfolio valued at £200m. We value the company on the net assets, adding more than £24m for other assets to the family led by Peter Horton, who is deputy chairman.
John Ray & family – £140m
Ashley Properties Aberdeen
The Aberdeen-based offshore construction group RBG was taken over in a £250m deal by a Dutch group in 2011. John Ray, a former ship’s painter, chaired RBG and his family owned around half the business. The Ray family’s other businesses have around £70m in net assets in 2013-14. These include a property operation, Ashley Properties Aberdeen, which made a £16.7m profit and showed £37.6m of net assets in 2014. It is involved in development and property leasing in the Aberdeen area. The Ray family should be worth £140m after tax and re-investment.
Dominic Silvester – £140m
Secure Income REIT
Irish-born Dominic Silvester is a leading shareholder in the London-based Secure Income REIT founded by Nick Leslau and floated on the stock market in June 2014, valued at £293m. It is now worth £460m and is reportedly looking at a £900m re-financing which should result in a large dividend. Secure Income is also selling London’s Madame Tussauds for £332.5m. Silvester has a £27.1m stake. His fortune comes from an insurance business he started in Bermuda. After a 2001 merger, Silvester runs an enlarged operation renamed Enstar. He has a £77m stake in the Nasdaq-quoted operation. Share sales since 2009 total £58.5m. Other assets, including a stake in the Saracens rugby club, should take Silvester to £140m allowing for re-investment.
Bruce Mickel & family – £138m
Mactaggart & Mickel
Mactaggart & Mickel, the Glasgow developer, won the right to build 600 homes in Scotland, paving the way for the largest strategic green belt housing release north of the border for more than 30 years. The directorate for planning and environmental appeals upheld an appeal by Mactaggart & Mickel in June against non-determination by the City of Edinburgh council for the development at South Gilmerton Farm with a gross development value of £60m. The site lies in the statutory greenbelt and is capable of accommodating a new primary school, 600 homes, commercial and community uses and new public open space. Mactaggart & Mickel was part of the team responsible for transforming the Commonwealth Games Athletes Village into 700 new residential homes. Celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, the company saw its profit rise to £8m on £58.4m sales in 2013-14. It should be worth its near £138m net assets. Bruce Mickel chairs the business founded by his grandfather. He joined the company as a qualified architect in 1970. Former chairman, the highly respected Derek Mickel, drowned in an accident last November while swimming on holiday in the Canary Islands.
Demi Chervak & family – £135m
High Point Estates
Harrogate-based High Point Estates and five smaller companies showed nearly £87m in net assets in 2013-14. The business is run and owned by Demi Chervak and his family. They have been busy in recent years on high-end residential developments in London. Other assets take the family to £135m.
Eric Grove – £135m
Urban & Civic
Veteran developer Eric Grove built up and sold two successful Midlands developers over the course of his career. The son of a West Midlands blacksmith, Grove started Canberra, a Midlands housebuilder in 1968, and sold it in 1988 netting around £40m. He then built Catesby Property Group, a specialist in developing brownfield sites. It was recently taken over in a £35m deal by fast-growing Urban & Civic. The sale “wasn’t planned”, according to Grove but, after being introduced to Urban & Civic’s chairman, he says he became convinced a deal with the firm was a better route to expansion than through a stock exchange listing or raising funds on the equity market. Grove is now a significant shareholder in Urban & Civic and continues to work for the combined firm on a consultancy basis. Other wealth takes Grove to £135m.
Robert Jelley & family – £135m
Leicester housebuilder Jelson made a £4.1m profit on £72.4m sales in 2013-14. The government’s Help-to-Buy scheme had boosted sales by 23% in the year. Dating back to 1889, Jelson is owned by managing director Robert Jelley and his family, and is worth its £117.1m net assets. Three other family property operations, East Goscote Estates, Nanpantan Properties and J Jelley, have £16m of net assets in total. Jelson has sites in Leicester, Kettering, Stamford and Mansfield. Some of Jelson’s latest projects include developments in Grantham, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Wigston, Melton and Coventry. Other assets take the Jelson family to £135m.
