BTMK Richest 50 .pdf

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Essex Life presents the Essex Life Richest 50, charting the wealthiest
men and women with connections to the county courtesy of
accountant and author, Philip Beresford




SSEX is booming, at least

commitment to remaining in Essex and

47 self-made are returnees to the list,

for the 50 richest Essex

therefore paying their taxes here. Tax

Vijay and Bhikhu Patel, who are bent on

millionaires. In this, the

exile certainly doesn’t seem to appeal to

recreating the successful pharma

11th Essex Life Richest 50

our continuing number one, Lord Sugar,

operation they recently sold. They also

list, the top 50 wealthiest

or our new number two, West Ham

help push our Asian community

United co-owner, David Sullivan.

representation up to four this year.

are now worth a collective £8.017
billion, up £1.89 billion or a cool 31%
rise on 2013.
The booming housing market, strong

Celebrity wealth too is alive and well in

Women too still get short shrift, though

Essex. Veteran rocker Rod Stewart, soon

we have six this year, either in their own

to reach 70, shows no sign of cooling his

right or as partners of Essex-born tycoons.
In terms of age, it is still a pretty

profits at local niche manufacturers and a

love affair with the county, spending

canny eye for a bargain among some of

some of his £140m fortune buying a

middle-aged list. The oldest person we

the traditional Essex multi-millionaires

near-£5m country pile near Epping Forest

have in the top 50 is Jack Petchey, born in

have all combined to make 2014 a vintage

last year, his second Essex mansion.

1925. We have no-one born in the 1980s

year for the local rich.

David and Victoria Beckham again make

and just four born in the 1970s, including

it into our top 50 with a joint £210m

the Beckhams. Geographically, Essex

tide of wealth at the top lift everyone of

fortune, thanks to their respective roots

wealth is diffused round the county.

the county’s 1.31m population to greater

in Leytonstone and Harlow.

Leafy Epping has five of the Essex 50

Of course, we all want to see the rising

prosperity. And to that end, it helps that

Outside this A list world, the Essex Life

while Colchester has four and Billericay,
Basildon and Southend have two apiece.

the unemployment rate in Essex at 5.8%

Richest 50 largely come from business.

is well down on the UK average of 6.4%,

Essex is blessed with a very diverse

with several towns having rates as low as

economy. The county’s proximity to


London and its housing market always


helps our property and construction

To qualify for the Essex Life Richest 50 is

too. Essex has the second highest

millionaires and this year we have 15 (one

no simple matter. The person must either

concentration of finance and insurance

up on last year). Industry is second with

work, live or be born in the area or have a

Proximity to the City of London helps

workers in the European Union
with 66,000 workers, only
second to London,
which means lots of
well-paid jobs and the

eight millionaires and we have three
millionaires in finance, the
same as last year.
The Essex Life 50 are
also overwhelmingly

substantial presence in the area. Their
wealth is assessed on land holdings,
shares in quoted or private companies
and any sale proceeds from company
sales. Quoted company stakes were

self-made. Only

valued at the end of August 2014. Private

spent in the commuter

three of the

companies are generally valued at about

towns where these City

Essex 50

ten times their latest profit figures,

slickers live.


depending on the financial health of the


operation. We have no access to detailed

is that those at


personal financial records such as bank

the top of our

half last

accounts or the like, so make no

list show a

year’s figure.

allowance for these.


Among the

money earned being

The good news

1 21

• RICHEST 50 •
32 Richard Higgins
& Family
Construction £58m

16 Gordon Sanders & Family
Care homes

49 Michael Toomey
Car sales £41m

31 Robin Tomkins
& Family
Property £60m

13= Gary Widdowson
Industry £180m

48 Allan Binks
& Family
Shipping £42m

30 Christopher
Johnson & Family
Industry £62m

46= Martin Mills & Family
Dental supplies £43m

28= Gene Willson
Aviation £63m

46= Brian & Carole Brown
Industry £43m

28= Iain Liddell
Freight services

50 Edward Belcher
& Family
Property and car sales

45 Paul Smith & Family
Estate agency £44m
41= Alan Witzenfeld &
Retailing £45m
41= Derek Hood & Family
Classic cars £45m
41= Barry Hearn
& Family
Sports management £45m
41= John Carver & Family
Industry £45m
40 Raymond & Roger
Raymond plus Family
Property £48m
38= Patrick Ridgwell
& Family
Food £50m
38= Bernard Holmes
Transport £50m
36= Rabinder Rai
& Family
Care homes £52m
36= Avnish Goyal
& Family
Care homes £52m
34= Susan Tobbell
Petrol retailing
34= Graham Peacock
Petrol retailing £53m
33 Paul & Helena Jeffery
Care homes £54m

27 Ray Stephens & Family
26 Frank Van Wezel
25 Dennis Myers & Family
24 David Wernick
& Family
Construction £85m
23 Daniel Watts & Family
20= Steve Rawlings
20= Brendan O’Malley
& Family

13= Vipul Thakrar & Family
Rice production £180m
13= Nigel Morris
12 Michael Gooch
11 David Beckham
& Victoria Beckham
Football and fashion
10 Jamie & Juliette Oliver
Media and restaurants
9 Stephen Conway & Family
Property and construction
8 William Ives & Family
7 Andreas Panayiotou
6 Mark Burnett
& Roma Downey
TV and films
5 Patrick McKenna

