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Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life Rich 50 - 2010

PUBLISHED: 14:40 05 October 2010 | UPDATED: 16:22 26 July 2017

Welcome to the second Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life Rich 50, covering the 50 wealthiest people and families in the two counties, plus some of the Thames Valley that nudges into Oxfordshire. 26-50...

26. Steve Hayes, 49




Steve Hayes has ploughed millions into his recently relegated Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. He can afford it. In 1997, he founded the operation which was taken over in 2005 for over £100m by the MBNA bank, and netted him over £50m for his 50 per cent stake.  Even after sporting commitments, Hayes should be worth £62m.


27. Colin Halpern, 73, & Family



Colin Halpern  bought the Domino Pizza franchise for the UK in 1993 and floated the Milton Keynes-based operation on the stock market six years later. His family has a £20.5m stake. After tax and over £50m of share sales, the Halperns are worth around £60m.



28. Paul Gibbons, 63



The sale of the Auto Trader business in 1998 for £260m netted Paul Gibbons nearly £86m for his stake. He is now investing heavily in golf clubs. We can see over £11m of net assets in the 2009 accounts of three separate golf related companies including Leaderboard Golf Courses, all owned by Gibbons. Aftertax and allowing for the golf course investment, we value him at £58m.



29. Norman Grundon, 68, & Family

Waste management


Grundon Waste Management made £6.5m profit on £75.1m sales in 2009. With a solid balance sheet and £53.3m net assets, the Slough-based business should be worth perhaps £55m. It is owned by the chairman Norman Grundon and his family.  Other assets add £3m. 



30. John Nike, 75, & Family



John Nike, the Bracknell-based leisure and property entrepreneur, runs Nike Land. Nike owns all the business with his family and trusts.  Nike should be worth at least £58m with other assets.



31. Nigel Piercey, 55, & Family



Clinimed (Holdings), a High Wycombe-based healthcare company was founded in 1982. Its profits soared to £11.6m on nearly £59m sales in 2008. The Piercey family, led by Nigel Piercey, own all the £50m company through trusts. We add £2m for past dividends. 



32. Tej Dhillon, 46



Tej Dhillon owns and runs an upmarket hotel chain based in High Wycombe. The net assets of Dhillon Hotels, the separate Liongate, Stoke Place and the Crown add up to a total of over £16m in 2008-09. With these and personal assets, Dhillon is worth perhaps £50m in the current climate.



33. Peter Ellis, 54



Peter Ellis started his first financial group in 1995. Five years later, tiring of the City, he sold his shares and established Foreign Currency Direct, based in Amersham. In 2009, it made over £1.8m profit on £281.3m sales. It should easily be worth £35m, and Ellis owns it all. Other assets and property take him to £50m.



34. Adam Afriyie, 45



Adam Afriyie is the Tory MP for Windsor and became the party's first black MP after entering the Commons at the May 2005 general election.  Afriyie founded ConnectSupport Services, a London-based IT service provider in 1993. His other main business, De Havilland Information Services, was sold in July 2005 and Afriyie picked up £13m from that deal. His interests take Afriyie to around £50m.



35. Andrew Brode, 70

Business services


Andrew Brode acquired RWS, Europe's largest technical translation and patent search business in 1995. The Gerrards Cross-based operation was floated in 2003 by way of a reverse takeover. Brode's stake is now worth nearly £45m. Past salaries and dividends should take him to £50m.



36. Edward McElhinney, 67, & Family



Edward McElhinney runs Berkshire-based industrial group SAS Holdings,  which made £5.3m profit on £76.4m sales in 2008. With £52m net assets, we value SAS at £40m, adding another £4m for past salaries and other assets to the family.



37. Alex Yew, 54



Alex Yew had a 93.7per cent stake in Miles 33, a Bracknell-based supplier of computer systems, which was sold  in 2007 for £62m. Yew should easily be worth £45m after-tax and spending.



