Leeds richest people: The richest 50 business owners in Leeds and Yorkshire and how much they're worth
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Business to business publisher Insider Media has released its 2023 Yorkshire Rich List, naming the wealthiest business owners in the region and their total wealth in 2023.
A batch of new businesses in the steel industry made the list for the first time, as well as other entrepreneurs and business leaders making world-leading products and fortunes along the way, from the creator of a stair-lift to sustainable cardboard boxes.
Here are the wealthiest 50 business owners on the list. Find the full top 100 list at Insider Media.
1. Malcolm Healey, 79
2022: £1.6bnRetail: The kitchen company magnate should have made a decent return earlier this year from selling eBuyer, his electrical goods business. Demand for new PCs, gaming consoles and TVs boomed during the pandemic and his Howden-based internet retailer’s annual sales had risen to £241m ahead of the deal. Offloading eBuyer leaves Healey clear to focus on Wren Kitchens, which has 111 stores.
2. Lord Kirkham and family, 78
Retail: Kirkham set up what would become sofa retailer DFS from an old snooker hall in Doncaster. He made £450m from floating it on the stock market and other share sales during the 1990s. Kirkham then made a further £400m by taking DFS private, and selling to private equit.
3. Andrea Shelley, William Morrison and Eleanor Kernighan and family, 62, 47 and 49
Supermarkets: Shelley, Morrison and Kernighan are three of the eldest children of the late “king of the tills” Sir Ken Morrison, founder of Morrisons supermarkets. Sir Ken’s offspring have their own businesses, including a farm near Northallerton and holidays lets close to York and on the island of Mallorca.
4. Carol Healey and family, 77
Property: Property developer Eddie Healey teamed up with Paul Sykes to build Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre. Healey, the brother of kitchen tycoon Malcolm Healey, died two years ago. His widow Carol and her family still owns two retail parks.
5. Paul Sykes, 80
Property: Sykes left school without any qualifications and after working as a tyre fitter began making money from car and engine dealing. He later moved into property and he and Eddie Healey sold Sheffield’s Meadowhall shopping centre for £1.17bn.
6. The Shepherd family
Construction: Don Shepherd ran the Shepherd Group construction company and began focussing on the Portakabin modular building business more than 60 years ago. It now employs 2,260 people across seven European countries. Profits climbed to £73.2m on sales of £393.6m sales in 2022.
7. John Jakes, 67
Stairlifts: Jakes teamed up with Direct Line founder Peter Wood earlier this year to take control of funeral provider Dignity for £281m. Monaco-based Jakes owes his wealth to Steeton’s Acorn Mobility Services.
8. Philip Meeson, 76
Aviation: The former RAF pilot has now stepped down as executive chairman of airline Jet2. The former acrobatics ace transformed the freight carrier into Britain’s biggest seller of package holidays, last year flying 16 million passengers. He and his trust own 20.7 per cent of Jet.com.
9. Paul and Johnny Caddick and family, 73 and 42
Construction: The Caddicks’ Moda Living joint venture has quickly become one of the UK’s biggest build to rent brands, completing more than 2,000 homes. Miner’s son Paul still chairs the Wetherby-based Caddick Group with his son Johnny overseeing Moda. Group profits more than tripled to £58m in 2022.
10. Jon and Susie Seaton, 40 and 42
Teaching aids: The Seatons earlier this year sold a stake in their teaching aides business Twinkl to private equity for around £170m. Twinkl was set up in 2010 after Susie, who was working as a pre-school teacher, struggled to find educational resources online. Jon, a former property lawyer, has said in the early days of the Sheffield-based business he would get up at 4am to make content. “Then I’d go to work and come back and work until midnight or 1am,” he added. The deal with Vitruvian Partners valued Twinkl at around £500m.
11. Lawrence Tomlinson and family, 59
Care Homes: Tomlinson’s LNT Group has built more than 220 care homes since he took over a care home run by his parents when he was just 23. The main LNT business showed profits of £102.4m in 2021-22.
12. Steve Parkin, 62
Logistics: Parkin banked around £139m from selling his stake in logistics giant Clipper which he had begun as a “man with a van”. Parkin has also done well from property, finance and owns a bloodstock business worth almost £60m.
13. Roderick Evans and family, 61
Property: Leeds-based Evans develops and manages property ranging from hotels and offices to logistics hubs, civic buildings, and university colleges. It typically generates annual rent of more than £25m.
14. Terry Bramall and family, 80
Construction: Bramall’s fortune stems from the Keepmoat construction company set up by his father. He has reportedly made another “seven-figure” injection into Doncaster Rovers Football Club on top of at least £12.6m he has already poured in.