20= Andrew Hill
& Family

4 Vijay & Bhikhu Patel

19 Sir Jonathan Ive

3 Jack Petchey

18 Kevin Taylor

2 David Sullivan
Property and football

17 Rod Stewart

1 Lord Sugar
Property and computers

Edward Belcher
& Family
Property and
car sales


Bates Motor Group, a BMW and
Audi specialist car retailer was taken over by the
quoted Inchcape operation in 2001 for £22.3m.
Bates, based in the Maldon area of Essex, was
largely owned by Edward Belcher and his family,
who picked up at least £21m for its stake. Belcher
continues to run the separate Bates Finance
(Onslow) and Bates Finance (Southend) which
showed £4.5m net assets in their 2012 accounts.
He also has various property interests. In all he
should easily be worth £40m after his shrewd
timing on the sale and his entry into the property


Car sales £41m

Laindon Holdings saw its profits hit
a record £2.2m on sales also at a high of £180.4m
in 2013. The Basildon car dealer was set up in 1929
by entrepreneur Joseph Toomey selling
motorcycles. He thrived in developing Essex as
mass-produced cars became the norm. A
construction division later capitalised on the
post-war building boom and the growth of Basildon
new town. In addition to the George Martin
construction arm and car dealerships, Laindon has
a car-rental and repair business, five vehicleleasing firms, plus a taxi and courier business. It is
now run and owned by Michael Toomey, son of the
company’s founder. Laindon should be worth its
near £37.4m net assets. Other smaller companies
take Toomey to £41m.


Allan Binks
& Family
Shipping £42m

The Harwich-based Mann Group
provides shipping, warehousing and
stevedoring services. It was started in 1989 when
Allan Binks led a management buyout of various
divisions to form a business group called Bunzl
which made a healthy £5.9m profit on £53.7m sales
in 2012. It is owned by Binks, his family and family
trusts. Two other Binks’ family-owned companies,
Fricor and Traminco, show £4.2m net assets. In all
the Binks family should be worth £42m.

1 23

• RICHEST 50 •


Martin Mills & Family
Dental supplies

The Dental Directory, a Witham-based company, was founded in 1971 and it
is Britain’s largest independent full service dental dealer. In May 2014, a private
equity-backed corporate dental provider from Bolton bought the Dental Directory
for an undisclosed sum. The Dental Directory Catalogue, with over 27,000 different professional
dental products, has achieved its number one status because it offers today’s general dental
practitioners a vast range of products, combined with a service which guarantees fast deliver. In
2013, the company, now called Sharksfin Holdings, made £7.7m profit on £102.8m sales. With
£38.5m net assets it should have been worth at least £50m in the takeover. It was largely
owned by the Mills family led my managing director Martin Mills. After tax the family should be
worth £43m.


Brian & Carole Brown

Chester Hall Precision Engineering does high quality sub-contract work for
the aerospace industry using high speed CNC machine tools and working with
aerospace alloys and exotic materials. The Wickford-based operation is 90% owned
by its boss Brian Brown and his wife Carole. In 2013 it made £6.9m profit on £20.2m sales and
with a solid balance sheet and £18.3m net assets, should be worth £48m. That values the
Brown stake at around £43m.

& Family


Alan Witzenfeld started in the costume
jewellery trade as a youth with a seaside
stall on Southend seafront. From there he
built the DCK fashion jewellery empire.
Teenage girls are the target for DCK, which
sells affordable jewellery in stores such as
Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Matalan. The
Billericay-based company has an
international presence and DCK
Concessions is one of the world’s leading
high street fashion jewellery retailer,
operating with over 15 retailers in 33
countries. It sources more than 60 million
pieces of jewellery each year. In 2010 Caird
Capital purchased a 20% stake from Bank
of Scotland. In 2012-13 the parent company
DCK Group made a healthy £12m profit on
125.9m sales. With £21m net assets and a
healthy balance sheet, it is a £75m
operation. Witzenfeld and his family own a
£40m stake. Other assets add £5m

Hood &


Classic cars


Paul Smith & Family
Estate agency

Paul Smith co-founded Colchester-based Spicerhaart as a three-branch
agency in East Anglia in 1989 with his father. Now, 25 years later, it operates
five well-known estate agencies in England (Haart, Spicer McColl, Haybrook, Felicity J Lord and
Chewton Rose), as well as Darlows in Wales. It also has an alternative to high street estate
agencies through Profits at Spicerhaart Group rose dramatically in 2012 from £1.7m
to nearly £6.4m on sales of £92.3m, while its net assets came in at nearly £14m. Smith and his
family own all the £44m operation.

Derek Hood came in 16th in the 2014 Le
Mans Classic race in July, driving a Jaguar
XK120. The Jaguar was one of five cars in
the race from Hood’s JD Classics operation
in Maldon. He trained as a dentist but after
he began restoring classic cars as a hobby,
he quickly found there was strong demand
for his services and that he could turn his
pastime into a business. He gave up teeth
and since 1987 has been running JD
Classics. It specialises in restoring and
preparing racing cars reaching speeds in
excess of 200mph. It also provides
customers with JD race team specialists to
support their cars in European and
worldwide race events. Hood has also
launched Jaguar Heritage Racing Trust on
behalf of Jaguar Cars, which gives full race
preparation and support for Jaguar’s Cars’
historic fleet of vehicles. In 2012-13 JD
Classics saw its profit soar to £6.9m on
£39.5m sales. Hood owns all the £45m

1 25

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