Thursday, April 18, 2024

18. Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Age 70
Occupation Chairman and CEO, INEOS
Nationality British
Position Last Year 91

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (born October 18, 1952) is a billionaire, chemical engineer, and businessman from England. Ratcliffe formed the INEOS chemicals firm in 1998 and retained a two-thirds stake. He remains its chairman and CEO. In 2021, the company was estimated to have generated $65 billion in revenue. He doesn’t have much public exposure, and The Sunday Times once called him “publicity shy.”

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As of May 2018, he was the wealthiest person in the U.K., with a net worth of £21.05 billion. As of April 2020, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at $28.2 billion, the 55th richest globally and second in the U.K. In September 2020, Ratcliffe officially changed his tax residence from Hampshire to Monaco, estimated to save him £4 billion in tax.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe began his professional career with Exxon Chemicals, where he earned his MBA from the London Business School. After relocating to Courtaulds, he successfully handled the acquisition of Inspec Group plc in 1992. He left in 1998 to buy INEOS plc from Inspec and has been Chairman of INEOS ever since.

On November 13, 2017, Ratcliffe bought the Swiss Super League football team FC Lausanne-Sport.

In 2018, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ben Ainslie formed Ineos Team U.K. to compete in the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. According to reports, Ratcliffe invested around £110 million in the project.

Ratcliffe purchased the Team Sky cycling franchise and rebranded it to Team Ineos on March 19, 2019. The 2019 Tour de Yorkshire was their first competitive race with the new Ineos sponsorship. With the Colombian rider Egan Bernal, they subsequently won the 2019 Tour de France and the 2021 Giro d’Italia.

On August 22, 2019, the French Competition Authority approved Ineos’ acquisition of OGC Nice for €100 million from Chinese-American businessman Chien Lee.

Ratcliffe backed the October 2019 Ineos 1:59 Challenge, an effective attempt by Eliud Kipchoge to complete the traditional marathon distance (42.195 kilometres or 26 miles 385 yards) in under 2 hours.

Ineos signed a five-year deal with the Mercedes-AMG F1 Team in February 2020, becoming one of the team’s key partners. Ratcliffe denied rumours that he might purchase a Premier League team in the same month; he had previously been linked to Chelsea.

Ratcliffe wed Amanda Townson in 1985; the couple had two boys, George and Samuel. They split up in 1995. He has a daughter with his present partner, Italian tax attorney Maria Alessia Maresca.

Ratcliffe lives in Monaco and Hampshire, England. In May 2017, he sent in his fifth plan, less ambitious than the first four, to build a “luxury home” at Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, on the coast of Hampshire. It would replace a two-bedroom bungalow that was already there. He also owns a lovely house in the Swiss village of Gland, right next to Michael Schumacher’s, on the shore of Lake Geneva. His house is on the Napoleon Bonaparte Imperial estate. Princess Alix Napoléon owns a house on the estate, and Domaine Imperial is home to one of the best golf clubs in Europe.

Ratcliffe enjoys physical adventure and has made expeditions to the North and South Poles, as well as a three-month-long motorbike trek in South Africa, and has founded a charity, “Go Run for Fun”, encouraging thousands of children aged between five and ten to get active by creating celebrity-driven events.

Ratcliffe is a eurosceptic and stated, “As a business, Ineos supported the common market, but not the United States of Europe.” He opposes the “layers and layers” of European legislation, which makes European economies increasingly cumbersome and inefficient. However, some critics argue that, on a business level, he is pleased to take the entire profit of the single market and will have the new Grenadier 4&4 produced in France. He has publicly expressed his disdain for politicians, criticising them for the way they negotiated the Brexit withdrawal agreement. He is often happy to “lunch around with bankers” but less keen to discuss economic issues with industrialists and business owners.

Ratcliffe owned two large boats called Hampshire and Hampshire II. His first boat was called Barbara Jean and was made by Feadship. He still owns the Royal Van Lent-built, 78-meter-long (256-foot) Feadship Hampshire II, which he took delivery of in 2012.

Ratcliffe is a passionate Manchester United fan. He indicated an interest in purchasing Manchester United F.C. in August 2022. In January 2023, his company, INEOS, started the process of buying Manchester United.

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