Revealed: The 25 most influential businessmen in Britain


Which business figures and entrepreneurs have the biggest clout?

The wait is over for the great and good of British society.

GQ, the house magazine for Britain’s metropolitan sharp-suited men, has issued its official list of the 100 most influential men in Britain. You’ve already heard that our own mayor Boris Johnson is top of the pack, but what about the rest?

GQ celebrates its latest issue as a “business special”, and given your exceptional good taste and interest in business as readers of Londonlovesbusiness.com, we’ve stripped out all those glossy celebs to let you know purely who are the most influential in GQ’s league table.

One thing is for sure, Sir Richard Branson may be in for a bit of a surprise

Sir Philip Green – (GQ Rank: 14th)

Sir Philip Green

The Arcadia Group supremo is sitting at the top of the pack for British businessmen at number 14. He was at 6th place last year but don’t let that fool you into thinking his star is on the wane. Sir Philip’s Arcadia Group is eyeing up China, Russia and India as places to take on.

Christopher Bailey – (20th)

Christopher Bailey

The chief creative officer of Burberry has presided over a revival of interest in the classic British fashion label. After taking over in 2001, Bailey has steered the brand to new heights of popularity.

James Palumbo – (24th)

James Palumbo

The Ministry of Sound boss is as cool as they come, nursing a £170m fortune.

Lakshmi Mittal – (26th)

Lakshmi Mittal

Lakshmi Mittal

The richest man in Britain. Worth £12.7bn (even if his fortune dropped £1.8bn last year). The steel magnate has made his impact with the £19.1m ArcelorMittal Orbit towering over the Olympic Park and in 2013, who knows what he may do…

Matthew Freud – (28th)

Matthew Freud

The PR guru has been rising high, with GQ putting him at 35 last year. He’s married into the Murdoch media dynasty, nephew to artist Lucian Freud and introduced the Prime Minister to his father-in-law Rupert back in 2008.

Oh, and he’s worth £251m and his PR firm posted a 30% bump in profits last year.

Count Erik Wachtmeister – (31st)

Count Erik Wachtmeister

The splendidly titled Swede Count Erik Wachtmeister has a jetset version of Facebook – called Best of All Worlds. Bankrolled by the Saudi royals, the site has just come out of beta testing and is ready to hit the elite.

Adam Crozier – (32nd)

Adam Crozier

The ITV CEO acheived something of a coup in wiping out the company’s debt last year (which stood at a whopping £612m in 2009). A good way of justifying his £3.1m salary.

Ed Victor – (38th)

Ed Victor

The legendary literary agent has a client list to die for: Eric Clapton, Alastair Campbell, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Nigella Lawson are just a few on his roster.

Dominic Loehnis – (39th)

Loehnis is the Executive headhunter at global executive search firm Egon Zehnder International and a close friend of David Cameron. He may be nicely surprised to receive this accolade after the most recent find of his company turned out to be the shortest-serving BBC director-general ever, George Entwistle.

We would give you a picture of him but he’s so seemingly engimatic that the best on offer is this tiny mugshot. Certainly not a man who hogs the limelight.

Nick Jones – (40th)

Nick Jones

Nick Jones

Stylish club mogul Nick Jones is soaring thanks to the success of his Soho House group among the world’s metropolitan elite (even Richard Caring wanted a slice of the pie of his Soho House UK business).

Simon Wolfson – (42nd)

Simon Wolfson

Chief Executive of Next Simon Wolfson, or Baron Wolfson of Aspley Guise, has shaken up the fashion sector at the helm of Next in his own quiet revolution. His appointment at the age of 33 drew acclaim as he became the youngest chief executive of a FTSE 100 company.

Simon Cowell – (49th)

Judge Simon Cowell arrives at the Hammersmith Apollo in west London for the Britain's Got Talent auditions.

Net worth: £225m

He’s Simon Cowell. Max Clifford represents him. He’s Mr Idol himself, Britain, America and the World’s Got Talent. What else needs to be said?

Jeremy Darroch – (50th)

Jeremy Darroch

Chief executive of satellite broadcasters bSkyb.

Sir Martin Sorrell – (52nd)

Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer, WPP

Sir Martin Sorrell, Chief Executive Officer, WPP

He’s the Chief Executive of WPP group, the world’s largest advertising and marketing group. His net worth is £174m. If it’s anyone who should be on the list, it’s him.

James Miles and Justin Gibbs (53rd – tied)

James Miles and Justin Gibbs of Liveex

Membership of Live-Ex, the fine wine marketplace accounts for 80% of the global fine wi
ne turnover. Achievements for the founders in the last year include making the Sunday Times International Fast Track 200 list of the UK’s fastest growing companies for the fourth time in six years. Cheers to that!

Jeff Lynn – (55th)

Seedrs CEO Jeff Lynn

CEO of Seedrs, the business investing platform, Lynn said:

“It is a thrill to be included in this list alongside such an amazing selection of people because it shows that our efforts at Seedrs to open up this new investment opportunity to a much wider audience, while directly stimulating UK economic growth, have been recognised as the beginning of something big.

“The fact that Seedrs was the very first equity crowdfunding platform anywhere in the world to gain full regulatory approval – and that the UK is leading the development of this new sector, even well ahead of the USA – will have helped our recognition as the undisputed leader in this rapidly evolving field”     

Richard Caring – (67th)

Richard Caring

Owner of Caprice Holdings and Birley group of members clubs. The billionaire restauranteur and club owner (once dubbed the “Lex Luther of Mayfair”) has been diversifying and spreading his empire slowly but surely throughout London.

Sir Charles Dunstone – (70th)

Sir Charles Dunstone

Chairman and co-founder of Carphone Warehouse and chairman of Talk Talk Group. Net worth £850m.

John Makinson – (76th)

What puts the Chairman of Penguin on this list? Well, he’s the ex-MD of the Financial Times, ex-editor of the Lex column in the FT, ex-vice chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi’s US holding company amongst others job titles. Need we say more?

Dan and Sam Houser – (79th tied)

Dan Houser of Rockster

Dan Houser of Rockstar

Co-founders of Rockstar Games. Net-worth £100m. You don’t know Rockstar? Oh they only were behind a little series called Grand Theft Auto.

Chris Corbyn and Jeremy King – (82nd tied)

Chris Corbyn (r) and Jeremy King (l)

Chris Corbyn (r) and Jeremy King (l)

Restauranteurs – the Wolseley, the Delaunay and more.

Danny and Neil Rimer (89th tied)

Danny and Neil Rimer of Index Ventures

Partners – Index Ventures

The Canadian-born brothers are behind the VC firm that has invested in firms as diverse as Facebook, Skype, Betfair and LoveFilm.

Sir Richard Branson – (94th)

Richard Branson

Chairman Virgin Group. Net worth £3.4bn. Famously beardie.

Charlie Redmayne – (95th)

Charlie Redmayne

CEO of Pottermore. Never heard of the company? Take a wild guess at what it’s about.

Harry Potter! And more of it! It’s the online hub for the Harry Potter franchise. It’s backed by Sony and – obviously – J.K Rowling herself.

Sir Paul Smith – (96th)

Sir Paul Smith and business secretary Vince Cable

Sir Paul Smith and business secretary Vince Cable

The iconic British fashion designer has now built up a net worth of £280m. Just to underline his business credentials, here he is hanging out with his pal business secretary Vince Cable as part of London Fashion Week.