20th Oct 2006, by Andrew Barr

Real Business Magazine - Another Great Edition

As you would expect we get pretty much all the SME mags, Your Entrepreneur Magazine, Start Your Business, and Business Voice to name but a few. Generally they all make for an interesting read but for me one in particular stands out head and shoulders above the rest and that is Real Business, edited by Adam Leyland.

October's was no different apart from sadly it was Adam's last edition with him as editor. The mag has recently had a very decent looking rebrand with it moving to a slightly smaller size and the rather unique style of highlighting the key areas of an article, so if you are lazy like me and skip through articles you can still take in the best bits.

Sir Stelios's must be on a media drive at the minute and about to launch something big as he is in a few of the SME mags this month but apart from a good interview in Real Business there are several other interesting articles as well.

The main ones that caught my eye included an overview of how to pay yourself royalites and how it can be tax advantageous to do so, along with a summary of how to go about things if you find yourself in the awkward position of having to dismiss an employee.

On article in particular did stand out and it related to Britain's secret entrepreneurs and as the title gives away, it lists some of the UK's most media-shy business professionals. These included:

Bill Adderly, Founder of furnishings/homeware company Dunelm which made a profit of £39.2m last year.

Barry Burns, Chairman and Founder of the much maligned I-soft.

John Coulter/Anne Jones, owners of high St jeweller Warren James avoid doing a Ratner by not talking to media and made a profit of £49m last year.

Stephen Harrison runs the construction company Harron Homes and is worth an estimated £90m.

Gary Widdowson, valued by the Sunday Times Rich List as being worth £90m owns a company called GD Metal and Metal & Waste Recycling.

Jimmy Heselden is a great story to read (go and buy the mag to read it!). Basically he hit upon a great invention for flood defence and alike and it got picked up by the military. His company is called Hesco Bastion and he is personally rumoured to be worth £160m.

Bill Ives, MD of Rainham Steel and former boxer (so I will be nice to protect myself!). The write up makes him sound an all round good guy who is worth over £102m and unlike so many who make token gestures, from what I can understand he does massive amounts for charity.

Harold Martin is worth £120m and provides traffic management services to various bodies and councils along with fencing to prisons. Sounds a guy you don't want to mess with and the HW Martin Group website could do with a bit of work!

Ralph Oppenheimer. His name may get you bonus points in Scrabble but he is another one of the "Steel-Empire" heroes. Apparently his company Stemcor is now the largest independent trader in steel and his family is worth over £200m. Crikey.

Alastair & Michael Powell. With a personal fortune worth an estimated £140m these brothers re-structered their Electrical Cable company just to try and steer people away from being nosey about their personal worth.

Well... anyone else you think should be on the list?

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