Lord Kirkham and family
Furniture, Investment
Rank 2017
Kirkham, 72, last year launched Fabb Sofas, an upmarket furniture retailer that will compete with DFS, the business he founded in the late 1960s. Having left school at 16 with no O-levels, he set up DFS in a former billiard hall and floated the operation for £450m in 1993. After later taking the company private again, he netted another £400m from subsequent refinancing, dividends and a sale to private equity group Advent. This gave Doncaster-born Kirkham the firepower to fund friend Malcolm Walker's (qv) Iceland takeover in 2012, later selling his 19% stake in the supermarket group to Christo Wiese (qv) for £86m.