Nick Wheeler and Chrissie Rucker
Rank 2017
They are the retail world’s power couple. Rucker's White Company sells towels, soft furnishings and other homeware in stylish, neutral tones, and the former fashion journalist is looking to open her first American store in New York this summer. She started the business with a £6,000 legacy from her grandmother in 1994 and profits rose strongly to £17.2m on £184.3m sales in 2015-16. Its net assets increased slightly to £23.8m and a £12.5m dividend was paid in the same year, leading us to value the operation at £180m. Rucker, 48, owns almost all of it, although she did give a 1% stake to husband Wheeler. He has no reason to feel short-changed. Wheeler, 52, owns Charles Tyrwhitt, a shirtmaker aimed at City types, set up in 1986, which made £17.1m profit on £172.6m sales in 2014-15 and saw its assets grow £10m to £27.6m. The latest accounts are the first in which Rucker's profits have been greater than her husband's. Wheeler is the majority shareholder of the company, founded in 1986, and it should be worth £220m. The couple's combined operations have 74 UK stores. In all, we value the pair at £427m with other interests.

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