15. Frank Hester, 57
Software: Hester’s Leeds-based software company The Phoenix Partnership (TPP) is best known for storing 61 million NHS patient records. He recently gave £5m to the Tory party saying he had “never been particularly interested in politics”, but had been swayed by Rishi Sunak’s “passion for using technology”.
16. John Tordoff and family, 60
Car sales: Tordoff is chief executive of JCT 600, the car dealership chain run by his late father Jack for many years. The Bradford-based group sells 24 car brands from more than 50 locations. Profits fell slightly to £43.1m.
17. Peter Wilkinson, 69
Internet: Wilkinson built his fortune by setting up and selling the internet service providers Planet Online and Freeserve. He now owns Inhealthcare, which provides services to NHS trusts, and the 19,000-acre Pennyholme estate, near Helmsley.
18. John Guthrie and family, 87
Property: The Guthries’ Broadland Properties includes farming and renewable energy as well as commercial, industrial and residential property. The family also own the Kent tourist attraction Hever Castle.
19. Nick Howarth and family, 66
Timber: Howarth runs his family’s Howarth Timber chain of 34 timber and builders’ merchants and can trace its roots back Lincolnshire-based Arbor Forest Products now accounts for nearly half the group’s £337.3m turnover.
20. Richard Teatum and family, 66
Car sales: Teatum’s 64 car dealerships under Stoneacre Group shifted nearly 60,000 vehicles in 2021-22. After profits of £43.2m the Doncaster-based outfit should be worth £350m. He also owned nearly 10 per cent of the collapsed retailer Joules.
21. Mark Hunter, 61
Software: Hunter owns half of craft brewer Ossett Brewery whose sales almost tripled to £19.7m in 2021-22. But the bulk of his wealth stems from IT consultancy BJSS, which he set up with Andrew Vincent 30 years ago.
22. Andrew Vincent, 67
Software: BJSS now employs more than 2,500 staff and has won contracts with Specsavers and GoCompare as well as the NHS and other parts of the public sector. Profits rose to £56.1m on record sales of £259.9m in 2021-22.
23. Stephen and Paul Harrison, 54 and 53
Construction: The Harrison brothers have paid themselves £14.8m after a record year for their Leeds housebuilder Harron Homes, which the siblings set up in 1992 when they were in their early twenties. It made profits of £40.1m in 2022.
24. David Hood, 75
Electronics and aviation: Hood made most of his money from Shipley-based Pace Micro Technology, a manufacturer of set-top TV boxes. He now owns Multiflight, a helicopter and plane chartering, training and storage business.
25. Richard Barrett and family, 66
Steel: Earlier this year, Barrett took over as chairman at the steel stockholder from his brother James who died following a battle with cancer. Turnover at the sixth-generation family business soared to £617m after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hiked steel prices.
26. Chris Rea, 69
Engineering: Rea has invested £13m on 32 robots at his new Rotherham factory to help boost productivity. His AES Engineering makes mechanical seals for several industries. Profits climbed by a third to £48.2m on record sales of £233.8m in 2022.
27. Danny Sawrij and family, 54
Waste services: Sawrij’s Leo Group processes 1.25 million tonnes of animal by-products a year, creating 130,000 tonnes of protein meal and 70 million litres of fats used to make fuel, cosmetics, pet food and chemicals. He also owns a truck and van dealer.
28. Doug Gregory and family, 83
Furniture: Jersey-based Gregory set up furniture maker Symphony 52 years ago. The Barnsley manufacturer makes fitted kitchens, bathrooms, cupboards and other pieces for hotels, developers and other clients.
29. Dean and Janet Hoyle, 56 and 56
Greetings cards: Hoyle has written off £40m owed to him by Huddersfield Town ahead of the football club’s sale to US investors. It’s a hit he can and his wife can take thanks to the success of Card Factory, which they made at least £250m from.
30. Alexander Marr and family, 53
Fishing: The Hessle-based Andrew Marr International catches, trades, processes, stores and distributes seafood around the UK. There are also operations in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Far East. After profits of £22.3m the company should easily be worth £210m.
31. James and Luke Smith, 45 and 43
Industry: The Smith brothers grew profits at their safety barrier maker A-Safe by nearly 25 per cent to £29.1m last year. The pair’s father David started the Elland-based company as a polythene manufacturer in 1984.
32. Stuart Moore, 69
Building products: Moore runs the Wetherby-based Encon, a supplier of insulation, roof materials and fire protection systems. Record trading has seen profits rise by 50 per cent to £29.4m on sales of £306.4m in 2021-22.
