The 2016 Lancashire Life Glitz List
PUBLISHED: 00:00 19 September 2016
Who are the winners and losers in the annual Lancashire Life Glitz List? Financial journalist Philip Beresford reveals all
Old money in the shape of the new 7th Duke of Westminster and new money in the shape of the richest ever Mancunian, chemical boss Jim Ratcliffe, dominate the Lancashire Life 2016 Richest List. There are a record ten billionaires in our 30-strong list, proof that Brexit wobbles and economic woes have yet to hit the richest of the rich in any meaningful way.
Collectively the 30 richest in the Red Rose county and the Lakes to be identified in this, our sixth list, are worth £36.7bn against £29.9bn last year. This represents a sharp 22.7% rise and is the largest jump since we started this list. The reason is simple: newly minted billionaires such as Ratcliffe or hedge fund supremo Mike Platt, fourth at £2.28bn, keep coming into our reckoning.
The north west is, of course, filled with super-rich football stars, such as Wayne Rooney or the other stars at Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool. But their wealth does not yet stack up enough to grab a place in our rankings. Their club owners, the Glazer family, of Manchester United, or Sheikh Mansour, of Manchester City, would be high up in the list but they do not qualify as they are not based here and have only tenuous roots with the county outside the club ownership. The only celebrities to make it are surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr by way of their Liverpool roots.
Most of our Top 30 are drawn from the world of business and enterprise. This is reflected in the fact that 20 out of the 30 actually created their own fortunes. These include John Whittaker, the property entrepreneur whose vision for Liverpool is already transforming the waterfront along the Mersey and beyond.
The Queen is the only woman in our Top 30 in her own right, courtesy of the Crown’s ownership of the £495m Duchy of Lancaster, which has vast acreage and property in the county including Lancaster Castle. To see who joins her in our rankings, read on......
1. The Duke of Westminster
There will be great sadness at the Duke of Westminster’s Abbeystead estate in north Lancashire. Just last month, the 6th Duke was taken ill while staying at the estate and died later at the Royal Preston Hospital. He is succeeded to the title by his 25-year-old son, now the 7th Duke. The late duke loved Abbeystead where the shoots raised hefty sums for ABF, The Soldier’s Charity.
His son, Hugh, who studied countryside management at Newcastle University, and later worked in estate management, is well equipped to play a role at Grosvenor, though he may want to leave the business in the very capable hands of the existing managers. Like his father, he is very well connected - he is a godfather to Prince George and godson to Prince Charles.
We assume the new duke will now take over the family’s assets, mainly the Grosvenor Group responsible for the increasingly successful Liverpool One centre. Opened in 2008 at a cost of £920m, it has bucked the retail gloom of recent times. More than 28m people visited last year, a 3% rise on 2014. The late Duke stood down as chairman in 2007 after 33 years. Its main engine of prosperity is its 300-acres in Mayfair. When unveiling the latest 2015 figures showing a near £155m fall to a still respectable £527m, chief executive Mark Preston warned of ‘leaner times’ ahead as property values reached peak levels. Grosvenor now has around £6.7bn of property and a £5.6bn development pipeline. On top of the Grosvenor Group, the Westminster family’s private assets and estates include nearly 165,000 acres of rural land (including Abbeystead), a dairy farm, the Chester Grosvenor Hotel and the UK’s largest bull stud operation. The total asset wealth held by the Grosvenor family trusts is unchanged at around £8.83bn. But adding in a £38.9m dividend paid out to the family and trusts in 2015 takes the new Duke and his family to nearly £8.869bn this year. The way the business is set up with family members as “trustees” means they are unlikely to pay vast death duties.
2. Jim Ratcliffe
Jim Ratcliffe, the richest ever Mancunian, grew up in Failsworth and used to count the chimneys he could see from the council house he then shared with his parents.
The son of a joiner and an office working mother, Ratcliffe is now the boss of Ineos, one of the world’s biggest chemical companies controlling 65 sites in 16 countries. His route from Failsworth to chemical giant came via grammar school and a degree in chemical engineering. After a stint at Esso, Ratcliffe’s big break came in 1992 when he bought BP’s chemicals business.
Despite having a young family, he mortgaged his house and put all his money into the deal. He the rode ups and downs to create a renamed Ineos which grew by using debt to buy unwanted parts of oil or chemical groups. The good news for the UK is that since May, Ratcliffe and his team have returned home from self-imposed exile in Switzerland. Better still Ratcliffe is looking at reviving production of the iconic Land Rover Defender which recently went out of production. Ratcliffe is also a strong advocate of shale gas extraction which won’t make him popular in some corners of Lancashire. Ratcliffe is worth around £5.05bn.