Jeff Smith – £130m
Jeff Smith chairs AIM, a Hampshire aviation company making aircraft cabins which made £10.8m profit and showed £53m net assets in 2013. Smith has a £43m stake. He also has half of a
property company, Proudreed, with £159m net assets in 2014. Its occupancy levels in 2014 hit 99% and it is now building a French property portfolio, spending £5.3m on development there. Other assets take Smith to £130m after tax.
Peter Dawson & family – £128m
Consolidated Property Wilmslow
Peter Dawson runs Cheshire developer Consolidated Property Wilmslow, which had £59.2m of net assets in 2013-14. A second property operation called Gemsupa – owned by a Dawson family trust – showed over £65m in net assets. In all we value the Dawson family at £128m with other assets.
Douglas Woolf & family – £128m
Romulus Holdings has been developing properties for more than 40 years. It operates mainly in the London area where it has completed schemes in Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea in the west; Knightsbridge, Westminster and the City centrally; plus Forest Hill and Dulwich to the south east. Romulus has also completed projects in Heathrow, Brighton, Glasgow and the USA. It was founded by chartered surveyor Douglas Woolf, who with his family and trusts owns the business. It is worth its £123m net assets in 2013. We add £5m after-tax for past salaries and other assets.
Bill Archer – £125m
Farm Street Capital
Bill Archer, co-founder of the Focus DIY chain, is now involved in the property market, committing £50m through his company Farm Street Capital. Archer re-mortgaged his home in 1987 to buy six DIY stores, which grew to be Focus. Archer sold stakes over the years picking up around £147m as Focus was taken over. Archer stepped down from the chairmanship in 2007. He should be worth £125m after tax.
Richard Benyon & family – £125m
Richard Benyon, a Tory MP and former junior environment minister, oversees the 300-year old Englefield Estate, comprising 20,000 acres from Hampshire to Berkshire and Scotland. The family’s Benyon Estate also owns 300 properties in east London. The Englefield Estate Trust Corporation had £402,000 of net assets in 2013-14, but the estates have been valued at up to £125m.
Robin Clark & family – £125m
Taylor Clark, the London-based property, farming, hotels and investment group, is largely owned by the Clark family led by Robin Clark, son of a prominent 1960s property developer. The business is worth its 2013-14 net assets of £157m. The Underwood Trust charity has a 22.5% stake. The Clark family is worth £125m with other assets.
Peter Gadsby – £125m
Peter Gadsby, one of the East Midlands’ top developers, is involved in Infinity Park, a planned high-tech engineering hub outside Derby. Work started on the £200m scheme last December and it should create 8,000 jobs on its 250 acres. Gadsby is chairman of Derby development firm Cedar House Investments, which is one of three joint developers involved in the project. In the 1990s, he played a major role in the creation of Pride Park, Derby County football club’s home ground. He had a close involvement with the Championship club until its 2008 £50m takeover. His stake in the Birch property group was sold in 2000 for £40m. His housebuilding interests are thriving with 2,000 plots on six sites. His venture capital division has also seen significant uplift, taking Gadsby to £125m.
John Marston & family – £125m
The Marston family’s hotel interests were sold in 2006 for £180m. Prior to the hotels’ sale, John Marston had bought out several members of his family through a £100m refinancing of the business. His immediate family had about two-thirds of the shares and should have collected £50m. The separate Marston Properties Holdings is worth its near £116m of net assets in 2013-14. After tax and re-investment, the Marston family is worth £125m.
