Property
2015: No.45 - £80m
2014: No.40= - £80m

Paul Bassi’s property group , Real Estate Investors, is lined up for record rental income as a result of its fast growing portfolio, which now has more than £100 million in gross assets.

As one of the region’s most influential private landlords – not to mention the largest – REI has brought in a wide range of new tenants including The Royal College of Surgeons, HSBC Bank and the NHS.

Chief executive of AIM-listed Real Estate Investors, he set up his property company in 1983, creating Bond Wolfe which initially focussed on the West Bromwich area before branching out to cover Birmingham and the Midlands.

As the recovery in the property markets cements, Paul Bassi has reported a real improvement in confidence and occupier activity. REI saw its pre-tax profit for the first half of 2014 increase by 238 per cent to £2.6 million. This followed record profits of £5 million in 2013. The firm raised £20 million in a placing among leading city investors.

Rental income brought in £2.7 million in the half-year and gross property assets stood at £86.2 million. In July the firm sold its head office building in Birmingham to a Canadian insurance group for £4.6 million. The 13,000 sq ft Cathedral Place in Waterloo Street is also home to recruitment consultants Key Personnel and Greenwell Gleason and charity The Shaw Trust.

In April, REI acquired 33 Bennetts Hill in the city centre for £1.575 million. The historic building, formerly the original branch of Midland Bank completed in 1835, was bought in cash from the receiver.

Bassi, the eldest son of a Black Country foundry worker, was awarded a CBE in 2010 in recognition of his services to business and the West Midlands community. His previous roles include High Sherriff of the West Midlands, president of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, regional chairman of Coutts Bank and a director of Birmingham Hippodrome.

In 2003 he was awarded the PwC Entrepreneur of the Year award and two years later was the youngest ever recipient of the Lloyds TSB Midlands Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bassi, who is 52, was born in Birmingham of Sikh Punjabi origin. He is married with three children. Among his assets is a portfolio of UK and overseas property. His interests include prestige cars, tennis and racquetball.