38. Tony, 64, & Barbara Laithwaite, 64

Wine sales


Tony Laithwaite chairs Reading-based Direct Wines, which turned in a £3.2m profit on £344m sales in 2008-09.  It has nearly £28.5m net assets and a solid balance sheet. The £40m business is entirely owned by Laithwaite, his wife Barbara and his family trusts. Past dividends and salaries add £5m.



39. David Carr, 49 + Graham Hazell, 50



Hazell Carr, the Reading-based financial services operation, was sold in 2008 in a deal that will have earned its co-founders David Carr and Graham Hazell a hefty windfall. They set up the business in 1997 with a third partner to provide fast and accurate actuarial services.  No sale price was disclosed. But it should have been worth at least £70m. The pair each had a near 39% stake.. Past dividends and salaries take Hazell and Carr to £43m apiece. 



40. Sir Terry Pratchett, 62



Beaconsfield-born Terry Pratchett was the fifth best-selling author in the decade leading up to 2009, with 10.4m books sold.  It followed on from Pratchett's knighthood in the 2009 UK New Year Honours list for "services to literature." His first novel came out in 1971 and since then his books have sold 65m copies. He should easily be worth £42m on the back of his royalties.



41. Christopher Johnston, 66



Personal Group Holdings provides accident & health insurance, employee benefits, financial advice, personal insurance and reinsurance broking services. Chairman Christopher Johnston  has a £39m stake and with other assets should be worth £42m.



42. Sir Jackie Stewart, 71

F1 Racing


Former Formula One World Champions Sir Jackie Stewart consistently earned millions from his on and off-track activities and sponsorship deals.  But his wealth really increased when the Stewart Racing Team he established in 1996, was sold three years later for around £50m. Wendover-based Stewart should now be around £40m after-tax.



43. David Newman , 49

Car sales


David Newman runs the Ridgeway Garages (Newbury), which was established in 1997. The Thames Valley car dealer  saw its profits soar to over £4m on £250m sales in 2009. Newman has a near 90 per cent stake worth nearly £36m and we add £3m for past salaries etc.



44. Simon Elvin, 69, & Family

Greetings cards


Simon Elvin produces 100m high quality greeting cards from its Buckinghamshire factory every year. Started by Simon Elvin in 1978, the company made a £1.7m loss on £27.3m sales in 2008, yet with a strong balance sheet and £38.4m net assets it is worth £32m in the current climate.  Other assets add £5m.



45. Joe Hemani, 60



Joe Hemani's Westcoast distributes computing products throughout Britain.  In 2008, it made a £126,000 loss but has huge sales of £801m. With £13.8m net assets, it should be worth around £30m. We add £5m for other assets to Hemani who owns the company outright.



46. Darbara Dhanoa, 48



Darbara Dhanoa owns and runs Riva Properties, a Maidenhead-based hotel group. In 2008-09 it made a healthy £870,000 profit and showed £31.6m net assets.

He also owns Hazelpool Management with £2.1m net assets and, in all, he should easily be  worth £34m.



47. Gavin Oldham, 61



Gavin Oldham owns nearly 78 per cent of the stockbroking firm, Share Centre, which he founded in 1990. The Aylesbury-based company floated on the stock market in 2008.  Oldham has a £33m stake.



48. Nick Sargent, 58, & Family



Nick Sargent is a successful Slough-based property developer. In 2009, his  company, Skillbond, made a £1m profit on £2.4m sales, but it has nearly £32.6m net assets. We value the Sarent family’s net worth at £32m. 



49. Jay Kay, 40



Jay Kay is the lead singer of Jamiroquai, who have sold sold 30m albums worldwide since 1992.  Kay, who lives in a mansion near Princes Risborough, has a 35-strong car collection. His company Jamiroquai showed £9.2m net assets in 2008, but with the lack of activity in recent years, Kay is worth around £30m.


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