Sir George Meyrick – £125m
Meyrick Estate Management
Sir George Meyrick is a leading landowner in the South West and Wales. The family played an important role in the growth of Bournemouth – a Meyrick was one of the sponsors of the Bournemouth Improvement Act 1856, which established an improvement commission, the town’s first local government authority. Sir George’s grandfather oversaw a three-day sale of freehold offices, shops and 280 homes from the Meyrick estate in 1921. The Meyrick family also owns the Bodorgan estate in Anglesey, which runs to 17,000 acres. Meyrick keeps a low profile though is well known in horse racing circles. There are several separate family companies, including Meyrick Estate Management and Bodorgan Properties, with £8m in net assets between them. Our sources reckon that the total Meyrick holdings could be worth as much as £250m, but with asset and farmland prices rising strongly, we raise the Meyrick family to a still conservative £125m.
Ken Rohan & family – £125m
Profits at one of Ireland’s best-known property firms, Airspace Investments, soared to nearly £8m in 2013 while its net assets rose to £113.2m. The Dublin-based company was led for many years by well-known developer and Cork native Ken Rohan before he stepped down in 2009 when his son, Jamie, was appointed managing director. Ken remains a director and majority shareholder in the group. He is involved in the industrial sector, concentrating on the north side of Dublin as well as a range of other interests in Ireland, the UK and Barbados. Rohan also has a strong UK property portfolio. He worked in the London Stock Exchange before returning to Ireland to join the Rohan Group, which was set up in the 1960s by his brother, John. In all, the Rohan family should be worth £125m in the current climate with other assets and recent dividends.
The Duke of Roxburghe – £125m
Sunlaws Development Company
Wind power is set to make the Duke of Roxburghe a tidy fortune. In June 2014 BT unveiled a £300m deal over 20 years to buy enough renewable energy to match all of its power consumption north of the border. The company is to take half of the electricity generated by the 48-turbine Fallago Rig wind farm, built in 2012 on land in the Lammermuir Hills owned by the Duke of Roxburghe. He is also moving into housing development and a new golf course, while he plans to turn his Roxburghe Hotel into a five-star resort. The 10th Duke inherited 65,500 acres and Floors Castle in 1974. There are few profitable company assets aside from the Sunlaws Development Company, with £2.5m in net assets in 2013-14. Roxburghe also has stakes in golf, property or racing companies. We raise him to £125m in light of the BT deal.
Roger Wickens & family – £125m
Store Property Holdings
Store Property Holdings began developing commercial property in Sussex over 60 years ago. Today the family-owned business has grown to cover the ownership, management and development of over 1.5m sq ft of offices, industrial property, retail outlets and residential units. Its portfolio now extends across London and throughout the South East. The Chichester-based operation made £3.9m profit on £10m turnover in 2013-14. Owned by Roger Wickens and his family trusts, it is worth its £118m net assets. Other assets add £7m.
Lochlann Quinn – £123m
A chartered accountant, Lochlann Quinn was a partner with Arthur Andersen. He is also a former chairman and director of Allied Irish Banks. He worked in partnership with Martin Naughton to build up the Glen Dimplex electrical appliance manufacturer. But in 2004, Quinn sold his stake back to Naughton for around £110m. He has put some of his Glen Dimplex money into an Irish consortium that bought London’s Savoy hotel and other hotels in 2004. They made a tidy profit selling on part of the group in 2005. Quinn’s other assets, including London property company Lisderg, a Bordeaux chateau and property investments in Dublin, should take him to £123m in the current market.
Glyn Watkin Jones & family – £122m
Glyn Watkin Jones is the eighth generation to run the Jones family construction-to-property group. Founded in 1791, Bangor-based Watkin Jones Group is in fine fettle. It made £12.5m profit on a much higher £255m turnover in 2014. This is mainly credited to the firm’s continuing success in the student market but managing director Mark Watkin Jones (the ninth generation) says there are now housing projects in the pipeline in North Wales that will move forward in 2015. The company had seen a pick-up in the local housing market and is opening up new sites in North Wales. With £90m net assets the business is worth £100m. Smaller companies add another £22m of net assets, taking the Watkin Jones family to £122m.