3. Tom Morris
Tom Morris, owner of the Home Bargains discount retailer, recently asked Morecambe Community High School if he could land his helicopter on the field while visiting anew store. He even posed with students for a photo next to the chopper before flying back to his home of Liverpool. He began building his retail empire in Liverpool at the age of just 21, and he now employs 17,000 staff across his 400 stores, but expects to employ 30,000 and have 800 outlets before long. Home Bargains should now be worth £2.5bn. Morris and his family own it all. We add £50m for salaries and dividends.
4. Michael Platt
Hedge Fund, £2,280m
Preston-born Michael Platt studied civil engineering but after a year he switched to studying maths and finance at the LSE. It was a wise move. Given shares to invest by his grandmother, Platt discovered a talent. He joined the giant US bank JP Morgan in 1991 and rose quickly. He went on to co-founded the BlueCrest Capital hedge fund in 2000 and for the next 15 years made huge profits for his clients and himself. In 2015 his earnings hit over £500m according to the Forbes list. In 2016 Platt called it quits and the modern art collector, is worth around £2.28bn.
5. Peter Hargreaves
Financial services, £2,170m
Clitheroe-born and bred, Peter Hargreaves donated £3.2m to the Leave campaign in the recent EU referendum. He was not fazed at all by the £400m. dent in his fortune in the stock market turmoil that followed the Brexit victory. Hargreaves was co-founder of the Hargreaves Lansdown financial services operation in 1981. It floated in 2007 valued at £700m. The shares have bounced back since the Brexit and the group is now worth over £6bn. Hargreaves, no longer on the board, retains a £1.953bn stake. Share sales and dividends take Hargreaves to £2.170bn after tax.
6. John Whittaker
Born on a farm near Ramsbottom, John Whittaker named his business after another local boy made good, Sir Robert Peel, the former prime minister. Peel, started in 1971 as a £200,000 company, has net assets of around £2.7bn today and Whittaker owns 75%. He has a grand vision for Liverpool via the £5.5bn Liverpool Waters regeneration scheme. Peel’s operations embrace shopping centres, ports, airports, enormous land holdings, as well as Salford’s MediaCity. With property prices under pressure, we value Whittaker, who has little wealth outside business, at £2.06bn.
7. Simon, Bobby & Robin Arora
B&M Retail, the Merseyside-based discount store chain built up by the Arora brothers increased revenues by 21.5% to £555m in the first quarter of 2016-17. The two elder Arora brothers - Simon and Bobby - sold their first homewares operation for £30m in 2000 and five years later took over the then struggling B&M Retail. The pair, joined by younger brother Robin, sold a 60% stake to an American private equity group in late 2012 which valued it at £965m. Its 2014 stock market float valued B&M at £2.7bn, though the value has slipped a bit to around £2.6bn today. In all the three Aroras have sold around £680m worth of shares in total since the float. The family is left with a £519m stake. Other assets take the Aroras to £1.735bn after-tax.
8. Fred & Peter Done
Gaming and business services, £1,300m
The Salford-born Done brothers started out as bookie’s runners and from a single betting shop in 1967, the pair now own what has become one of the largest chains in Britain. In 2011 Betfred took over the Tote for £265m. They also have interests ranging from legal services to insurance, property and a restaurant. The main companies should be worth £1.2bn. Other assets take the pair to £1.3bn.
9. Lord Grantchester & the Moores Family
Labour supporting Lord Grantchester is shadow energy and climate change spokesman. He is the grandson of the late Sir John Moores, who founded the football pools empire in 1923 from his Liverpool base. The Moores family later branched out into mail order and retailing. Some stores were sold in 1998 and the pools side of the business went in 2000; those proceeds and past dividends are worth £445m. But another windfall came in 2002 when the remaining department stores and mail order operation were sold for £750m. In all the family should still be worth perhaps £1.2bn after-tax and charitable donations.
10. Philip Day
Philip Day was in the news recently as a potential bidder for the failed BHS chain but did not proceed. His clothing chain Edinburgh Woollen Mill also owns the budget fashion chain Peacock, bought out of administration in 2012. Group profits soared to £91.2m on £562m sales in 2014-15. It should be worth £1bn. As Cumbria’s first billionaire, Day owns the group outright. We add £50m for his other assets.
