Freddie Linnett and the Murphy family
Rank 2017
From tea girl to multimillionaire. Linnett, 67, used to work as a secretary and tea maker at her uncles' Charles Street Buildings. Hugh and Paddy Murphy set up the Leicester-based property company after moving from Ireland following the Second World War. Linnett inherited her stake in the 1990s. The business owns a portfolio of offices let to government departments and agencies, as well as a collection of properties leased to banks and retailers. It is now working on a regeneration plan for a largely derelict eight-acre site it owns in Leicester's Waterside area. The aim is to extend the city centre to Waterside with a bold transformation of the disused Leicester Central railway station into a boutique hotel. Profits increased slightly to £35.1m on £39.4m turnover in 2015 when the low-key operation also saw its net assets rise sharply to nearly £619m in 2015. Dividends – including more than £14m in the past year – and other interests take golf-loving Linnett, a director, and the Murphy family to £640m.