33. Tony Bramall, 87
Car sales: Bramall last year offloaded shares worth £79.5m in Lookers, the stock market-listed car dealer. He bought his Lookers stake for £55m in 2004 and banked £20m from an earlier sale. Property investments are also faring well.
34. John and Mark Cotton and family, 84 and 47
Bedding: John Cotton took control of his family’s pillow and bedding manufacturer nearly 60 years ago. His son Mark works alongside him at John Cotton Group, which has recently launched a new range with fillings made from 100% recycled materials.
35. Chris Marshall and family, 84
Property: Elland-based property developer and contractor Marshall CDP was set up by Chris Marshall's great-grandfather at the turn of the 20th century. It bought Manchester’s celebrity favourite Hotel Gotham earlier this year.
36. Andrew Cawthray and family, 66
Drinks: Last year Cawthray sold his soft drinks business Cawingredients to the Austrian owner of Red Bull. He set up his Northallerton-based manufacturer after making around £45m from selling Macaw Soft Drinks in 2005.
37. Jason and Adam Fuller, 55 and 59
Food: The Fuller brothers sold their Leeds-based frozen food empire to their management team last year. Although the terms of the deal were not disclosed, Fullers Foods should have fetched at least £200m.
38. Nicholas Oughtred and family, 62
Food: Supplying own-brand bread to Co-op stores has helped Oughtred grow sales at William Jackson Food Group by a third to £305.9m. The sixth-generation family business remains loss making though.
39. The Allam family
Industry: Assem Allam, who fled his Egyptian homeland in the late 1960s after suffering torture by Colonel Nasser’s regime, died last year. He made his fortune through his generator business Allam Marine. Control of his £200m businesses empire has now passed to son Ehab.
40. Malcolm Walker and family, 75
Plumbing supplies: The former rugby league professional has earned well from a series of plumbing and bathroom businesses. Sales have fallen slightly to £45.7m at Walker Modular, a supplier to hotels, student flats, prisons and other large buildings.
41. Chris and Chris Edwards, 73 and 41
Discount stores: Turnover at the Edwards’ latest discount retailer One Beyond is growing fast - to £103.5m in 2022-23. Chris Sr set up Poundworld in 1974 from a stall at Wakefield market, later selling it for £150m. Chris Jr also runs online low-cost retailer Gem Imports.
42. Andrew Thirkill, 64
Finance and media: After working as a bricklayer and as a sales rep for the Yorkshire Post, Thirkill netted a series of payouts from building and selling a series of advertising and media companies. He is now into equity release and runs Age Partnership and Pure Retirement.
43. Andrew Weaver and family, 50
Housebuilding: Weaver took over from his father Irving as owner of Strata this summer. He has worked for the Doncaster business since the late 1990s. Weaver’s great-grandfather set up the firm, which completed nearly 1,000 new homes in 2022-22.
44. Jonathan and Lesley Wild and family, 71 and 71
Tea and coffee: Earlier this year Bettys and Taylors picked up a King’s Award for Enterprise and International Trade. Best known for selling Yorkshire Tea, it has expanded the number of markets it operates in from 28 to 49 in just six years.
45. Simon Dyson and family, 48
Construction: Dyson runs the Grimsby-based housebuilder Cyden Homes. He and his father Geoff founded the business after pocketing £67m from the sale of a similar operation called Chartdale in 2006.
46= Martyn and Paul Carnell, 67 and 69
Printing: Once in car sales, the Carnell brothers now run the fast-growing Bluetree commercial printing group. Turnover soared by more than 75 per cent to £93.9m in 2021-22, partly due to the acquisition of luxury book producer and pandemic demand for surgical masks.
46= Alf and Clare Ellis, 75 and 69
Industry: Husband and wife Alf and Clare Ellis founded the Pontefract-based kitchen manufacturer Ultima after a fruitless search for a reasonably priced one of their own. Profits grew by nearly 40 per cent to £25.6m in 2022.
48. The Bailey family
Engineering: Founded more than a century ago, the facilities and infrastructure business NG Bailey landed contracts worth £150m over a single quarter this year. There are now more than 3,000 staff on the payroll.
49= David and Lesley Jackson, 68 and 69
Business services: Bridlington-based Hudson Contract provides HR and payroll services for more than 2,600 firms in the construction industry and turns over nearly £1.4bn a year. Jackson has overcome three bouts of cancer.
49= John and Carolyn Radford, 57 and 41
Insurance: Radford has a diverse group of businesses ranging from insurance broking and claims handling to solar energy and property development. He is best known for chairing Mansfield Town Football Club.