Tony Langley
Rank 2017

Langley, 62, transformed his family’s struggling business into a highly successful engineering and manufacturing giant. Back in the 1930s his grandfather founded the Nottinghamshire engineering firm FS Hunt & Co. The group was all but dissolved in 1975 when Langley picked up one of the last remnants: a mining equipment manufacturer with just 10 employees. Retford-based Langley Holdings turned in £104.3m profit on £765.8m sales in 2016 and showed more than £499m net assets. Langley likes to keep a close eye on his businesses, having bought a helicopter and a twin-turbo jet to make it easier to get around to plants and offices. He is also a passionate sailor, owning the racing yacht Gladiator. Langley Holdings is worth at least £1.2bn and we add £120m for past dividends – including a payment of £76.5m last year – and other assets.