Elliott Bernerd – £120m
Property veteran Elliott Bernerd co-founded the £1.4bn Chelsfield Partners business in 2005. Bernerd had previously run another Chelsfield operation, which he had founded in 1986, floated on the stock market in 1993 and then took private in 2004, pocketing £45m for selling part of his stake. He made another £82m from selling the rest and kept the rights to the Chelsfield name. He has hefty investments in Europe so we keep him at £120m.
Graham Harris – £120m
London & City Group
Graham Harris owns London & City Group, a property operation specialising in London lettings and the super-prime market in France. He is repaying a £206m loan to the Irish National Asset Management Agency with funds raised from the sale of four London apart-hotels. Even after the loan is repaid, Harris’s portfolio is reckoned to be worth up to £400m. In 2013-14 London & City showed £208m in net assets, but cautiously we value Harris at £120m for now.
Jonathan Hitchins & family – £120m
Robert Hitchins Group
Robert Hitchins submitted a planning application in January 2015 to build up to 550 homes on agricultural land around Tewkesbury. The Cheltenham-based group has become a successful local developer, showing a £3.4m profit and £93m net assets in 2013-14. The family-owned business, led by Jonathan Hitchins, was started by the late Robert Hitchins, who bought up large tracts of Gloucestershire after the war very cheaply. The company specialises business parks, new villages and other developments in Wales and the South West and it has developed more than 14,000 houses and over 1,500,000 sq ft of commercial property. We add another £27m after tax to the Hitchins family for other assets including a £40m dividend paid out in 2003-04.
David Roberts & family – £120m
Edinburgh House Estates
The son of a Clydeside shipyard worker, David Roberts is best known for his David Roberts Art Foundation in London. He has developed an art gallery in a 12,000sq ft former furniture factory. A property man, Roberts’ company Edinburgh House made a £26.6 loss in 2013, when its net assets fell sharply to just £14m. Its German portfolio has 140 properties and a €62m (£43m) income. Roberts co-owns German asset manager Estama, which has €4bn of assets under management. His art collection and other property assets keep him at £120m.
Gerard Versteegh & family – £120m
Gerard Versteegh Holdings
Gerard Versteegh, a Swedish property man, is based in London. There is little wealth in his companies now but a company called Gestrix had £119m of net assets in 2006 and paid out £204m in dividends in 2007. It is now dormant while another dissolved Versteegh company – Anglo Scandanavian Estates – showed more than £95m of net assets in 2006. We keep the Versteegh family at £120m.
Kevin Wheatcroft – £120m
The Leicestershire-based property tycoon looks after the property portfolio of his late father and oversees the management of Donington Park Racetrack and motor museum (which he also owns). The ruling passion of his life, though, is the Wheatcroft Collection of German military vehicles and the world’s largest collection of Nazi memorabilia. The collection has largely been kept in private, under heavy guard, either in the warren of industrial buildings Wheatcroft owns near Market Harborough, or at his homes in Leicestershire, the Charente in south-west France and the Moselle Valley in south-west Germany. There is no official record of its value but some estimates place it at over £100m. His father Tom Wheatcroft, one of the East Midlands’ great entrepreneurs and developers, died in 2009. He revitalised the Castle Donington motor racing track in the 1970s and the circuit is the home of Formula E, a new global series for hi-tech electric-powered racing cars. Wheatcroft & Son, his main company, showed nearly £29m net assets in 2013. We are cautious on valuing the Nazi collection and the cars, keeping Wheatcroft at £120m.
Frank Burke & family – £115m
Galway-born Frank Burke sold his £48m-turnover BDL construction operation in 2013 to rival Carey Group. His family also owns Cedar Property Holdings, a property company with £54.5m net assets in 2013 (up £10m). We value Burke at £115m.
Alan McIntosh – £115m
A Scots accountant, Alan McIntosh has been a key partner of financier Hugh Osmond. He has a £36m stake in the Phoenix insurance operation and was one of the beneficiaries of the sale of the Wellington Pub Company in 2004, which netted £100m profit for Osmond’s team. McIntosh was a director of Osmond’s Sun Capital Partners until 2011. He has since headed Emerald Investment Partners, which recently bought the Carechoice nursing home group in Cork for €30m in December. He recently took an equity stake in Irish housebuilder Cairn Homes, which recently floated on the stock market. That stake is now worth £13m. We can also see two smaller McIntosh companies with nearly £18m in net assets, which pushes him to £115m.
