91. Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team Announces Principal Partnership with INEOS
Age 68
Occupation Chairman and CEO, Ineos
Nationality British
Position Last Year New

Sir Jim Ratcliffe (born 18 October 1952) is a Monaco-based British billionaire chemical engineer turned financier and industrialist. Ratcliffe is the chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of the Ineos chemicals group, which he founded in 1998 and of which he still owns two-thirds, and which has been estimated to have a turnover of $15 billion in 2019. He does not have a high public profile, and has been described by The Sunday Times as “publicity shy”.

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As of May 2018, he was the richest person in the UK, with a net worth of £21.05 billion. As of April 2020, Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimated his net worth at $28.2 billion, 55th richest in the world and second in the UK.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe began his career at Exxon Chemicals where he completed his MBA at the London Business School. He moved to Courtaulds and in 1992 led the successful buyout of Inspec Group plc. He left in 1998 to acquire INEOS plc from Inspec and has been Chairman of INEOS ever since.

On 13 November 2017, Ratcliffe became the owner of FC Lausanne-Sport, a Swiss Super League football club.

In 2018, Sir Jim Ratcliffe partnered with Ben Ainslie to form Ineos Team UK to compete for the 36th America’s Cup in 2021. Ratcliffe is reportedly investing over £110 million in the project.

On 19 March 2019, Ratcliffe purchased the Team Sky cycling franchise, subsequently rebranded Team Ineos. Their first competitive race under the new Ineos sponsorship was the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire. They subsequently won the 2019 Tour de France and 2021 Giro d’Italia with the Colombian rider, Egan Bernal.

On 22 August 2019, the French competition authority permitted the €100 million takeover of Ligue 1 club OGC Nice from Chinese-American entrepreneur Chien Lee by Ineos.

Ratcliffe supported the October 2019 Ineos 1:59 Challenge, a successful effort by Eliud Kipchoge to run the classic marathon distance (42.195 kilometres or 26 miles 385 yards) under 2 hours.

In February 2020, Ineos became principal partners of the Mercedes-AMG F1 Team, signing a five-year agreement with the team. In the same month, Ratcliffe rejected claims that he would buy a Premier League club, having previously been linked to Chelsea.

In 1985, Ratcliffe married Amanda Townson; they have two sons, George and Samuel. They divorced in 1995. He has one daughter with his current partner, Maria Alessia Maresca, an Italian tax lawyer.

Ratcliffe lives in Monaco and Hampshire, England. In May 2017, he submitted his fifth plan, less ambitious than the first four, to build a “luxury home” at Thorns Beach, near Beaulieu, on the Hampshire coast, which would replace an existing two-bedroom bungalow. In September 2020, Ratcliffe officially changed his tax residence from Hampshire to Monaco, a move that it is estimated will save him £4 billion in tax. He also owns a luxurious house on the shores of Geneva’s lake in Switzerland in the village of Gland, right next to Michael Schumacher’s. His house is located on the Napoleon Bonaparte Imperial estate, where princess Alix Napoléon herself owns a property, and where one of the finest Golf Club in Europe resides: Domaine Imperial.

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 has stated that “As a business, Ineos supported the common market, but not the United States of Europe.” He is opposed to the “layers and layers” of European legislation which he feels is making European economies increasingly cumbersome and inefficient. However, some critics argue that, on a business level, he is very happy to take full 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 and are often happy to “lunch around with bankers”, but less keen to discuss economic issues with industrialists and business owners.

Ratcliffe has owned two superyachts, Hampshire and Hampshire II. His first yacht was built as Barbara Jean by Feadship. In 2012 he took delivery of the 78 metres (256 ft) Feadship Hampshire II, built by Royal van Lent, which he still owns.

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