11. Sir Paul McCartney & Nancy Shevell
Music and logistics, £760m
The Fab Four may have been famed for their use of innovative recording techniques, but until Christmas Eve last year none of the Beatles’ 13 albums had made their way onto streaming websites. Sir Paul McCartney will earn well from sales on Amazon Prime, Spotify and others. He still tours prolifically, with 28 shows watched by 870,000 people in 2015. Profits at MPL Communications, his main company, fell to just over £1m in 2014-15. We raise McCartney to £610m this year and still add £150m for the share of his wife Nancy’s fortune derived from her father’s New England Motor Freight trucking operation.
12. Peter Green & Family
The son of a Manchester draper and grocery retailer, Peter Green married Canadian industrial heiress Mary-Jean Mitchell in the mid-1970s. She died of cancer in 1990 leaving Green running the family business with their two sons. In 1996, much of the family’s huge Canadian mining operations were sold in a £300m deal. The Green family also made a £60m profit from the sale of an energy company in 1996 and £50m from recent London hotel sales. The family properties in Bermuda and London keep the Green family at £750m.
13. Trevor Hemmings
He started out as a bricklayer’s apprentice 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 worth £218m when S&N was itself taken over in 2008. Hemmings owns 8m square ft of warehousing and factories. He has 420 pubs and a hotel chain. In all he is worth £725m.
14. Zuber & Moshin Issa
Euro Garages, run by Blackburn-based brothers Zuber and Moshin Issa, was started in 1995 with a Bury garage. The firm has grown to 339 today, and last October a private equity investor took a 20% stake valuing the operation at £1.3bn. The Issas remain as majority shareholders and should be worth £700m.
15. The Sheppard Family
Liverpool-based European Metal Recycling is having a tough time with the huge fall in scrap metal prices. In 2015 it made a £65m loss while sale fell by £500m to £2bn. Though the company has £679m of assets, we clip its value back to £500m, adding £40m for other assets held the sole owners, the Sheppard family.
=16. The Warburton Family
A quarter of all bakery products sold in the UK are made by Warburton, the Bolton-based firm founded in 1876 when two brothers, Thomas and George Warburton, launched a small grocery. The fifth generation, led by chairman Jonathan Warburton, now run the business. In 2014-15 it made £34.4m profit on £574m sales. It should still be worth its £470m net assets. Dividends should take the family to £530m..
=16.The Walker Family
Best known as the Blackburn Rovers’ benefactor, the late Jack Walker and his family spent £97m on the club. Jack, who died in 2000, took over the family’s sheet metal business with his brother Fred in 1951. They built it into a huge steel stockholder which they sold for £330m in 1989. Property and leisure interests take the Walker family to £530m.
18. John Hargreaves
Born less than half a mile from the Liverpool docks where his father worked, John Hargreaves went on to build the Matalan discount chain, opening his first store in Preston back in 1985. He floated it on the stock market in 1998 valued at £200m but bought it back again in 2006 for £817m. Later share sales and dividends added £560m. But Matalan is having a tough time and in 2015-16 it made a loss of £22.1m. We clip its value back to £200m at best, adding £300m for other Hargreaves’ family assets.
19. Lord Alliance
Lord Alliance arrived in Manchester almost penniless with only his uncle’s address in his pocket. He made his fortune through building up the international textiles group Coats Viyella group - now known as Coats. He bought the catalogue company J D Williams, which he integrated into his property company N Brown. He has stepped down but he and his family retain a £368m stake. A £15m donation to Manchester Business School was described as ‘transformational’ We add £64m for other assets, including a collection of Lowry paintings.
20. Geoffrey Halstead & Family
Bury-based James Halstead makes vinyl tiles and until 2013 motorcycle accessories. Founded in 1915 by Geoffrey Halstead’s grandfather, its value has fallen to £787m recently but the lower value of sterling will help the business. The wider Halstead family and trusts have a £350m stake. Other assets should take the family to £380m.
