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Rich List 2017: No.8 - Lord Paul of Marylebone and family

Caparo Group founder Lord Paul remains in the Rich List top 10, despite the family's fortunes dropping from £1.2 billion to £800 million

Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone
Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone

Manufacturing
2017: No.8 - £800m
2016: No.2 - £1.2bn

Lord Paul's Caparo Group and the University of Wolverhampton have teamed up to launch a £400,000 fund to turn research into start-up businesses.

The CIC Investment Fund will provide funding to spin-out companies. The university has a longstanding relationship with the Caparo Innovation Centre.

Meanwhile the university's new £18 million business school is to be named the Lord Swraj Paul Building. Lord Paul has been Chancellor of the university since 1999.

The worldwide growth of 85 year-old Lord Paul’s Black Country-based steel and engineering empire, the Caparo Group, came to an abrupt halt in the autumn of 2015, when 16 Caparo companies went into administration. And a business tragedy turned into a personal tragedy when Lord Paul’s son – 45 year-old Angad Paul who was chief executive of the company - jumped to his death from the balcony of the family's central London apartment. He had been suffering from depression. The father of two was married to lawyer Michelle Bonn.

Caparo suffered from the turmoil affecting the steel sector, and its operations in the UK were hit hard by cheap imports. However most of its businesses were acquired by the Gupta family's Liberty House Group and most jobs were saved.

Caparo still employs around 1,200 people in other operations and has bases in around 80 locations around the world. It has significant businesses in India.

The Caparo Group had previously been profitable, reaping the benefits of trading with the world’s most successful economies, many of which are now declining. Its success in India in particular repaired its post-recession balance sheet. The company’s stated aim was to be the biggest automotive company in Lord Paul’s native country.

Lord Paul set up the Caparo School of Excellence in Manufacturing and Materials Technology in Jalandhar – the town where Lord Paul’s father first set up a business making steel buckets back in 1910.

In the UK, the University of Wolverhampton was the recipient of a £1 million donation from Lord Paul. The gift, the largest in the University’s history, was made by the Ambika Paul Foundation set up by Lord Paul in memory of his daughter.

The Caparo Group was founded in 1968, two years after Lord Paul came to the UK to get treatment for his daughter Ambika’s leukaemia. She died soon after and the foundation was set up in her memory primarily to promote the wellbeing of children. It has donated millions to children’s charities.

Steel, automotive, engineering and property group Caparo has its regional office in Oldbury and a technology division on Wolverhampton Science Park.

In addition Lord Paul’s son Ambar, heads the family’s Caparo Hotels chain which has hotels in Oxford, Abingdon, Torquay and London.

Lord Paul is also Chancellor of Westminster University and he is committed to improve standards of education in his native India.

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