John Reece
Rank 2017
A former PwC partner specialising in chemicals companies, Reece, 60, joined industrial giant Ineos as finance director in 2000. Ineos, now Britain's largest private company by sales, made £2.7bn profit on £18.1bn turnover in 2015. In 2010 founder Jim Ratcliffe (qv) and 20 executives moved to Switzerland to save an estimated £100m a year in corporation tax. The good news for the UK is that since last May, Ratcliffe and his team have returned to London. Reece, who read economics at Cambridge, has a 20% stake in the controlling company, Hampshire-based Ineos Capital, that is now worth £2.05bn.

Ineos manufactures two more billionaires

Jim Ratcliffe: “I grew up amid Manchester’s smokestacks. I want to put the factories back”