21. The Queen
Visiting Lancaster in 2015 to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the Duchy of Lancaster, the Queen was greeted by enthusiastic crowds. The Queen’s links with the red rose county are strong with the Duchy a major part of her portfolio. It began in 1265, when Henry III gifted the baronial lands of Simon de Montfort to his son, Edmund. Today the Duchy owns the Savoy estate in London as well as substantial holdings in Lancashire and Yorkshire, covering 18.087 hectares. Its net value rose in 2015-16 to £495m, generating an annual income of around £17.8m for the Crown. Her 90th birthday in April showed the Queen basking in almost universal approval for her devotion to duty. Even the fact that her Sovereign Grant goes up this year by 7% or £2.8m to £42.8m does nothing to diminish her popularity. Under the system, the Queen receives 15 per cent of the profits from the Crown Estate property portfolio, two years in arrears. The various private properties and estates, plus an investment portfolio are worth around £300m so she should be worth perhaps £340m in all.
22. Sir Michael Smurfit & Family
St Helens-born Sir Michael Smurfit lost half the wealth he built-up over seven decades in the 2008 crash. His initial wealth came from his shareholding in Smurfit Kappa, the quoted Dublin-based packaging group originally owned by Smurfit’s family which he turned into a global giant before retiring in 2007. His family’s other assets include an art collection containing top Irish and Swedish pieces plus stakes in smaller companies and the £57m K Club, the Co Kildare Ryder Cup venue. He has a £5m mansion on the course and another home in Monaco. In all, the Smurfit family is worth £339m.
23. Lawrence Jones
Lawrence Jones started his internet hosting company UKFast in 1999. The fast growing Manchester-based operation has won numerous industry awards and in 2015 its profits soared to over £16m on £34m sales. Jones and his family own it all. He turned down a £200m takeover approach in 2014. With other assets, including a Swiss hotel, Jones is worth £300m.
24. Alan Lewis
Born and brought up in Manchester, Alan Lewis embarked on a series of business ventures at the age of 20 first redeveloping old garage sites, then restructuring the property and finances of ailing textile companies. Today his British property portfolio, principally old industrial sites, is worth at least £100m. In addition he has 4,000 acres of prime development land in Florida, and large tracts of forestry in Russia. Other assets take him to £280m.
25. Sir Michael Bibby & Family
Sir Michael Bibby is the sixth generation to head the Liverpool-based Bibby Group. Its 2015 revenues fell 15% as the 204-year old group faced a challenging time in its offshore oil and gas markets. But with a strong balance sheet and £298m net assets it can weather the storms. The Bibby family’s stake is now worth £250m. Other assets add £20m.
26. Dave Whelan
When Dave Whelan took over Wigan Athletic in 1995 the club was languishing in the fourth tier of the English league. Eighteen years later Wigan won the FA Cup. A difficult period followed with two relegations but the club is now back in the Championship. Whelan’s own playing career with Blackburn Rovers was sadly cut short by injury but he swiftly transformed himself into a successful entrepreneur. He built the JJB sports retailer, selling his family stake in 2007 for £190m. He had also sold £67m worth of shares previously. He spent £83.4m of his sale proceeds buying JJB’s Fitness Club operation. Renamed Dave Whelan Sports, it is now worth £100m. After tax and hefty Wigan investment, Whelan is worth £230m.
27. Alex Langsam
A former estate agent, Langsam was a pioneer in turning large old municipal buildings into hotels. He owns half of Manchester-based Britannia Hotels, which made £14.2m profit on nearly £79m sales in 2014-15. He also owns the separate Britannia Hotels No 2 which showed £128m net assets in 2014-15. Other assets and past salaries take Langsam to £220m.
28. Martin Ainscough & Family
Martin Ainscough who, together with his brothers, is perhaps best known for building up and selling Ainscough Crane Hire for £255m in 2007. Today he is heavily involved in property through Ainscough Strategic Land. After-tax, the family should be worth around £213m. Ainscough was awarded a CBE for philanthropic services to charity, education and young people in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list.
29. Anthony Green & Family
Manchester-based PZ Cussons, founded in 1884, is best known for its Imperial leather soap. Former chairman Anthony Green retired in 2010, though his family retain a £141m stake in the £1.3bn operation. Other assets and past share sales should take the Green family to £203.
30. Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr, the former Beatles drummer, released his 18th studio album, Postcard from Paradise, in 2015 and, later in the year, a 31-show tour in the United States took £4.8m. The main Beatles’ company, Apple Corps, paid out over £73m in dividends from 2008 to 2015 to the ex-Beatles and their families. A 20-year copyright protection for recordings recently extended by 20 years in Europe and a deal to start selling The Beatles on streaming sites will keep the royalties flowing nicely. Liverpool-born Ringo recently held an auction of more than 1,000 lots accumulated during his career, including a John Lennon guitar, one of his old drum kits and copy number 00001 of The White Album.