David Dunsdon & family – £114m
Esher-based property company Coldunell recovered in 2013-14 and turned an £8m loss into a £5m profit. Its net assets rose by more than £8m to £84.4m. The business was run by John Dunsdon until his death in June 2012. He had been one of the shrewdest operators in the property auction market. He began his career attending auctions at the Fur Trade House in the City of London, the birthplace of modern auctions, before they moved to the Connaught Rooms in Bloomsbury in the early 1970s. Coldunell had been started by his father in 1959 It is still owned by his family and trusts. We add £30m for other assets to the wider Dunsdon family, now led by John’s son David, who joined the board after his father’s death.
Graham Cartledge & family – £112m
Benoy, a Newark-based international architect, design and master-planning business, has had huge success in locations as far afield as China, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. The business – which has half its 500-strong team in Hong Kong – has been responsible for landmark developments such as Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, and is currently on site with 50 projects in China alone. At the same time, its chairman, Graham Cartledge, has acted as a flag-waver for Nottingham’s economy, joining the prime minister on international trade delegations. Cartledge qualified as an architect in 1972 after graduating from Leicester University. He became Benoy chairman in 1992 and led a subsequent £625,000 management buy-out of the business. He took the business into the Far East and has operated in China for 10 years. In 2013, its profits soared to £14.7m on £54.8m sales. With a strong balance sheet and £23.4m of net assets it should be worth £100m. Cartledge and his family own it all directly or via trusts. Past salaries/dividends add £12m.
Chris Marshall & family – £112m
Yorkshire property operation Marshall Holdings has a commercial development arm, set up in 1968 by Chris Marshall. It operates mainly in the north of England. Among its projects are the Bridestone Shopping Centre in Congleton, Cheshire, a Darlington office scheme and an in-town retail development in Huddersfield. Marshall Holdings itself dates back to 1901 when Marshall’s great grandfather set up a buildings company in Elland, outside Leeds. Still based in the area, the company made £2.75m profit on £73.6m turnover. It is worth its near £105m net assets. We add more than £7m for other assets to Marshall, who runs and owns the business.
Edelin Davis & family – £110m
Broadthorpe, the parent company of William Davis, the Loughborough building contractor and property group, made a £4.8m profit on £67m sales in 2013-14. Founded in 1935, it is run by Edelin Davis and largely owned by his family and a family trust. William Davis has been boosted by an upturn in the housing market in recent years, partly fuelled by the Government’s multi-billion pound Help to Buy scheme. The company sold 154 houses in the year to May 31, 2014, up almost a third on the previous 12 months. In March, the firm admitted it had received takeover approaches, but was committed to growing the business independently. It is worth its near £104m net assets. Other assets add £6m.
John Elkington – £110m
John Elkington set up Penhurst Properties in 1987 with the purchase of one flat in Tooting. In the early 1990s there was a focused and substantial acquisition programme. As a result the company now has some 300 properties, mostly in the London property hotspot of Battersea. In 2013-14 the group showed a £9.5m profit with assets rising to £84m. Other assets and past dividends take Elkington to £110m.
Dennis Paulley & family – £110m
Dennis Paulley was well known in the 1980s for running property auctions for the Kent estate agency, Ward and Partners, which he chaired. Today he has a £82m stake in the Prudential financial group. Other assets take the Paulley family to £110m.
Paul Rooney – £110m
Arun Estate Agencies
Horsham-based Arun is now the largest independent chain of estate agents in the South East. It made an £18.5m profit on £69.6m sales in 2014. With £36.7m net assets, it is a £100m operation. Past salaries and dividends should take owner Paul Rooney to £110m.